Monday, December 25, 2006

More on eHarmony

This morning I had six more matches. I don't know if it's because I changed my looking-for radius from 60 mi. to CT or what, but I'm regularly getting matches. The good news is that most of them appear to be members, having pictures available or saved for a later stage. More good news is that of my 40 matches so far (40!), only 1 has indicated that she's a dedicated Christian (i.e., hopefully nice way of saying die-hard Christian). Apparently eHarmony is heavily skewed to white/non-Hispanic Chistians. *shrug* No big deal to me.

I feel a little bad though, as this morning also saw the first time I closed a match who wanted to communicate with me. She had her photo up and, (as I've said before) while I'm not apologetic for it, I feel a little bad for judging her by her photo. But I, too, can be callous and shallow. No matter how I feel, appearance does matter. That's one reason I'm a little hesitant with one of my matches. We're on step 3 and her photo is still hidden.

For the record, my photo is hidden until 1st questions are exchanged. I figure I want someone to be interested in me for who I am, for what's in my profile, and if they close it after we exchange 1st questions, fine. But at least be willing to give it the first stage without a photo. I am.

Two observations about my matches. I regularly get matched with dog-owners even though my profile says absolutely nothing about my two dogs or such. Granted, I checked boxes saying I like any animal though I don't own any. (I count the dogs as my mom's. When I move out, they're not coming with me.)

The other observation is that I regularly get matched with do-gooders. I'm talking about teachers, special Ed. teachers/workers, counselors, social workers, etc. It's kind of odd, really. I don't know that my questions indicated any such preference (I haven't been able to access my personality profile), though my profile is certainly oriented that way.

One of these days I may yet post my profile here, just to share it. I like to think that it's very reflective of me. It states some things I truly believe, that are probably apparent or known to my friends though not verbalized. I also tried to phrase it so my answers were indicative, for example, of extensions to what I say there. I'm a bit old-fashioned in that a woman will never pay for a first date unless she makes a big deal about it. I hold doors open. Those sorts of things. I suspect you could glean similar inferences from my profile and that's what I was going for – the subtle insinuation of me.

That's a cool quote – The subtle insinuation of me.

By the way, I do purposefully not communicate with some women if their profile contains numerous spelling and grammar errors. I guess I'm pretty picky like that. If your profile is going to be what other people see, what they initially form an opinion based on, then I want to see that you've put some effort into it. I certainly put some effort into mine. In fact, I'm constantly rereading it and making minor changes and some updates (e.g., as I finish my current book). But good lord, please don't have three misspellings, no periods and no capitalization (even of the word "I," and yes, I get matches with profiles like that). I also don't initiate communication with women whose profile is substantially incomplete (e.g., 6-word-sentence answer to an open question or no answer to any open questions).

Nearly every woman lists friends & family under both "three things _____ is most thankful for" and "five things _____ cannot live without". I ended up putting references to friends & family under both of those, just so I wouldn't seem out of place. Realistically, in my opinion, 90%+ of those on eHarmony (and more likely 99.5%+) are both thankful and cannot live without their family & friends. Definitely does not need to be stated in the profile, but what are you gonna do?

I did put Douglas Adams and Hitchhiker references in my profile (direct, not insinuated). I also included one obscure reference to Garden State.

I do not mention the action figures or living at home. The former can come out only after they've already fallen for me. The latter can be discussed in person, where I can explain why I'm there and defend it. (Because I truly believe it is defensible and should not present an obstacle to the woman I'm looking for.)

I'm wary of women who put exercising down in their profile. I'm not that active and I'm not convinced that I would be well-matched with someone who is. That isn't a disqualifying offense, just one that sends up a yellow caution flag.

You'll note above that I talk about initiating communication. If the woman initiates it, I'll give her a shot, at least for a while. It's just that I won't initiate it if I spot a red flag or "disqualifying offense."

Under "five things _____ cannot live without," one woman put "a good bra." While not disqualifying per se, it's certainly... odd. If she initiates, fine. Not going to be me, not with a woman who cannot live without "a good bra." (Or does that just mean she's stacked? See, it's a little confusing and only indicative of weird oddity. As opposed to the kind of oddity I am and/or could easily deal with.) I suspect she was trying to be humorous or sarcastic or some such. However, to a guy, who has no good frame of reference for that topic (other than removing such items from said person, and that can hardly be called a topic of conversation, more likely an intermediate act on the way to the home stretch), it's a bit too off.

I'm also wary of women who list the beach in their profile. I'm not a beach bum. Not sure I'd be a good match with one. Again, not a red flag, just a yellow one.

There's one match whose profile has a few spelling mistakes, lots of ellipses, a few smiley faces (one is okay, more than one is dubious, ditto for IM-speak like "lol") and a beach reference. But she's honest and open in it and she looks attractive. And I'm not going to initiate because the downsides indicate a lot to me.

I don't know, am I just being shallow but in a different way? Or can I call this being "selective?" I'm looking for a woman who is thoughtful and intelligent, two qualities that I can begin to glean by things like spelling, punctuation, capitalization and grammar. On some level, I almost feel elitist. *shrug*