I have always sworn to myself that I would never sign up for a paid dating app. No, I don’t have anything against using them, and I think it’s amazing how many people have met their significant others on an app – it just isn’t for me.
I blame Disney for a lot of that, because in my head any relationship I have that does not involve some adorable “how we met” story is illegitimate. Which is probably why I decided it was a good idea to fly across the country to spend a weekend with Tony after one meeting. I didn’t like that we met on Bumble so I wanted to up the romance factor a few notches to make the story better.
In any case, my parents – mostly my mom – disapprove of my aversion to paid dating sites. Especially after the excitement and novelty of swiping through my Bumble choices with me wore off, they started to see how extremely slim the pickings are nowadays. My dad, who has teased me for years about being single, finally told me that he gets it.
While I was in Florida social distancing with them, they kept trying to get me to agree to sign up for any paid dating site – Match, Eharmony, whatever. Their reasoning was that right now, it’s impossible to meet people in person so everyone will be on dating apps, and the kinds of guys I’m looking for (you know – not assholes, have their shit together, that kind of thing) are more likely to be on a paid service than a free one. I still refused.
Finally, after much back and forth my parents literally offered to pay for me to go on one of these if I’d agree to do it just to give it a try, and I relented. So, I signed up and made a profile on EHarmony because it seemed to align the most with what I was hoping to get out of this. I’ve seen all of the commercials, and it’s been around for a while, so I figured it was a good place to start.
I was able to start chatting with people in Boston from Florida, which was pretty cool, but if my first dozen or so connections were any indication of my future success, I don’t have very high hopes for it helping me to meet the love of my life. In all honesty, I’m not a huge fan of it, and I’ll get into more of why in a bit.
The only person that I’ve met on EHarmony and actually gone out with so far has been The Scientist, whom I’ll call Rick.
Rick is a few years older than me, a research scientist/teacher for standardized tests. We had a pretty high compatibility score, 108, so when he messaged me about how we both got our grad degrees at the same university, I figured I’d give him a chance. After looking at his profile, I realized that he probably would not have ended up on my Matches list, but I wanted to give it a try.
We started talking, and he seemed nice enough. The one thing I remember sticking out to me was that his profile lists him as “very Liberal.” Political party is not a deal breaker, but let’s just say I lean a little bit to the other side and wasn’t sure how much we’d mesh in that area at least. But again, I wanted to be open-minded and give him a chance, so I let it go. This is also important to note because at one point when I said something about it, he said he isn’t really “that” Liberal, and that was just one of many times I felt like he was saying what he thought would make me like him more.
The conversation was pretty good, he definitely initiated more than I did, and he was also the one to ask me for my number. As I’m sure you know by now, I don’t usually give out my real number right away so he got my Google Voice number. I also like Google Voice because I don’t have notifications turned on for anything except text and phone calls, so I don’t feel like I’m pulled to it as much.
But Rick really likes to text… a lot. I will admit that I have definitely been the one who is a bit “clingy” in the early stages of getting to know someone, but it’s definitely only okay when I do it. The more someone expresses too much interest in me, the less interested I am.
This is probably why I go for assholes, if I’m being honest. I am trying to get better about this, but I just like boundaries – I’m working on it myself, not getting too invested too soon – and I need space, especially when I’m first trying to figure out how I feel about someone. If they come on too strong, I feel like I’m being backed into a corner and forced into something and I don’t like it, and usually, I push back. I also just like having to work for it, at least a little bit. I should also mention that, while he is a test prep tutor/teacher, I learned quickly that his spelling and grammar are not quite up to my standards which is also a big deal for me.
In any case, Rick and I kept talking while I was in Florida, and he was very eager for me to get back to Boston so we could go on a date. He even got tested for COVID, but it was a couple of weeks before I was even planning on being back so I’m not sure why he did it when he did, but it’s the thought that counts.
At one point, he asked me how I was feeling about him so far, and I was honest. I said that he seemed nice and he had a stable job which is good, and it had been nice getting to know him so far but I usually don’t know how I feel until I’ve met someone at least once. He told me that he liked that I never respond right away because it lets him know that I have a life. Really, it should also be a sign that I just don’t feel the need to be in constant communication with ANYONE, so to maybe not text me every hour, but I went along with it. I remember a couple of weeks later he said that he thought that, “I liked him more than I did when he asked me last time,” but also that “he could just be grasping at straws.” My response was, “Let’s just say I don’t like you any less than I did last time you asked.”
If you haven’t been able to tell so far, I hate when people fish for compliments. I don’t do it myself and I don’t like it when someone puts themselves down or tries to hint for someone to compliment you instead of just using your words, or just being confident enough to not need practically a stranger to tell you on a weekly basis if they like you or not.
In any case, I finally got back to Boston and pretty much since the day I got back he was asking when we could go out. My mom was there for a while so we didn’t go right away, but finally we made plans to go to Regina’s Pizza in the North End. Overall, we had a nice time, more fun than I expected honestly. But for me, having a good time does not equal a relationship and I was pretty much convinced by about an hour or so in that this was going to be a “friend-zone” situation, which is totally fine with me – I love making new friends.
Unfortunately, it does not seem like Rick picked up on this because after he offered to walk me back to my place, which was very nice but unnecessary, and when I went to give him a hug goodbye he gave me a kiss on the cheek. It was quite awkward. But of course I’d already agreed to maybe hang out with him again soon, so I was already kind of invested and had to just hope that a bit of distance would make things better.
It did not. Rick continued with the excessive texting, especially if he wanted to complain about something at work. That’s another thing, if you have a problem at work, fix it! Don’t text me about having to fix it! Just do it! I started to do my usual tactic which is to just kind of be cold and detached and give unenthusiastic answers because I hate rejecting people that I don’t think are trying to make me uncomfortable or anything, so it’s easier to just be a bitch and hope they leave me alone after getting tired of dealing with me. It’s better to be the bad guy that way, in my opinion. But also, I don’t hate the guy and would like to be friends, but in my experience, guys don’t like being “friend-zoned” and I’m not interested in dealing with someone taking that poorly. So I was just kind of putting it off, I guess.
I’m not going to provide too much context for this in case he reads it, but for future reference for him and anyone who enters my life, let’s just put it out there that my favorite Bible verse is Matthew 6:3, “But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.” Basically, your left hand should not know what the right is doing. In other words, if you do nice things for people, do it and forget about it – don’t brag about it or try to use it as an example of how “empathetic” you are when I bring up that EHarmony seems to be very off in saying that we have identical Empathy scores, which actually just further proved my point.
Our latest excursion brought us apple picking, which was my first time apple picking ever. He drove us there, we picked a ton of apples, it was really hot – which he kept reminding me of, there were a lot of hills – which he also kept reminding me of, we ate some apple cider donuts, and I got some honey and apple cider. He drove me back, and we went upstairs to my apartment to distribute the apples (that’s not a euphemism, that’s exactly what happened), and then he left. We’ve still talked here and there since then, but ultimately, neither apple picking nor any texts since then have changed my mind about him.
I think another big thing with him is that because he teaches classes about standardized tests, a lot of the time he would act more like my LSAT tutor than a friend or anything. If I was excited about a score on a practice test, he’d tell me, “Let’s see how you do next week.” He would act like I didn’t know what I was doing in terms of studying, too, and while I appreciated the tips and resources every so often, he was talking to me like I’m sure he talks to his students and I really didn’t like it. He also got kind of condescending when I told him the topic of my personal statement, which is about my eating disorder, so that was not very cool either.
Actually, as it’s now my editing day, the latest with The Scientist is that I did recently remake a profile on EHarmony, just because I feel bad that my parents are kind of wasting their money if I don’t at least try, and I had discarded all of my contacts except for him when I first deleted everything off of it a few weeks ago. This morning, I woke up and decided to check it to see if I had anything new and I saw that he had discarded me as a contact, with the reason he selected being that, “He found love and hopes for everyone else to find it,” which is one of the choices.
I am happy for him if that’s the case, because he is a nice guy and I have no problem with him as a person, we just aren’t compatible romantically, so I texted him and said I was really happy for him and wished them all the best, and so far I’ve received no response. He might have blocked me in retaliation for me unfollowing him on Instagram, which honestly is not personal, I’m just very picky about who I follow and only want to see certain things in my feed. Who knows.
So, The Scientist is another name on the list of dating misadventures and men who are not meant to be my husband. Now, I’ll tell you all about why I’m convinced that I’m not going to meet the man of my dreams on EHarmony.
A Review of EHarmony
I have a lot of feelings about EHarmony, but I’ll try to condense them into a few paragraphs. Basically, you take a test and it asks you all these questions and then after you make your profile, you can see who you “Match” with. You can update your preferences to exclude certain heights, education levels, etc., but only some features are unlocked. But much like other apps and sites, just because you have certain parameters and standards for what you’re looking for does not mean that you won’t show up in other people’s match list. So, most of the people I talked to were people who did not fit what I was looking for but messaged me because I fit what they were looking for. Honestly, thinking about who I had messages from I would say MAYBE one or two of them would have shown up on my list, if that.
Also, even though I had set up a search parameter to only look for men in my area, this is also optional. Again, most of the men contacting me were not in Boston. Most were not even in the state. I had men in Texas, Illinois, California, and Maryland messaging me. Even better, I got contacted by men in India more than anything else.
Once someone messages you, if you don’t want to continue chatting or have the message thread visible anymore, you have to “Discard” the contact and you have to choose one of about 5 or 6 options for why. It’s super awkward, especially when someone did it to me and I realized that the person gets a message with WHY you’re taking them off your list.
I think that’s super weird, especially that they make you give a reason – maybe because they’re creepy? Or because you said you don’t want to date a smoker, and one contacts you? Maybe because they’re not what I’m looking for and I said that in my quiz? Or, most likely, because I had men in other countries proposing to me like this was some sort of 90-Day Fiance situation? I don’t like that I had to give a reason other than that I just didn’t want to talk to someone that shouldn’t have even been able to contact me based off of my search requirements, and/or I just didn’t feel safe talking to them.
I also felt like the men there fall into one of two categories. One, they think that any woman on there is desperate to find love so they just act like they aren’t as sleazy as they clearly are to take advantage of vulnerable women, or two, they’re so desperate to find love that if you express even an ounce of interest in them they start planning the wedding.
Seriously, I had a guy I also gave my fake number to which I immediately regretted when he sent me about 70 unrequested photos of his trip to Las Vegas, and when after a few weeks of mostly one-sided conversations because we just had nothing in common I told him I wasn’t interested in pursuing it any further and he got so butt-hurt! Then he kept saying that “we can be friends and see what happens” and I had to say AT LEAST three times that “friends” means “friends” not “hope I change my mind about you” and if that’s not something he was willing to respect to forget about it. Besides which, I didn’t even want to be friends because the conversation was seriously lacking. But he acted like we had this insane chemistry (we didn’t) and the most amazing talks (we didn’t) and got so pissy when I ended it. There are plenty of fish in the sea, y’all, calm down.
My other complaint is about the quality of men on the website. Like my parents, I did agree that there would probably be a better caliber of men than what I was finding on Hinge and Bumble and all that. But boy, was I wrong. Even in the men that are showing in my Matches who are supposed to satisfy the search filters I have set up, I’m getting guys that are not on par with what I’m looking for.
I’m not trying to be vain or mean or classist/elitist in any way, but I mean, I have a Master’s degree and I’m getting guys who still live in their mom’s basements. It’s not about money, or status, or anything like that but many of the guys I just cannot imagine having an intellectually stimulating conversation with. Especially not after taking a look at how their bios are worded, their occupation sounding like something a Bachelor producer would come up with, and their interests sounding like those of a 19-year old frat boy. For how much EHarmony charges, they should screen a bit better.
I’ve tried complaining to EHarmony Customer Service about not only the lack of quality options and failed Match system, but also how much I dislike the “Discard” feature and my general safety concerns considering how many men from other random countries it seems are trying to wife me up to get a green-card. I mean if I wanted guys who just want to marry me because I’m pretty and they want to come to America, I could go into my “Message Requests” on Instagram and pick one of them. Every time I complained to them I got the same generic copy/pasted response about how “nothing is guaranteed.” No safety concerns were mentioned nor did I get any solutions, and I’ve basically been told to suck up the dissatisfaction and creepy messages for the remainder of my membership because I signed a contract.
That’s the other thing – they give you like two or three days to decide if you want to cancel, and that is absolutely not enough time.
For a while, my profile was mostly blank except for my Bio where I wrote that they won’t let me cancel and get a refund, and how unhappy I am with the service, in hopes that I would get reported enough for them to just kick me off and give me (my parents) a refund. I’m not trying to waste their money at all, and that’s why I just want to get out of it. I’ve also read hundreds of reviews now with people in similar situations and they all talk about what a rip-off and scam it is that they suck you in the way that you do then you get no good contacts or anything but you’re forced to stay in a membership you never use anymore because it sucks so much. Very, very sketchy.
Now, I did redo my profile but I was just very honest and vocal about not wanting certain things and expressing what I am looking for. Again, not trying to make it sound like I have a whole list of requirements, but it’s not even about appearance or having a certain salary or anything like that. It’s just about knowing what I deserve, and knowing that I’m not okay with long-distance, nor do I want to date a smoker or someone who already has kids.
If I had to give them a rating, I’d say maybe a 2/10. Overall, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be and I sincerely wish I’d spent the money on a different service, or just packed a suitcase and gone to Greece or something and found a husband there. At this point in my dating life, Greece is sounding like the better option.