Sunday, July 3, 2011
The eHarmony Shuffle
"Your profile brought a smile to my face!"
Other than an actual email that's my favorite message to get on eHarmony. I always feel like Sally Field getting her Oscar..."You like me. You really like me!". [Since my friends aren't here to do it, I will now punch myself in the face for comparing myself to Sally Field.] Ok, I'm back. Anyway, it means that all my hard work trying to craft a genuine, entertaining profile that stands out from the crowd has paid off. Unless it just means that she was laughing at my profile picture, in which case WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?!?! WE ALL CAN'T BE GEORGE FRIGGIN CLOONEY YOU KNOW? AND ANYWAY, LOOKS AREN'T EVERYTHING! I MIGHT JUST HAPPEN TO HAVE A CAPTIVATING PERSONALITY WHICH MORE THAN MAKES UP FOR ANY SO CALLED "SHORTCOMINGS" IN THE LOOKS DEPARTMENT! [I Don't, but for all she knows I might]. Whatever, let's not worry about the reason...she's got a smile on her face and that's good enough for me.
So when I got one of those messages a couple months back from "Melissa from San Francisco" (name changed to protect the not so innocent), I was excited to dive into her profile and see what she's all about. And all of three seconds later Melissa from San Francisco had a one way ticket to the Archive folder. Before you say I rushed to judgement, in my defense, I have two, and only two, hard and fast rules when it comes to online dating:
#1 - No profile picture, no reply. I get it, I'm shallow. Probably no more so than most people though. Look, I'm not looking to date a super model. But there has to at least be some level of attraction there. So don't make me go through the process of getting to know you via email etc., only to find out later I'm not attracted to you. At that point, if I cut things off, you're going to know the reason is based on looks and you're not going to like it. And then I'm an asshole. Nope. I'm not going to get myself into that situation. Put a profile picture up like the rest of us, or don't expect a reply from me.
#2 - The minimum number of specific facts about you in your profile in order to generate at least some interest on my part is one. One. That's it. Anything above zero and at least it's a start on the way to getting to know you. Just give me something. One tiny little nugget...you have tattoo of Donald Trump? Huh...that guy's a douchebag but I'd like to hear that story. You have a pathological need to steal the alarm clock from any hotel room you stay in? A bit odd, but at least you won't be late for a date. Whatever...it doesn't have to be funny, it doesn't have to be odd, it just has to be you. But if you're not going to take the time to come up with one thing about you which doesn't apply to every other person out there, what's the point of having a profile at all?
So that's it. Those are the only two rules. Melissa's profile was a #2 Special. Her entire profile was comprised of lame, generic answers which left me no closer to knowing her than when I started:
The one thing I am most passionate about: Life!
The most important thing I am looking for in a person is: Too many to name.
What do you do in your leisure time?: Let's figure that out together! ;)
The things I can't live without:
Food ;) [um, you can stop the winking, I get it]
I can't remember if I gave each of these answers its own 'wah wahhh' or if I politely waited for her to finish the entire profile before giving it a collective 'wahhhh wahhhhh.' Anyway, I guess it took me a little longer than three seconds to get through her profile with all the wah wahhhing, but suffice it to say I didn't spend much time on it, and I decided not to reply to Melissa.
But apparently Melissa wasn't done yet. About a week later I got a message, "You have received an eHarmony mail request from Melissa." Ok, I might not feel the need to reply to every wink or icebreaker, but if someone actually takes the time to email me, I'm going to reply, every time. So I accepted her request, and went to see what she had to say. And here is her entire email:
That's it. That's the whole email.
What the hell is that?! Ok fine, it's pretty much the equivalent of a wink. But if you're not going to put anything in your profile, and I haven't responded to your initial icebreaker, at least say something in your email. But, like I said, if you send an actual email I'm going to reply, so I sent a nice response thanking her for taking the time to "write" me (I didn't put it in quotes when I wrote her of course), but that I didn't think we were a match and wishing her luck in her search. And that was that. Or so I thought.
Let's fast forward a month, when I get an eHarmony email from "Kelly from Palo Alto" (name once again changed, but this time to protect the "really kind person willing to go out on a limb for a friend"...it's a real thing, look it up). Her email was sweet and her profile was fun and unique...I may have even LOL'ed, as the kids say these days...but unfortunately, for a couple reasons I didn't think we were a match and so I emailed her back to that effect and thanked her for reaching out. And almost immediately I got an email back from her:
"Thanks for your email! I actually wasn't really sure if we were a match either, but I liked your profile so much that I thought it was at least worth a shot. Anyway, I have a kind of crazy idea. I have a friend who I think you would really like. She is absolutely gorgeous inside and out; smart as a whip, sassy and funny, an amazing athlete, and probably the kindest person I know. I really think you two would hit it off. Whaddya say...want to take a chance?"
I have had this kind of thing happen a few times now, and every time I am amazed at how thoughtful women are to their friends. Guys just don't do that. Whether it's our egos' inability to handle rejection gracefully or just a more self-centered approach to dating than women have, I've never done this or even heard of a guy doing this for another guy. Anyway, I think it's such a nice gesture that I have said yes every time a girl has offered to do this. No more information needed. No picture required. I'm in.
And so I told her to run my profile by her friend first (I might not have needed any further information, but I'm happy to let her friend do some recon before agreeing to this), and if she's up for it, to pass along her friend's number and I'd give her a call (side note: while as a general rule I don't take dating advice from my mom, this one did stick: "Don't be one of those assholes who asks a girl out by text message. I don't even text and I know that's stupid."). Anyway, I got a note the next day from Kelly saying, "I showed your profile to my friend and she loved it! Here's her number...I hope you guys hit it off!" And so there I was a week later, sitting at the bar waiting for my date, when in walks...friggin Melissa from San Francisco! WHAT...THE...FUCK?!?!? REALLY?! Can someone please tell me how the hell that happened??
Actually I know how that happened. Kelly showed Melissa my profile, and Melissa didn't say anything. No "oh, I sent him an icebreaker and didn't hear back." No "I sent him a one word email and he thought we weren't a match." Nothing. She wanted the date and so she didn't say anything and she took it. A part of me says good for her. But a bigger part of me says DON'T DO THAT! And if you do do that, at least acknowledge it at the beginning of the date, make a joke about it, and let's have a fun night. Of course, she didn't acknowledge it, and not wanting to make her feel bad, I didn't bring it up either. And once I'm actually on a date, I'm going to do everything I can to make it fun, so rather than put her on the spot I just went along with it.
Anyway, all of this is just a lead up to get you to the punch line, a quote from her that very nearly got me to spit take my drink right in her face. I was telling Melissa how nice I thought it was that Kelly had been willing to go out of her way to help a friend, and that some of the people I have come across doing the whole online dating thing have been really amazing. And her reply was:
"I don't know how you guys do that. I would never sign up for an online dating site. I just can't get rid of the idea that online dating is for losers."
Ha! Well, in at least one case I know of, you got that right. Losers indeed.
Posted by Yes Mom I'm Still Single at 11:13 PM