Saturday, June 10, 2006

E-Harmony Experience-Part I

Patriot Xeno (Co-Partner) of the RHOG is posting about his E-Harmony matches (Part I, II, III). It is interesting to see what he picks out of each persons profile and responses. It is the little things that usually make or break a relationship.

A little over two years ago, I was fiddling around on the computer and watching TV when an E-Harmony commercial came on. They were promoting their "free $40 profile". I had been abruptly dumped several months earlier from a three year relationship. I was still in the "what's wrong with me stage". I do not have a good track record with relationships. So, I took their free profile to see what was wrong with me and what I needed to change. I was so tired of failed relationships. I wasn't actually interested in starting one. The profile was pretty accurate. It told me what I already knew but didn't want to admit to myself. I need to be more assertive. I was impressed by the thoroughness and correctness of the profile.

Then, they started sending me matches. It was interesting browsing through the different people they thought I would be compatible with. I was surprised by things that stuck out and told me immediately that I wasn't interested in someone. At this point, I was just browsing and not signed up. You have to pay the fee in order to respond. After about a month or so I was intrigued by a couple of people and decided what the hell after debating with myself for a while. I still really didn't want a relationship and didn't know why I was compelled to do this. But, I signed up. I figured I hadn't been doing so hot at choosing the right person maybe they would be better at it than I was.
E-Harmony is set up in stages. Each person has the option of ending at any stage. Initially, you are sent a brief bio of the person. The person has the option of making their photo and profile available immediately or later at any stage. I did not respond to any that did not show me a photo. Yes, I'm a bit shallow and vain. I feel physical attraction is very important. It's not the most important thing, but it's up there.

If I remember correctly, the first stage was must haves and must not have. Each person chooses from a pre-made list of numerous choices and presents 10 of each that they feel are important. I culled out the stack even more and was culled a few times myself. The next stage was closed-ended questions. They offer different questions with multiple choice answers. You are able to put in your own answer if you don't agree with any of theirs. I remember one in particular that I was able to eliminate with this stage. I submitted one question that said something like, "Which one would bother you the most? If you partner ... (a) used improper grammar (b) was not up to date on politics (c) didn't keep up with current events, or (d) all of the above" He chose (d). Whoop-wrong answer, he was gone. I know how to speak properly, I just chose to be myself. I can barely keep up with my own life nevermind trying to keep up with events and politics.

Then, came the open-ended questions. Once again they offer a list of questions but they require more than a yes or no answer. You have a word limit I think. I eliminated a few based on the questions they asked not by their questions. Easy to spot the perverts here.

If you made it through all these stages then you could start e-mailing through e-harmony's site. Everything is confidential and guided up to this point. I only corresponded with a few of my matches. One e-mailed me and told me on the weekends he didn't have his son (every other weekend), I could find him at such and such bar. If I wanted to meet him I could go there. Nope. No thanks. Another match just sent one or two words at a time. Boring, no initiative. Delete. Then, one intrigued me the entire way. He is the only one I actually made a date with. More details coming in Part II.

Overall, I was surprised by E-Harmony. I was very doubtful to begin with. Now, I would be willing to do a commercial for them.

I hope Patriot Xeno has as great an experience as I have had. I definitely recommend it.

*Note: I may have gotten some stages in the wrong order. I am doing this with a 2 year old recollection of events. Follow what Patriot Xeno has written. He is is correct. I was just trying to explain how the service worked for those not familar with E-Harmony's process. This is just my introduction into my experience.