It's one thing when a man lets you down, but when your dating service -- which you are paying for -- can't deliver the goods, then you've got a real problem in the romance department.
Three months after Wine Guy and I broke up, I joined eHarmony. I chose it over other dating sites because, after four years of being coupled up, it was the one I vaguely remembered as being the least douchebaggy of the options.
So, is it still the case that eHarmony men are less douchebaggy than, say, the guys on match.com?
Unfortunately, I can't really tell you because, after almost two months on eHarmony, I haven't fucking met any of them yet.
OK, I met one. But he was more of a test run and neither one of us felt the need to follow up. Since that dull date, I've had no face-to-face interaction with any man whatsoever. I did have an enjoyable phone call but, despite his emailing me the next day to tell me how much he enjoyed it--and my equally pleasant response-- I never heard from him again.
If I didn't know any better, I'd think someone in the sucky single universe has blackballed me. But I do know better.
I know exactly why the pickings are so slim for a smart, successful, attractive, funny [insert the word 'relatively' before each of those adjectives so I don't sound cocky, OK?) woman like me:
I'm single, in my late 30s and checked "Yes" on the "Want Children?" question. I am considering changing it to "Maybe" (and it may actually even be true at this point -- another entry).
It's not like the specifications I offered on eHarmony's marathon "personality profile" questionnaire were just too narrow to turn up a stud or two. If there's one thing I've learned over the last ten years, it's that my instincts are probably some version of wrong (very Costanza, I know). So why would I let those flawed instincts taint my love life?
In other words, I'm waaaaaay open-minded. But I did decide to put my foot down on two dealbreakers, and I made those demands explicitly clear to eHarmony:
1. Bring me a man who is 5'9" or taller.
2. Bring me a man whose religious preference is ONLY one of the following four choices (listed in order of preference): a) spiritual, but not religious; b) atheist; c) Buddhist; or d) Jewish.
That's not too much to ask, right?
So why, oh why, do I have dozens and dozens of eHarmony "matches" who are 5' 7" Christians?
I'm sure they're nice guys. Maybe we could be the best of friends. But there is no way I'm going to feel sexy with a man I tower over and outweigh by 50 pounds. I've got enough of an Amazon complex already. If he's shorter than me, he probably weighs less than me. And I just don't feel like getting it on with a guy I can pick up and whirl around.
I'm pretty much within a normal weight range, but I've got an athletic body type. Muscles and all that. In college I could bench press more than every girl -- and guy -- on our track team. Trust me, no one of either gender found that sexy.
As for religion, I culturally identify as Jewish but would no longer say it represents my spiritual self (for the record, I picked "Spiritual, but not religious"). I'm sure there are a few Jewish guys out there who feel similarly and, well, why not at least try to keep it in the family? Also, Muslims are out. It's just too politically complicated. Relationships are hard enough.
Buddhism is more a philosophy than a religion (to me anyway), and one I greatly admire at that. I've even begun to study it a little. I would be thrilled to find a man who embraced that mindset.
I've yet had the occasion to consider other religions, but since I kind of have a thing for Indian guys (in theory anyway), I guess I'm open to Hinduism. But don't hold me to that.
So that pretty much leaves us with Christians, of which there are many in a conservative town like San Diego. Here's how I figure it. If he's identifying as Christian on a dating website -- as opposed to just spiritual -- then he's pretty confident in his belief that Jesus is the son of God and all that other New Testament stuff.
Therefore, there is no valid reason why he should want to settle down with a woman who believes that Jesus was more likely just a kind, compassionate leader who'd probably be perfect to head up the new, ultra-left political party that this country so obviously needs. (By the way, if there's a Christian-identified single guy out there who agrees with me on this point, then he needs to change his status to "spiritual, but not religious" and call me.)
So, eHarmony. You've turned out to be one disappointing date. Anyone have suggestions for where I can meet a nice, geeky, agnostic man who can look me in the eye (while wearing no shoes) and maybe even bench press me? If so, you know where to find me.
I went on my first eHarmony "date" last weekend, though I hate to even call it a date since I looked at it mostly as a drive-by meet up. Hey, how are you, who are you, etc. With the many rounds of communication eHarmony puts you through, I pretty much knew the basics about the guy, but what I didn't know was what he was like. How could I? The Internet is a great place to come across potential new dates, but it is by no means a shortcut to intimacy.
Within the first 20 seconds of meeting him, I knew we weren't even close to a match. It doesn't mean I didn't like him. In fact, he seemed very sweet, polite and friendly. But he was also shy and made me do almost all the work when it came to conversation. If there's one thing I've learned about myself from past relationship disasters, it's that I want a man of action and quiet confidence. I've had my fill of trying to pump up insecure nice guys and show them how to be confident. If they do ever get it, it's usually after we've broken up, when they feel they can take my suggestions and cheerleader advice (that most assuredly is interpreted as 'nagging' to them) and bestow the rewards upon the next woman they meet. This happened with Only Child (who is now married and a father, more on that another time) and I'm just waiting for the day when it happens with Wine Guy.
The difference this time is that I've changed too. I've learned my lesson and won't waste time on a nice man whose personality shrinks next to mine. The thing is, I'm pretty sure that guy doesn't exist. At least not in this Wonder Bread town. Wait, I take that back. I'm sure there's plenty of dynamic, smart, confident men in San Diego, but most of them want the 26 year old beach bunny who's waiting at every turn.
OK, I admit I'm being a Bitter Betty right now. I'm just feeling a little low these days. And I admit (even hope) that I'm wrong. I guess I'll know sooner or later. If I don't move somewhere else first.
After an hour of friendly but forced conversation, I activated my exit strategy and parted ways with a smile. I'm happy to report I've heard nothing from him so the polite disinterest seemed to be mutual.
Now I'm back to wondering why the guy I did like on eHarmony, let's call him Brainiac because he wowed me with his nerdy intelligence, seems to have disappeared. After the phone call he emailed me to say how much he enjoyed talking and that I should get in touch when I came back from my vacation, which I did. Not one word back in the week since I emailed him. Brings me back to the good old days when Rabbi M pulled an inexplicable disappearing act on me. I suppose I should be thankful because it was his confusing inaction that made me start this blog in a fit of pique.