Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

October 18, 2011

5' 7" Christians Need Not Apply


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.

Dismissed.

*SNR "Spiritual but not Religous" symbol borrowed from Urban Mystic's great 2010 post.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

DT, you are overthinking this. There are probably guys who checked "Christian" just because they grew up Catholic but don't care about religion.

Similarly, it is ridiculous to have a height requirement. It's like having an eye-color requirement. People have no control over their height. Height is not personality. More to the point, height is not important.

Quantifiable criteria are not things that translate into compatibility. It's a crapshoot.

On paper, i.e. with those quantifiable criteria, my husband and I would never be together. He is 15 years younger than I am. Yes, fifteen years younger. He is a modern-day hippie who only likes girls with long hair. My hair is chin-length or shorter. He is a big concert-goer. I hate concerts and refuse to go. All that kind of stuff is unimportant. We are a stunningly good combination and get along super-well. We just passed our first anniversary.

Not that I think dating sites have anything but a dismal chance of success (and in fact have built-in mechanisms that promote failure, not success) but, to the extent they do work, it is usually in spite of those stated criteria, not because of them.

So don't put too much stock in the internet-dating thing. Predictability is impossible. All you can do is meet as many people as you can (I suggest dating in the wild, your great phrase).

Chin up!

--PT

Anonymous said...

As usual, I disagree entirely with PT, on every count (including her previous comment about having a first date on a park bench, an idea I find unappealing).

Like you, I was on eHarmony for two months, and they never sent me anyone; I did not have a single date through that site and found it an enormous waste of time.

And also like you, I knew I wanted a man significantly taller than I, but I dated several who were 5'6" (taller than I but shorter than I wanted) in order to meet the argument of people (like PT above, and like friends of mine) who thought I was ruling out likely candidates.

I dated three such men, one date each, and found that I was completely right: I simply felt No Attraction Whatsoever to very small men, and all the 5'6" men struck me as Too Small. I had no interest in seeing them naked (my "naked test") and could not even begin to imagine wanting to go to bed with them.

And so far as religion goes, I don't think I've ever in my life had a serious relationship with a man who identified himself as "Christian." My serious relationships, and there must be at least 10 or more of them, have all been either with ex-Catholics, and I mean very ex-, or with Jews.
I'm a secular person and I appear to get on best with secular men.

So DT, I think you should tell eH to shove it and go to Match, which still has the numbers, whatever their many problems.

And ignore everything PT says! (Sorry, PT, but I just can't agree with you.)

And as you know, I had very good luck with dating sites; I met not a single man "in the wild;" and I remain very, very happy with Funny Guy, 2.5 years after meeting him on Match, and living together since August 2009.

I have spoke!!

And no doubt will again.

-- Mimi

Anonymous said...

Hi Mimi!

As usual, I disagree with you, too. But that's perfectly ok!

You might not have been attracted to those short men, but I question whether it was because they were short or because they were not attractive. I am sure there are many tall men you are not attracted to, either.

As for religion, if the dating site asks the question and forces you to answer, that is not necessarily "identifying" as that religion. There is no way to rank the importance of the questions they force you to fill out. It might be a non-issue but they force you to check a box, so it assumes a big importance.

Unlike you, I would never have a "real" date with someone I met online. I would not commit to anything more than a meeting on a park bench. I had way too many real dates (dozens, if not hundreds) where I was dying to leave after about three seconds. I can't believe you remember the park-bench thing! In my opinion, it's the only way to go if one insists on the online approach.

But we do agree it is a numbers game. Hey -- Something we agree on!

If it works, it works. If it doesn't, it doesn't. There's no predicting. I never in a million years thought I would find a guy. I am the last person on earth who would get to have a husband. And yet, unbelievably, I do.

--PT

Jaclyn said...

Eharmony absolutely did not work for me. It sent me a ton of investment bankers, which is the one occupation I refused to date (I lived in NYC, so there are a lot of investment bankers out there).

If you are culturally Jewish then I would strongly suggest Jdate. I grew up Catholic, am also spiritual but not religious and met a lot of spiritual but not religious men on that site (I joined jdate after realizing that most of the intellectual men I was meeting on match were Jewish) . I met my husband (who is spiritual but not religious) on jdate. There are some very religious men on there, but they generally did not contact me, and you can easily spot them by their profile and can legitimately send them a "I'm sorry, I don't think we would be a great match because I am not religious" email which will not offend them.

Shanna said...

Well... eHarmony IS a Christian website. I tried it years ago, and all I seemed to meet were awkward, unattractive dudes (to the extent a galpal had an intervention and told me I was a hottie and could do way better.) Then I hopped on the city newspaper's website (through Springstreet, nerve.com & the onion personals and all that) and I met my agnostic 6'2" husband. He tells me my artsy photo helped land him!

It might be time to change avenues!

Anonymous said...

Yes, what's irritating about eH is that they take your money even when you identify yourself as Jewish, agnostic, or atheist, and then they don't send you possible partners! Not very 'Christian' of them, is it? Their homepage, which I just checked, hides their religious bias. If you can get your money back, do. NB I also found that every man on JDate was also on Match, which also had many, many other men, Jewish, atheist, whatever. So although I hate to say anything positive about a large multinational corporate entity, Match (in my three years' experience) is the most useful of the lot.

And yes, PT, it was definitely because the short men were so tiny that I was not attracted to them. There was nothing wrong with their faces...it was their tiny bodies. (Sorry, tiny men!) But the numbers are in their favor, and they'll all get women sooner or later.

DT, so glad you're dating again!

-- Mimi

Anonymous said...

Trooper, you are being entirely too pessimistic! That does not lead to day-to-day happiness.

Have you ever taken a good look at some happily married women out there? Sometimes you wonder what their husband saw in them!

Don't knock yourself ... it will make you defensive and insecure and there simply is no need.

Do whatever makes you happy. People are attracted most to happy people.

Anonymous said...

And what does "spiritual but not religious" even mean?

I am not religious but I am not spiritual either.

And can someone be "religious but not spiritual"? Those phrases are all mumbo-jumbo. More dumb boxes to check in the checklist of meaningless and unsophisticated criteria.

Mimi, are you saying that if those three short men were tall you would have been very happy to pursue a relationship with any of them? Maybe, just maybe, the attractive thing about a person is personality, as much as if not more than looks? Just a thought.

PS: If you can't get your money back, dispute the charge on your credit card. You have a much better chance of winning.

--PT

pollycharlie said...

About two years ago I had more luck on eHarmony. I just re-joined a couple months ago. My experience is exactly like yours: no good match, and I've only met a couple guys. Even those were more dutiful dates rather than a feeling of "real match". Other than that I had virtually no communication request, and those I requested communication never replies. I just cancelled my subscription.

I actually find OKcupid interesting. Yes you will encounter a lot more douches, but the few gems you find are actually quite interesting.

Anonymous said...

First off, you should probably consider JDate. Like the others said, eHarmony is primarily for Christians. A friend of mine found her husbnad on that site, and three years later they have a kid and another on the way.

Too fucking lazy to go back through the blog to see if you've done this already.

ian said...

What about us agnoxtics? What's wrong with fence-sitting?

Anonymous said...

Try tall friends . com

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many perfectly normal 5'7, 5'8 guys she passed up over what amounted to an indescribable difference in height written on a screen