#8 Limit Your Options

The other day the girls from my church and I were discussing boys–or our lack of [this actual causes a near crisis of faith for young Christian women. A loving God allows poverty, war, crimes against humanity, and singleness? Yeah, it seems petty of us. It is. We’re far from perfect.]

At this point my friend Rachel raises her hand.

“I have a confession,” she says. “I joined eHarmony.”

Rachel and I might soon be having eHarmony coffee dates together, complete with our laptops.

When I so recently decried the difficulty of meeting available boys, when is it time to bite the bullet? Time to succumb to the tear-jerking commercials of people finding their true love and giggling on the beach? Is there a magical age where you give up on meeting any potential man as they all appear to be already married or they disqualify themselves for some reason? A time when finding a boy who’s age appropriate and dateable becomes like a treasure hunt. After I bemoaned the difficulties of even meeting a single Dateable male, the next logical step is moving on to online dating. Welcome to the virtual meat market. I’m sorry, I meant to say village market square.

Listen, maybe the matchmakers of old didn’t have it so wrong. What’s the point in getting yourself all primped up, handshaking and flirting with a half dozen men, giving and taking phone numbers, going on risky dates, JUST to see if someone’s compatible? Especially when someone else can do all the dirty work for you.

When I turned 23 and was still single, I signed up on eHaromny–the free version, just so I could see my free matches. I just wanted to see what it was like. A little experimentation never hurt a girl. But what starts as innocent interest soon spirals into something bigger. Don’t be deceived–they, just like any old matchmaker, are a business selling a product–and it’s a big one. Love. It’s an easy web to get caught in.

So I scan some matches, see some that are intriguing, and then, there are the free communication weekends. Sometimes I get in touch with these guys. Maybe I’ve gone on a date once or twice.

But there is something that makes me hesitate about online dating. Rachel articulated it perfectly. She is also a literature lover, captivated by life stories, and she confessed that she doesn’t want to look at her future children and say, “Well, honey, Daddy saw Mommy’s profile picture, and he thought she was really cute so he sent her an Icebreaker! So she sent him some multiple choice questions back, and before we knew it we were emailing!”

Blech.

And then there’s my friend Sofia, who we tried to cheerlead into signing up on eHarmony, but sat to the side texting the entire time my friend and I tried to engage her on the process. But Sofia has never had a boyfriend and wants one, so it stumps me as to why she’s so cynical a road as of yet untraveled.

Is that person you're texting going to date you? Let's get flexible, Sofia. Life is not a romantic comedy.

And honestly, how is an online website meet-cute story any worse than many other stories? Anne and Tim recently told me excitedly about a guy they had recently met–“He’s tall, a law student, and his name is… Graham? Graham!” I know less about Graham than I do after reading anyone’s profile on eHarmony, and yet I’m just as excited to meet him. Will that be a better story? “Mommy’s best friend knew she was desperate, so she kept thrusting her at any single man she met along the way.” Or how about the guy I stalk at my completely platonic guy friend’s office? “Mommy asked her friend Harvey if he knew any single guys, then she dropped by their office every week for six months until Daddy asked her out.”

Then again, I’m still on the free version of eHarmony. See, for those of us who can’t commit to ordering a subscription to an online dating website, maybe we’re just not ready for a real committed relationship either.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lizzie
    Nov 17, 2010 @ 19:20:42

    I’ve thought about the whole “how are we going to say we met?” thing but I got over it quickly. Online dating is so prevalent these days that it’s not so taboo anymore. And the worst in my mind are the guys who have headlines like “Willing to lie about how we met!” Dude, own it, don’t lie about it. What does that say about you?

    Reply

    • Judy Rocket
      Nov 17, 2010 @ 19:38:30

      I agree. And really, how many “how we met” stories are really exceptional and romantic? I usually have zero spark when meeting people, no matter what develops from there. Things don’t get good until you start to fall in love.

      Also, if it had to be telling a less exciting “how we met” story or no story at all… I want to be able to have someone to share the story with.

      Reply

  2. Neurotic Workaholic
    Nov 20, 2010 @ 20:17:48

    I did have a 3-month membership with eharmony this past summer. I did meet a couple guys, but there were at least ten guys I communicated with who would disappear by the third phase of guided communication. It was so frustrating that I finally cancelled my membership. I think as far as online dating goes, it can have its ups and downs. But at the same time you could meet someone nice you might not have met otherwise.

    Reply

  3. Judy Rocket
    Nov 30, 2010 @ 01:50:44

    I’m finding that too. I’ve been an official member for a few weeks, but haven’t heard from anyone. But that’s ok, because no one’s jumped out at me either. I figure all I need is to go on two dates, and it’ll pay for itself.

    Reply

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