Cue the cheesy music and the couples walking hand and hand down the beach or cuddling on the couch. Yes, my husband and I are an annoying eHarmony success story. Although I choose to think we are a whole less annoying then those couples on the commercials. I mean, we definitely didn’t give a shout-out to eHarmony at our wedding reception and we aren’t extolling the virtues of online dating to every single friend within earshot.
But without online dating, I definitely would have never met my husband. There was no finding a man at work. You could count them on one hand and they were all too old, too young, or married. And the other places that everyone tells you to meet men, such as activity clubs, church, or at a bar (do people actually meet at bars? apparently so.) were facing a man dearth or simply had men that I just wasn’t interested in.
Perhaps part of the problem was that men also weren’t going to show up at my front door while I was reading my fourth book of the week, crafting, or binge watching Hulu after work. Or at the cool places I sometimes frequented on the weekends like parks, museums, and historical homes, unless they were already on a date, that is.
Although I did manage to meet my husband through online dating, over the years that I tried online dating off and on I (and my other single friends) came across some interesting people. Men that lied about their age, their weight, their height, the fact that they were married or had been married or had children. The ones that turned out once you met them to not have a job, a car, a drivers license, or one of their limbs.
I tried a lot of dating sites. Plentyoffish, Okcupid, Match.com, eHarmony, and others that I can’t even remember off the top of my head. In fact as many sites as I tried, you would have thought I would have gotten a whole lot more dates.
But at the beginning of 2014, after several years of no dating at all and spending a lot of time building my confidence and actually learning to like myself and what I had to offer, I set up another online dating profile. My friends and I had determined that 2014 was going to be the year of the man. And in December of 2014 I met the man that would become my husband, so apparently it worked.
Overall I found some things to be true:
- The less money that people had to invest in online dating, the more likely that they were looking for something easy and someone easy. So the free sites definitely had the most sleazeballs and masses of guys that weren’t worth my time.
- Yes, people lie online. If something seems suspicious, check it out. I’m lucky to have mad researching skills so I was checking out men online for both me and my friends. But honestly, people can lie in person too, although they can’t lie about their physical appearance.
- Sometimes guys are lazy or just bad at saying “I’m no longer interested.” I’ve never had a problem saying, “nope, not feeling it,” but men seem to a lot. Most of the time it seemed like the guys I connected with just didn’t do anything. They would reach out, then disappear. Email, then disappear. Call, then disappear. Go on a first date with me, then disappear.
My three “favorite” experiences from online dating:
- The guy that got seriously peeved when after one IM conversation I told him that I didn’t think that we were a good fit. He sent me a message the next day angrily ranting about how I was overweight. I think he literally wrote down what he thought would be the worse insult to a woman. Unfortunately for him, I just found it hilarious because obviously he had never seen me and I also wasn’t overweight.
- The guy that insulted me and my career multiple times in the course of our first phone conversation. So when I texted him later that I didn’t see it going anywhere, he angrily texted back multiple times that I would never find anyone better than him. Doubtful.
- The last guy I went out with before I met my husband. One phone call a couple dates in, after guessing my middle name, he shared with me somberly that he was psychic and saw dead people. And if that wasn’t enough to give me the creeps, he continued on to say that he felt the presence of my dead grandfather around me and that my grandfather didn’t like him. I think Pop-Pop probably had the right idea.
After my last experience with Match.com (that was “I see dead people” dude), I decided to try eHarmony one final time. It had always seemed to do a better job of weeding out the weirdos and matching me with people that were a better fit due to the fact that the compatibility questionnaire both dissuaded people that weren’t as serious and matched up people in a more thoughtful manner.
Some people hate the guided communication segment, but I loved how it allowed me to flag potential deal breakers before I had invested anytime messaging with a guy. The prompts for the profiles also allowed me to easily weed out guys that probably weren’t going to be a good match. In fact, what caused me to reach out to my husband after I was matched with him was how he had thoughtfully and intelligently responded to those prompts.
After a lot of dates that went nowhere on both of our parts, I came across his profile and was impressed by how articulate he was and the fact that he had just gotten back from a trip to Iceland. After messaging back and forth for a week, we spoke on the phone, and then set up our first date.
I knew after the second date that he was something special. There was something comfortable and relaxed about our interactions. I knew by his choice of date activities that not only did we have similar interests, but that we both loved learning about and exploring new things. We ended up at this bizarre puppet show that we kept up a witty commentary on in whispers, showing how similar our senses of humor were and how easily he could make me laugh.
Over the next few months our relationship grew stronger as we experienced each other’s favorite activities, talked for hours on end, spent time with family and friends, and traveled together. It progressed faster than either one of us expected, but after experiencing relationships that were definitely not right we knew that this one was. I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this man. About eight months after we first met, he proposed (here’s that story), and we got married five months later, the day after my 30th birthday.
My only two serious dating relationships have resulted from eHarmony, although I have friends that have had less success with it. The first relationship was years ago and obviously didn’t last. But the second one resulted in me getting married to my husband, so I can happily say that we are an eHarmony success story, even if it may be a little cheesy.
Looking for more success stories and sympathy for those online dating epic fails? Check out these books, which are a combo of both advice and memoir style storytelling. I read Data, a Love Story, around the time I was trying online dating for the last time.
What weird experiences have you had while dating?