So my final day of eHarmony subscription was up this week. It marked the end of my online dating adventure. I had let my other profiles fall into the dusty, abandoned no man’s land where my Xanga and MySpace profiles have long resided. Still there, but likely to never be touched again (mostly because I’ve forgotten the passwords and don’t care to make the effort to shut them down.)
I had already decided I was done with online dating for a while, but the final few weeks of eHarmony sealed it. The matches went from being delivered once a day in 10-suitor bundles to once every couple weeks in the form of a few stragglers unearthed when they likely got curious about what happened to that forgotten eHarmoprofile they had let lapse months before. Matches quickly went from solid, local guys to outstate randoms miles outside my set radius.
I understand that not every eligible bachelor is on these sites (there is money to be made in tying each site together into one mega site, a one-stop dating shop if you will) and so sometimes they are going to have to scour the outer limits of your geographic specifications. Still, if they are going to do this I’d rather they set me up with some delightful, cheeky Dubliner than a shy dairy farmer from southern Minnesota whose favorite cities include “my town” and “I don’t know.”
Brief disclaimer: I have nothing against the dear farmers. I grew up on acres of corn, but those guys tend to be rooted in the country given the fact that’s where their livelihood is. And I don’t have much of a desire to leave the metro to commit to a life of 5 a.m. milkings and day trips to the city at 2 hours of travel time each way. In other words, it wouldn’t be my ideal match.
While I started off strong going on a new date every couple weeks, I quickly burnt out on first-date adventures and became more selective about who I actually chose to meet. Which, combined with the more limited number of matches, meant pretty much no dates at all. I should have been more discerning from the beginning, because it led to the mentality that I would rather have been spending the time with people I knew and cared about more than some stranger with a very slim chance of becoming The One.
The string of first dates is probably mostly my fault. Even if I had a slight bit of interest in the guy, I wouldn’t contact him. He would have to call me if he wanted a second date. That’s probably snobby isn’t it? But it wasn’t an ego thing so much as it was a traditional (read: archaic) girl thing. There was one guy I actually dug enough to contact after the initial date, but alas, alack, that didn’t pan out either.
The biggest thing was that the whole dating thing became work. I felt like I was taking some strange shotgun approach to romantical goals. Just a frenzied effort to find my Mr. Wonderful before I was outbid and all the good ones were snatched up off of some eBay-like dating store.
Which, again, can probably be attributed to be my flawed approach to the whole process. Had I began the endeavor with a less fervent method, I may have not have become so exhausted and disenfranchised with the lack results. So my six-month experiment yielded nothing more than a few wasted evenings, a couple of fun ones that didn’t go beyond some good conversation and a decent meal, and a hours spent improving my typing and short-answer response skills.
I did, however, learn to take rejection in stride. The aforementioned shotgun efforts lend themselves well to letting a snub simply roll off my weathered heart (aww cheese). It’s like sending out a pitch to a 100 publications at once or applying to job after job. After awhile you get used to not getting a response. Hell, half the time you don’t even realize you’ve been shot down. If nothing else, I’m hoping this devil-may-care attitude toward rejection carries over to real-life situations. But given the fact I did nothing about the cute, charming guy sitting next to me in the coffee shop just now, that doesn’t seem likely either. And so it goes.