You know that feeling when you lose something you’ve been working on for hours? The one where your computer crashes and things that are important to you are now suddenly gone. Your heart just sinks. Whenever you invest in something emotionally, making a mistake can affect you.
I’ve been on eHarmony for almost ten months. I’ve gone on one date. One extremely awkward date. I’ve texted with 10 others and talked about meeting up with four of them. We just never did. The process is draining.
The idea behind eHarmony is to match you with someone based on your compatibility. They’ve even patented the Compatibility Matching System, but when you’re going for quality, the quantity then takes a hit. So while on Match.com you can search through millions of people, on eHarmony you have to wait for the system to spit out 5-10 people each week.
If I thought one of those matches was interesting, I would send the required questions to them to get the ball rolling. You go back and forth six times before finally getting to the email. Of course, they do give you the option to skip straight to email, but guy friends have told me that comes of very desperate. So I’ve played by the eHarmony rules, and because of all of the details I get right up front about these guys, including whether they want to have kids or not, I’ve dismissed most of them without even going on a date.
Then, it happened. There was a guy on there who I actually wanted to go out with. The first time where I just knew I had to meet him. Of course, first I would have to jump through the eHarmony hoops. He sent me three questions. I answered. I sent him three questions. He answered. He sent his makes/breaks (yes, that’s a real thing). I waited.
It was Saturday night when I saw that it was my turn to send my makes/breaks. I was out with friends, but if I responded then, wouldn’t he think that I was sitting home on a Saturday night searching eHarmony? My friends and I decided that we definitely didn’t want that.
As I was telling them about how I thought this guy was date-worthy, I logged on to my account to show them his profile photo. I didn’t want to actually click on it because you can see when people view your profile, which is another thing that bugs me about eHarmony. But as I was showing them the photo, I accidentally hit the “block match” button. I freak.
Then, like any computer problem, I contacted the IT folks at eHarmony via email. When I told them what happened, they sent back a form email with the subject line that had my “Incident” number. They said that if I wanted them to “investigate the possibility of reopening communication with my match” they would send “an email to the match on your behalf requesting permission to reopen communication. Pending a favorable reply from the match, I will then reopen communication and notify you.”
I thought it was a joke. Why would they need to email him? He didn’t block me. And I didn’t mean to block him. I questioned this policy, but they didn’t care. For a site that is supposed to be dedicated to making matches, this seemed out of whack. So then I asked if they would at least let the guy know that it was an accident because if I received an email that said some guy blocked me, but now decided he would like to unblock, there’s no way I’m going to respond with a “favorable reply.”
To that they said, “Unfortunately, per our Terms and Conditions, we are unable to send personal messages to matches on behalf of our members.” Needless to say, I have not heard from that guy again. But then I thought about my unproductive time spent on eHarmony and figured it probably wouldn’t have worked out anyway. And it hit me. If I don’t think this site works, then why in the world am I on here?
Seth Godin taught me better than that. This month is all about having your tribes spread your message. In this case, my friends are my tribes and because they actually care about me as an individual, they are the ones who can truly help me to get a “favorable reply”. We should all be allowed to make mistakes as we navigate our way through the dating world, or in life in general. So, this is the week I’m going to quite eHarmony. I won’t make the mistake of using this site again.
What changes are you going to make this week?