I spent a little more than two months in a dating ban. This was partially self-imposed, partially imposed by my good friend Susan. Before the ban, I had spent the previous six months or so dating person after person. This began to wear on me and I had become pessimistic, so it was time to stop for a while.
During this break, I turned 30. I went on a cruise with my parents. I kicked ass at work. I spent a lot of time with my friends and a lot of time sitting on my fabulous couch. Then, one day I decided I was ready to try again. Like the Weezer song “Glorious Day,” that I like so much, I was ‘gonna hit the ground with a brand new sound lookin’ for romance.’
Previously I had been finding my dates through Match.com. This generally worked fine for me, but I realized that many of the men available on the site were single for a reason. The last one I dated for a while had had a complete meltdown. The one before that was so wholesome he made me want to throw up. The one before that had a commitment freak out. Maybe the Match men were not the ones for me. They all seemed to wear crazy pants in different and very special ways.
At this point, my friends suggested I try eHarmony.com. My friends and I are a socially conscious, liberal bunch, so previously we had been completely against eHarmony. Its founder, Dr. Warren, is strongly tied to the conservative Christian community. According to Wikipedia, “Dr. Warren claims eHarmony lacks enough data to successfully match gay and lesbian couples and he lists same-sex marriage as being illegal in most states and eHarmony doesn’t really want to participate in something that’s illegal.” This is not a man I wanted to give any further funding out of my pocket. This is a man I would want to kick if I met him in person. Also according to Wikepedia, around 72% of eHarmony members associate themselves with a religion. I am not remotely religious.
This was definitely something I had to think about. I already hated Dr. Warren, could I sell out and support his web site in hopes of meeting a non-crazy man? I decided I could.
One morning I decided to go ahead and start the eHarmony process. This involved answering around 400 questions. Most of them were based on a strongly disagree/strongly agree ranking system. Many of these questions were about how I handle my emotions and how I feel about family, my parents, faith, values, and beliefs. I was fine with the questions about my emotional state, but bothered by the other types of questions. They were obviously written to get a handle on my devotion to or lack of interest in religion. I felt like the questions on drinking were also faulty. I had to choose if I drink once a week, every few months, once a year, or never -– ridiculous options. How about a few times a month like a normal person?
At the end of the series of questions, I was delivered a personality evaluation. I was given explanations of myself in the areas of agreeableness, openness, emotional stability, conscientiousness, and extraversion. Each section was broken down into:
- You are best described as
- Words that describe you
- A General Description of How You Interact with Others
- Negative Reactions Others May Have Toward You
- Positive Responses Others May Have Toward You
The assessments of my personality and the way I handle things was good. I didn’t have any strong disagreements about what the profile said about me. The personality profile did, however, reek of standardization. It gave me the idea that everyone who took this personality assessment magically fit into half a dozen buckets. I like to think I am a unique person, not a Dr. Warren bucket.