Adventures in Online Dating: Chapter Two
(Miss Chapter One? See Sunday afternoon’s post)
I am rejected by two of My Matches. One, from a city five hours away, “Closes the Match” because “I am currently pursuing another relationship. The other, from the same city, “Closes the Match” because “Other.”
Now I have to Close the Match on my end of things. EHarmony that it is ok, that finding the right person takes time, and will I please click “Close,” “Send Final Message,” or “Keep on Hold.” I click Close for both Matches. No sweat off my back but still, on the map in my mind, a few little lights just went out. Picture this with me: There is the dark, carpeted landscape of the world. It is nighttime. Somewhere in the mountains there is a little red light, pulsing. That is my heart. There is a circle of darkness covering a 300-mile radius around that little red light. Eight other little white lights are lit up within that circle. Outside the circle, the land is bright. There are lots of lights and they are all the people falling in love. Two lights go out in the little circle and six remain.
No, this is not killing me. It’s fascinating, actually. And I’ve even received advice. One friend, who lived in these same mountains for two years and know how hard it is to meet people, says: “Fuck. You are in the mountains of North Carolina, with no bars or hot spots or gathering places to speak of. So own this online dating. It’ll be a learning experience if nothing else, & some good material. Just don’t meet anyone in any shady-ass places, like the tobacco barn off of Lower Pig Pen Road or anything.”
Yes, there actually is a Lower Pig Pen Road. It’s very close to Upper Pig Pen Road.
Another comments about her own life, how she met her husband online and had known lots of successful couples that met this way. “Just be careful,” she cautions, “as I’m sure you will be. Don’t give your heart until you really know a person. There are many out there who do not show their true colors until it’s too late.”
And so it is.
I return to the My Matches page after Closing the other two Matches and review the profiles of the six remaining. Almost all of them are too far away, but there is this one who lives in AirportCity, NC—where I always fly out of and it’s only 2 1/2 hours from here. He’s a physical therapist and, really, it sounds like a pretty good match. I click to see his Photo but eHarmony tells me this Match has not included a photo. I click to see his Personality Profile but eHarmony tells me this Match has decided to wait until later in the process to reveal this. eHarmony reminds me that: “Many members choose to reveal their Personality Profile after they have gotten to know a match better. As you know, the Profile Report is pretty personal. Due to this private nature, we encourage our members to release this information only when they feel comfortable doing so. This match has decided to wait to share theirs.”
Hmmmm. Sage advice. Perhaps. Except that I have decided to include My Photo at an earlier stage in the Matching Process and I have decided to allow My Matches to view My Personality Profile if they want to. What do I have to hide? Then again, I’ve often given too much of myself up front and been hurt later. My first eHarmony dilemma. Sigh. Click on.
I decide to take the next step with Match #1, as we’ll call the physical therapist, which means I have to follow eHarmony’s “Guided Communication.” The next step is to “Send First Questions” and I am re-routed to a screen with an ungodly list of multiple-choice questions I can choose to ask Match #1. Here is what I choose:
1. If you decided to stay at home for the evening would you tend to:
A) watch TV
C) talk on the phone
2. What best describes your parents’ relationship towards each other:
A) married and loving
B) married but distant
C) divorced and civil
D) divorced and abusive
E) remarried and loving
3. How would you assess your verbal intimacy skills?
A) I am extremely comfortable talking about my innermost needs and desires.
B) With the exception of a couple areas, I’m comfortable being verbally intimate.
C) I’m still learning to be verbally intimate, but my skills are improving.
D) It’s hard work for me to discuss my intimate feelings.
4. Do you consider yourself physically affectionate when involved in a relationship?
A) Sure, I love to hold hands, hug and give casual kisses.
B) I’m moderately affectionate. I like to hold hands and exchange hugs.
C) I do like a small amount of physical affection.
D) I don’t consider myself a very physically affectionate person.
5. Do you enjoy debating the issues of the day with your partner?
A) I hate to debate about anything.
B) Occasionally I don’t mind a friendly debate, but I don’t really enjoy it.
C) As long as we don’t get too intense, I enjoy a good discussion about general issues.
D) I find it stimulating to debate various “issues of the day” with my partner and love it.
I send the same First Questions to Match #2, a Buddhist who sounds great but lives in some obscure place that Mapquest can’t even find (like I should talk).
eHarmony moves Match #1 and Match #2 into a new folder called “Communicating.” That leaves four Matches in “New” and two Matches in “Closed” and no Matches in “On Hold” (whatever that means).
Are we having fun yet?