Adventures in Online Dating: Chapter Four DOUBT AND DETERMINATION

[These are going to be posted rapid-fire so if you’re catching up, scroll down and read in reverse order.]

My Uncle takes it upon himself to fully support this and gives himself permission, even, to nudge me along if I start to doddle. Meanwhile, the Cousin writes to me and says, “ I think you should move, however, this is coming from someone who doesn’t like people.” Swidler calls on the phone and says, “Have you thought about moving?” My parents call and are totally cracked up, along for the eHarmonay ride, checking the posts with embarrassing speed. A college friend emails and says she’d thought about doing it too, even filled out the Profile and checked out some matches, but was dissuaded by the steep prices. (DO IT! $60 is nothing for most city incomes and besides, it’s something to write about!)

Of course, eHarmony has something to say about it all, too, as they send me an email with a reminder: “We judge compatibility, you judge chemistry! Not every match will work out! eHarmony can be a slow process! Be an active participant! Think outside the box!” And in conclusion, “Thank you again for joining us here at eHarmony! Remember that using eHarmony is a ‘process,’ not a single event. It’s worked for thousands of singles and it can work for you. Sincerely, eHarmony Customer Care.”

But wait a minute…Move? Press on without thinking? What about, as a Blogger reader commented, the beauty of meeting spontaneously, naturally, just as things were meant to be? Another voice chimes in: “But you’ve got to get the ball started somewhere,” he says.

I share my dilemma with Dara, a student up at the craft school and good friend. She is intruiged, leans across the coffeehouse counter and says, “You know, I’d thought about doing it too.”

“Really?” I say. “Then come by the coffeehouse when we close. Noelle is going to be here and we are finishing her Profile.”

By the day’s end all three of us are on board, though Dara has yet to pay anything to communicate with a New Match.

Meanwhile, Match #1 (the physical therapist) has replied at 12:53pm (his lunch break I assume) and we are one step further down the line in eHarmony’s Guided Communication. After the First Questions, each person sends his/her Must Haves and Can’t Stands. You are given a list of what must be 50 traits, values, family, financial, and intimacy related words that each come with a one-sentence description. And you can only choose TEN of those.

I send my Must Haves and Can’t Stands while Noelle scrolls through New Matches. We swap computers at one point, and she helps me decide. I check out one of her Matches and give him the thumbs up. We swap back and finally, I send my list to Match #1:

Shared politics, spiritual acceptance, sense of humor, aristry, verbal intimacy, affectionate, kindness, patience, strong character, and chemistry are Must Haves. Fiscally irresponsible, lying, pornography, uninterested, racist, undependable, depressed, infidelity, mean-spirited, and television junkie are my Can’t Stands.

I click Send and Save and await, as the little bubble on the sidebar for Guided Communication moves one notch closer to “Open Communication…”

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