I’ve been an e-Harmony member long enough that I’m beginning to wonder if I might be eligible for some prize, just for hanging in there so long. It’s that old adage: the older I get the pickier I get and the less marketable I get. No fun. Actually it’s not that bad. Occasionally someone will say something nice and it’s just enough for me to ramp up again and give it another try. Only problem is that occasionally I’ll have a great question/answer exchange that normally would only be shared between my matches and myself, which frustrates the writer in me.
For example, one young lady asked: In your Must Haves/Can’t Stands profile, you state that you “can’t stand someone who is overweight.” Hopefully, you can see from my photos that I am in no way “Skinny.” I’m a “Healthy size” girl! :- ) Where does that leave us?”
My answer: Excellent question. I love the spirit with which your question is presented. Funny thing is that I’ve known many a “skinny girl” who would deem themselves over-weight to the extent that I wish the statement were framed in terms of my concerns. 1st a confession: I myself am currently overweight, so there is a little of the pot calling the kettle black here. “Healthy” is an excellent word because my biggest concern is that one’s weight is such that it doesn’t restrict ones physical activities or put at risk one’s longevity. “Healthy” also means to me having a good (and somewhat) realistic self-image. We can all improve, but is that drive enough for us to constructively do something about it? For me, overweight has been a sign of someone who has felt unloved to the extent that they are self-medicating with food. I’d rather someone love the food they eat versus eat because they feel unloved. I’ve been there, I know.
Her followup question was all the more intriguing: “Should you still wish to communicate after reading my first question, I would like to know why you chose to join eharmony. Are you looking for a committed relationship that could possibly lead to permanency or something else?”
I joined e-Harmony because I recognized that I wasn’t likely to meet the kind of person I want in my life without someone working full time to do that for me. As a college teacher, I love the people I work with. I love their passion for their work and the intellectual drive with which they pursue it. But trying to forge a personal relationship with coworkers presents too many potential conflicts to make that a very wise option. I have a younger married co-worker who has taken it upon himself to help me in this area. I’m honored by his efforts and find it very endearing, but I’m hoping to make a connection via e-Harmony first. I believe that my years of living as an unattached rogue have been a “make-do” because I was really made to be in a relationship with someone but I decided that as important as that was, being with someone was not the same as being with anyone. I would like to make a meaningful connection and see if that could become something more permanent.
Then there are the more direct questions: How do you feel about holding off on having sex until marriage?
Sex can be a powerful imprinting force within a relationship, and I believe it’s natural to want to begin to experiment with sexual compatibility before marriage. I don’t want to sound like a typical male, but having seen a few couples who have made the no-sex-before-marriage commitment I have often seen them rush into marriage because they want to feel okay about having sex. Having been married and had other relationships, I’d rather be more organic about my approach to sexuality in terms of balancing all the other components of a healthy relationship such as friendship, trust, discovery, intimacy and let ones sexually just be another component rather than driving force either from getting physical too soon or from abstinence.
The there are the more possibly controversial question: My sister is gay, and our relationship is very important to me. If you had children, how would you feel about having a gay person involved in their life?
My best-friend, whom I chat with pretty much every day, is gay. We met when I was in Pepperdine’s doctorate program and she has been a steadfast friend ever since. As much as I love the Bible, I have a hard time with the church’s censure of a whole class of people because of the writings of Paul. I believe that Paul only understood the gay-lifestyle in terms of lascivious behavior, in which case he cautions against giving oneself over to sexual pursuits regardless of ones sexual preference. So, if I were to pray for my friend I wouldn’t pray that God would “fix” her but that He’d give her the desires of her heart, just as I want for myself, to find someone to share her life with in every way that that means. My son is grown so there’s no issue there, but as a teacher I’m ashamed that parents continue to instill ignorant stereotype and don’t seen that we’re all just people.
In the many many months I’ve invested in my e-Harmony… thing, perhaps, I should be comforted that it’s pushed me to really examine what it is that I’m looking for and the things that really matter to me, and that it is a moving target often dictated by my most previous experiences. Add to that the recent pleasure of telling friends “this is what I want.” Good times. jbb