I visited my e-Harmony profile today. It’s been awhile. With Pepperdine fading into a confusing memory and things beginning to settle down on the house-front, I feel okay about re-investing some time on the social side of things. Today I also took a survey on my satisfaction with the e-Harmony service. I’ve been on the service since January 2006. I’ve been matched with 1,251 women. For a couple months in 2006 I dated one of my matches. My matches or I have clicked the “close” button 1,236 times. There are currently 15 matches in my queue and I’ve gotten responses from four of the 15. I’m in e-mail communication with one match outside of the service. Fortunately the survey didn’t ask for numbers.
In the time that I’ve had my one dating experience most relationships have gone through whole life-cycles from discovery to death. Truth be told, the vast majority of my time with e-harmony I haven’t been actively pursuing anything as much as kept the service in my emotional back-pocket as a “Plan B.” I had a lot of fun the first few months when I was convinced that my former relationship was over and loved the possibility of meeting someone who was specially selected for me. Then that former relationship came back… kind’a. Well, it didn’t quite come back as much as it just took an extended period to expire. In the meantime, some of the air was let out of my e-Harmony expectations to the point where I just kept the subscription so that I could feel like there was a possibility of something for me in the future. Then when that former relationship really expired (for real this time!), it took almost all of my ability to trust myself and relationships with it. At that point I kept the e-Harmony account because I wasn’t ready to kill it too. Lately I’ve been thinking that it’s time to change a few things.
Something a match wrote in her profile reminded me of a quote from one of my favorite movies, American Beauty, when the main character, played by Kevin Spacey, is accused of being a bastard, to which he says, “Nope; I’m just an ordinary guy who has nothing left to lose.” In my case, with 1,251 rejections to my name, I’m clearly doing something wrong and I most definitely have nothing to lose. It should also go without saying that I’m counting on my results turning out way better than how things turned out for Lester Burnham, the American Beauty character by Kevin Spacey.
So, I started to think about putting some effort into opening up the social circle using Meet-Up.com to get out and hang out with folks with similar interests. I’ve also been hearing good things about the Plenty of Fish dating site. But none of that is all that different from what I’ve been doing for ages. So, the “got nothing to lose” twist is that I’m thinking that, given how much I post online, I should include a link to my Facebook profile (or this blog) in my e-harmony profile or whatever website I sign up for.
This definitely isn’t a plan that Dr. Warren from e-Harmony would recommend and there is a definite danger of giving away too much information too quickly, which is a bit like insisting on telling one’s whole life story when someone just asks “how ya doin’?” And there’s the risk that being this open makes it more difficult to walk away from an unwanted match if the match is persistent. Of course, once someone that I meet online knows my name all of this information is just a Google-search away anyway. So, what do I gain from this level of exposure? It counteracts the possibility that someone is going to close a match because nothing popped out at them in my initial profile or in my answers to their five questions. If they click the links they’ll get to know the things that are important enough to me for me to write about (assuming that they’d bother with the links… which is a big assumption).
Another thing that I’m thinking about here is that I’ve always seemed to do best in my relationships that were more based on friendship first, where the level of communication is left as open as possible, where there’s no real fear that saying the wrong thing might chase the other person away. This idea does run a risk that has been a running theme of my relationships with females, of always being seen as the buddy and never as the lover. But I’d much rather do the work needed to be the lover with the foundation of a kick-ass friendship than be someone’s lost weekend with nothing to talk about in between (not that I’m having to turn anyone away… [sigh]). I do have to work on a lot of bad habits, beginning with putting almost no effort into meeting or spending time with new people. I love having a lot of control of how I spend my time, but Life is passing me by while I ponder the words of this blog entry. Onward and upward: “I’m just an ordinary guy with nothing to lose.”
image: Emotional Cut-Out by Joe Bustillos, © 2009 · Some Rights Reserved ·
video: American Beauty: Trailer, https://youtu.be/psNuJuaYqVU Retrieved 7/01/2018
image: mouseguy, microsoft clip-art