Single Girl Survival Guide: My E-Harmony Experience
Picture this for a moment: an ad appears on television, claiming that a website can help the viewer find true love. Happy ‘proof’ couples, share their stories of whirlwind romances and the word ‘free’ is liberally used by the tv announcer as the services of this site are described. Did it work? Is the viewer now sprinting for the nearest computer in order to take a ‘sure thing’ test and plunge into relationship bliss? Well, I took the plunge into online dating and six months later- my prince charming is still an illusion that flitters through my imagination. He occasionally gets close enough for me to sneak a good peek and then he disappears again.
The following is my E-Harmony experience so far and the things that I have learned from it. I sincerely hope that my readers can learn from what I have been through and learn more about themselves as well. Firstly, I should say that my general experience with being in a relationship is pretty sad. I have been continuously single for about six years, give or take. To say that I am unlucky in love could be a bit of an understatement- I am ridiculously unlucky in love. And with the risk of sounding clichéd- I believe that there is a reason for all of this. A reason that even E-Harmony has not been able to help, but before we get to that reason- let’s adventure through the online dating process.
The advertisement covers a great deal of what the website offers, the issue truly comes after the test. There are pictures and descriptions and more pictures and questions and all of it can be a bit overwhelming. Once I waded through putting in information about myself and picking nice pictures, I finally put in some of the criteria that I preferred that was not covered in the test, such as height, ethnicity and age. Then- I waited. After a few days I received results, I felt a little leery and weird as I looked through the profiles, but I did what the website suggested and sent out some messages. Then, I waited some more. This is the process and this process has worked abysmally for me. After a few responses that left me wondering if all sanity had evacuated the world- I had to take a step back. I could not allow for E-Harmony to take over such a large part of my psyche and my personal opinion of myself.
After months of this repeated process here is my revelation: it is not my time, not yet. I have not been given permission to leave the life of a single woman and move on into another life. Whether a person believes in fate, karma, serendipity or God’s will- we, women, should take a step back and really look at our lives. We should ask ourselves some hard questions and answer them honestly. Am I ready for commitment? Am I settling with this man? Am I so desperate for love that I will ignore every warning light known to man? Am I falling for Mr. Wrong, again? If we, as women, cannot answer these questions honestly, we are fooling ourselves and setting ourselves up for relationship disaster. We are setting ourselves up to become bitter, single women.
Personally, I do not believe that I am fooling myself when I say that I still need some work. See- I can control me, I cannot control Prince Charming or his timing. I just have to be ready and know what I want when Prince Charming finally shows up on his white horse. It is when we, women, break our own rules that we have the most problems and find ourselves suffering unnecessarily. Many of my friends have changed for their Prince Charming only to find out that he was not who she expected. So what do I do to avoid this? I enjoy my time alone and single, because one day I will probably wish for five minutes alone without a crying child or a nagging toddler tagging along. More importantly, I always stay true to myself.
It is a hard lesson to learn that things do not just fall into place on a nice, predictable schedule. I imagine that my years as a single woman will end abruptly and with little prompting. Until then, I will learn and absorb and try my best to be the woman that I want to be. Holding myself back because I am not ‘her just yet, is not going to happen- life does not work that way. It grabs us and gives us our truest happiness when we least expect it. Why should I expect the end of my single life to be any different?