Four hundred and ninety-nine

It’s almost five hundred days since I started this project.  Well, that’s not counting the couple of months of prep time I needed before Day One.  It’s definitely been quite the ride!  The past week has been one of reflection and creativity.  And when the creative juices flow freely, I tend to neglect everything else and focus on my writing.  All you writers or painters or any other kind of artistic people understand.  My friends tend to make fun of me during these times – in a loving manner, of course.  “You’re always writing” said in a whiny voice, or “there’s no point inviting Lindsay to anything right now, she’s in her own world.”  They laugh about it, but they understand.  Besides it makes me a better person to be around when I’ve purged myself onto the page and they know this.  Although for a bit they have to deal with me walking around in a daze.

I love these times because I get tons of work done and I feel great about myself.  There no feeling quite like accomplishment.  I can’t imagine how I’ll feel when I finish the book.  I already have some ideas for the next one, so I guess I’ll just throw myself into the next project.

Online dating – a revelation

With reflection and writing comes me talking a lot about the topics on my mind (when I’m not sequestering myself in my apartment, of course).  Often other people who first find out about the project are most curious about my dating month, where I went on 32 dates in 31 days for those of you who haven’t been following along the whole time.  I set out to discover why dating was so hard in the city, examining online dating, set-ups, speed dating, etc., and finished the month completely exhausted.  This bring me to the conversation I had with a woman customer at the pub a couple of days ago.  She just finished writing a book about dating, written in Japanese.  This became a rousing discussion amongst the five people at the table and I about online dating.  Which finally brings me to a huge topic about online dating that I never discovered during my month on dating: you can be rejected from some online dating sites before you even start!  I had no idea.

Two of the men at the table had been rejected from eHarmony, both of which seem like lovely men, and one of which I have known for at least a year coming into the pub.  I did some research and apparently as many at 20% of the applicants are rejected.  “Unable to match you at this time” is the response those “rejects” get after filling out eHarmony’s complex questionnaire.  From what I could find, these are the reasons you can be rejected:

  • You are married
  • You are below 21
  • You are under 60 and have been married more than four times
  • You are gay or lesbian (they have a separate site called Compatible Partners for gay and lesbian matches)
  • You answered the questions in what eHarmony thinks is inconsistent
  • You answered the questions in a way that suggests you are depressed
  • You scored low on the following traits:
    • Self-Concept (how you perceive yourself)
    • Emotional Status (feeling happy, fulfilled and hopeful)
    • Character (honesty and trustworthiness)
    • Obstreperousness (refers to a person’s tendency to find fault, to attribute blame to someone else, to make other persons wrong, and to portray them self as always right. The obstreperous person is someone who has a consistently critical attitude. The more pessimistic a person is, the more likely they are to be obstreperous.)
    • Character (honesty and trustworthiness)
    • Emotion Management: Anger (expressing negative emotions constructively)
    • Conflict Resolution (resolving issues).
    • Family Background (happy childhood and supportiveness of your parents)
  • eHarmony is unsure how to match you

One of the men at the table said he went in and took the test again, just changing the questions that referred to physical appearance being important and he was accepted, but then decided not to do it.  He ranted about how “of course physical appearance is very important to me!”

In any case, this is fascinating to me.  I can’t think it would be good for your self-esteem if you are looking for love and end up being rejected by a website claiming to be able to find you love after you took their personality test.  If I wasn’t dating anyone right now I would definitely take the test just to see what happens.  Happily, though, I don’t have to use online dating (and probably never will again, no matter what happens with my man right now).

More information:

“They Met Online, but Definitely Didn’t Click”, The Washington Post, May 13, 2007.

Why People are Rejected by eHarmony“, Little Red Rails Online Dating Guide & Blog.

“Your question answered: Why eHarmony rejected you”, eHarmonyBlog.com.

4 thoughts on “Four hundred and ninety-nine

  1. Of course, Lindsay, you can imagine that I know and love what you say about writing and having to let the creative juices flow – I think friends and family probably tolerate us, but don’t completely understand. Thankfully, my wife loves to write as well (music and blogging). But that is also very interesting info about eHarmony. Really – how would somebody feel about being rejected from the site that “guarentees the perfect match”??? But I think it was Oprah who said, “I don’t want anyone who doesn’t want me.” Good point.

  2. Fascinating, and great discussion! I never knew this, wow! Though I can understand some of the screening methods, but at the same time, questionnaires are often inaccurate as we are often not very aware of ourselves as well…

  3. Very interesting. My mom tried a dating site out and was very disappointed. I don’t think I would ever use a website to find a date. Besides anyone can lie about who they are and all you’ve got to do is steal a photo from Google. It seems very dangerous to me.

    • It’s actually not that bad, as long as you make sure you meet in a public place and trust your instincts. I have lots of friends who have met their boyfriends on online dating sites. And actually my aunt and uncle, who are happily married with one child, met online as well. So it can work. It’s hard to sift through all the duds, though! When I tried the online dating thing, I met some really great friends who I still hang out with now, so it wasn’t a complete loss.

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