Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Soulmate Buying Guide

Finding someone to date can't possibly be this difficult. Inmates on death row get marriage proposals. Scott Peterson, who murdered his wife, got a marriage proposal within an hour of being incarcerated! Of course, he had all the publicity of Nancy Grace, while all I have is a blog and eHarmony.

Speaking of which, eHarmony — and remember, this dude and this douche are both wife-hogging polygamists — eHarmony still thinks I'm a freak and refuses to subject anyone to a relationship with me. I mean, refuses to match me up with anyone. I also played around with perfectmatch.com, which does a whole similar psych profile thing with computerized matches. Perfectmatch.com is a true romantic, however. There's someone for everyone (and there'd better be, if this dumbass could find love) and perfectmatch doesn't filter out the undesirables.

As a public service, I want to compare eHarmony and perfectmatch, to help you figure out where best to waste your time, dating from behind a screen. Perfectmatch gets bonus points for not rejecting me. That's my date's job.

I think perfectmatch was much more successful at cutting through the psychological walls and bullshit and figuring out the enigma that is me... in a vague, profiled kind of way. Perfectmatch describes me as "risk averse, relaxed, cautious, seeks variety," while eHarmony says I am best described as "consistently taking care of [my]self." That just seems wrong, since I suck at taking care of myself and there are days when I'm surprised I went twenty-four hours without stapling my hand to my forehead. I think what eHarmony means is I'm consistently taking care of myself, I'm "fiercely independent" and "believe deeply in personal freedom and responsibility," which is a tactful way of calling me a self-obsessed jerk.

So while perfectmatch saw through me, I think eHarmony picked up on a pretty fair superficial description. (Or maybe it's the other way around...) eHarmony's telling me pretty much how others see me, down to their "Negative Reactions Others May Have Towards You" analysis. Some people think I lack compassion. Some people might see me as selfish. eHarmony tries to be supportive: "That is part of you and your basic beliefs about life. And some people will inevitably want you to be different, but that is simply not who you are," like it's saying who cares about anyone else? eHarmony will be your friend. Except it won't, because eHarmony thinks you're a freak and would rather hang out with folks who fit neatly into a mold.

It's not that I think eHarmony is wrong, but I feel like it's reductive. I won't dispute that I'm frequently an ass, but I hope it's a product of my environment — a lot of people I know are aloof towards me, and it hurts, so I respond in kind — rather than who I fundamentally am. In different circumstances, like when I've found my soulmate, I'm different. I feel like perfectmatch avoids those hazy areas, so when perfectmatch says, "This person is cautious about love, and life in general. They will need to know quite a bit about a person before investing in them. Even intense attraction won't make them jump in before they've gotten to know the person pretty well," it seems like a fair, general description, like it's a comfort zone that I gravitate to rather than a reaction to what's around.

Basically fuck eHarmony: it's a vapid bitch.

I can't say too, too much for perfectmatch either, since it only found ten women for me among the three billion on the planet. The self-reported profiles seem weak and a little scatterbrained, like "Could you be with someone who doesn't share your views on the environment?" seems like something you wouldn't want to tackle till the fourth date. Or I'd prefer if someone just came out and asked me what kind of music I'd like, rather than reading the responses that I checked off from a list. If perfectmatch came up with a few more hits, I'd think about spending a little money on it, but as it is, I feel like perfectmatch is just a tiny bit less effective than landing on death row.

Which isn't happening. Sorry, ladies.