I’ve written openly about the fact that I’m an active online dater. I usually don’t use one of those fancy services that try to assist with the matching process. Instead, I rely on the one that I’ve determined has the largest pool of men in my targest demographic that I might be interested in meeting (guys 40-50 living in Manhattan or REALLY close by). As I’ve said before, I don’t really think all of those tests are helpful.
However, I’m always willing to explore the possibility that I might be wrong. Heck, I’m wrong a lot about a lot of things. So as long as I’m taking a break from dating I figured I might as well take some time to do a little research into some of the sites I wasn’t using. As it so happens, I received a 7 day free trial offer from Chemistry.com when I did their little test the other week. And eHarmony sent me a 3 day trial offer for this weekend (Vday weekend, of course they are pushing their services).
So here’s what I learned so far:
I am already exhausted by the amount of time required by Chemistry.com. The system asks you to review guys who have expressed interest in you. I’m not sure what that means. I guess it means that I came up as their “type” and they liked my picture. I’ve been asked to review no less than 75 men in the last 2 and 1/2 days and in order to rid myself of them I needed to give a reason why I’m not interested. I’m trying to play along and be as open and I can and so I have expressed moderate interest in about 20 of them (I’m being very open-minded). Most of the 75+ wouldn’t have gotten a second look from me on the sight I usually use. Not because of looks but because they just come off as pretty dull and/or not at al what I’m looking for.
There are 4 stages of communication in their system and with each one they send you an email. Thank god I had time at work yesterday to play with this because my email box had another 5-10 messages from them everytime I looked. I did move forward to the later stages and exchanged actual free-from email messages with a couple of the guys who seemed interesting. So, we’ll see, maybe this hasn’t been a complete waste of time. But in general I’d say their male applicant pool in the NYC area is pretty sad and the process is just really too time consuming for busy people.
Now on to eHarmony. What a fucking waste of time. I tried them in 2005. I logged back on to my old account (they were offering the free weekend, otherwise I’d never do it as my experience with them was awful). The first thing I did was update my photo and update some of the data/answers on my profile. Then I went about trying to use the system. My inbox was full of hundreds matches from 2005 and it would not let me purge them. It also wouldn’t give me new matches. I spend about 30 mintues trying to find a way around the system, including going one by one and tryng to delete the matches. But I couldn’t just delete them. I had to send a “final communication”. To someone who expressed interested in me 4 years ago. What a fucking waste of my time. And this is from a company that’s trying to win back my business? Ugh. I gave up and just logged off and left. They can keep their matches. They all sucked 4 years ago and I can’t imagine them being any better now.
I also checked out OKCupid, figuring if I was going to go with the matching services I’d do them, too. I realze they are in a totally different category as they are free. But I’d never used them or checked out their site in any detail so I was curious. First, let me say that I was actually really impressed with their test. They are the only ones to ask about sexual history and real sexual preferences. As I’ve stated repeatedly, I think sex matters a lot in relationships. I can’t imagine having a relationship with a man who was a lot less sexually experienced than me, for example. OKCupid was the only service that got down and asked those questions. Maybe this isn’t an issue for the less slutty/sexually active percentage of the population (and as eHarmony has that vaguely Christian feel to it, they clearly want to pretend that we’ve all been good boys and girls)?
However, as much as I liked the OKCupid test, their service is pretty much useless to me. After the test I took some time to scope out my possible matches and, well, there wasn’t anyone I’d go out with. Hundreds and hundreds of nos. This doesn’t mean that OKCupid isn’t a great service for other people. It’s all about the prospect pool. And for me, their prospect pool sucks. Maybe if I lived somewhere else or was younger? I don’t know. Maybe guys in NYC have a bias against a completely free service? I’m not here to analyze why things are the way they are. Just report.
Tags: chemistry.com, Eharmony, OKCupid, Online dating