I’m not sure how I got here—signing up for 3 online dating site memberships at one time. Three. At one time. If you knew me, you’d know this is so far from the way I operate.
I’m not completely new to online dating. I tried out Christian Mingle about 4 years ago, and I did a few short stints on eharmony few years before that, but I’ve never been on Match.com. I’m not scared of online dating; I just haven’t had the inclination to do it in a very long time.
But, as a friend pointed out recently, I’m new to my town. I’ve only been here 4 months. And since I’m still trying to get my bearings and make new friends, it’s an opportune time to work on meeting people of the opposite sex, too. “If I sign up for an online dating site when I’m new to a city,” I reasoned with myself, “I won’t be matched with guys in my singles group at church like I was last time.” At least there’s one silver lining to not having a church home yet…
So all it took was mentioning that I signed up for one online dating site for the summer to one of the members of the SingleRoots Team, and somehow that landed me here—with a 3-month membership to each of the Big 3 online dating sites: eharmony, Match.com, and Christian Mingle.
It’s almost too much craziness for one summer, and I’m still rolling my eyes at myself for agreeing to do it.
Some background on me: I’m in my thirties, and I’m a nurse in Birmingham. I’m normally very involved at my church—small group leader, worked with youth and college, taught VBS. I’ve been on a handful of dates through online dating from my aforementioned eharmony and Christian Mingle memberships, but no real relationship ever came from them.
Truth be told, I’m not expecting much—maybe a few free meals with awkward conversations—but I am committed to putting forth my best effort, even if it feels like I just took on a part-time job to keep up with all these sites.
Speaking of my lack of spare time…
I signed up for a 3-month membership on each of the 3 sites this week. Basically, I devoted one evening to each. (Obviously I have plenty of room on my social calendar for awkward first dates.) So, if you happen to be considering signing up for eharmony, Match.com, or Christian Mingle, here’s what you can expect:
The enrollment for Christian Mingle is fairly simple. I answered basic questions about myself, a few questions about my faith (what church I was raised in, how often I attend church), and what I’m looking for in a match.
The hardest part of this process for me was figuring out I wanted my username to be. I judge usernames hard, so coming up with something that wasn’t cheesy, didn’t give away too much personal information to complete strangers, and yet didn’t have a ton of numbers was hard, y’all. I was scared the system was going to automatically log me out I sat there thinking about it for so long.
Christian Mingle has to approve any photos and all text that goes on your profile. While I appreciate their effort to keep everything nice and clean, they said it could take up to 48 hours for approval. So if, like me, you start searching profiles right away, your profile will be pretty much blank until you’re approved. All I could think was what if I stumble upon Mr. Perfect’s profile, and he looks at mine and thinks I’m not a paying member and moves on? Christian Mingle’s 48-hour wait messes with my game. (Because clearly I’m killing it over here…)
Total wait time for profile approval: 12 hours. If I missed marriage because of that wait time on my profile approval, Christian Mingle, I’m gonna be fired up.
The Match.com enrollment process is very similar to Christian Mingle, but thanks to Christian Mingle, I’d already labored over my username, so I just went with the same one.
I know that everyone on Christian Mingle is supposed to be a “Christian,” but I live in the Real World, and I know we all have differing ideas of what that means. They only gave me some basic questions for gauging a match’s commitment to Jesus. Match.com, though, let me check if their faith—or lackthereof—was a dealbreaker. They also gave me a short answer box to explain more about my faith, which I appreciated since Match isn’t a specifically-Christian site.
Both Match and Christian Mingle have a similar feel, but Match has a few more options than I’m trying to understand. They also tried to upsell me on some add-on features as I was paying my membership fee. One or two premium features is no big deal, but six different additional features (like email read receipts or a highlighted profile) got on my nerves and made me feel like they were nickel and diming me.
Match also approves photos and profile text before publishing, but they only took 45 minutes to approve it for me. Take note, Christian Mingle. You need more approval staff…or faster readers.
eharmony has the longest enrollment process by far. You have to take their big profile assessment, and it took me about 15-20 minutes, but it was easier than I remember it being when I joined eharmony years ago.
I feel like eharmony gives me a better opportunity to express who I am and my relationship with Christ. In the past, I didn’t really like their questions, but when I line up all 3 of my profiles side-by-side, the eharmony one is more…me. Their questions show more sides of who I am than the short-answer ones Christian Mingle gives, and Match.com didn’t give me much of an opportunity to write, aside from an initial introduction and my ideas of a great date.
eharmony tried to upsell me, too, even after paying a membership fee. I could pay $25/month to browse profiles without members being able to see that I’ve looked at their profile. That’s a lot of money, especially since I can remember when you could do that for free.
eharmony also has an approval process but they, too, are killing it compared to Christian Mingle. Total wait time: Under 30 minutes. #winning
Until I report in again next month…
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