We know someone who, for the very first time, just dipped her toes into the waters of online dating, and we asked her if we could tag along for a few months and get her feedback on the process. We figured it might be interesting and helpful to those of you who are considering online dating yourself. And, being the giver that she is, Lauren politely agreed.
So here’s how it’s going to go down: Over the next three months, we’ll check in with Lauren to see how things are going. She promises to share the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, the fun and the sketchy. And we all get front row seat on this permissive eavesdropping experiment and see what happens. Don’t worry…there will be no match bashing going on. It’s just an opportunity for you to get a glimpse of how the online dating process works in someone else’s life.
And Lauren’s just the beginning. We’ve got more Online Dating Experiments dropping soon! Like, REALLY soon.
Here are Lauren’s details:
She’s 33 years old.
She lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
She works in the healthcare industry.
She serves in leadership at her church.
SingleRoots: So, you’ve never tried online dating before. Why now?
Lauren: I’ve never wanted online dating to be “my story.” I’d always thought of it as a little weird, and had decided it just wasn’t for me. But I have so many friends right now in successful dating relationships, and even marriages, that started through online dating. I’d recently ended a two-year relationship, and decided to have dinner with a good friend (who is currently dating a really great guy she met online). As the topic turned to dating, she began to give me the online dating pep talk. I already knew I didn’t want to date any of the guys in my social circle, and had started wondering what was next, so her words really hit home. Before I knew it a profile was being created!
SingleRoots:Which online dating site did you pick and why? How long did you commit?
Lauren: I picked eharmony. It was important to me to find a marriage-minded Christian guy who I knew I’d be compatible with, and I liked the idea of eharmony’s rigorous matching process. Also, I’d heard that eharmony had a larger “pool” of people than most other Christian dating sites. My plan was to sign up for one month, just to get my feet wet, but that option was very cleverly hidden! However, in big, bold flashing letters was the “best value” for six months of service. Being the bargain shopper that I am, I picked the best deal and signed over the next six months of my life. Challenge extended, eharmony!
SingleRoots: On a scale of 1 to solving a Rubik’s cube, how difficult was the process of signing up and completing your profile? Explain.
Lauren: Hmmm… maybe a 6? But really it was more time-consuming than it was difficult. There’s a lot of self-reflection that goes into the process, rating how you view your personality traits and your beliefs and such. It really made me stop and assess myself very closely and also think about exactly what it is that I’m looking for in another person as well. I actually appreciated the fact that I had to stop and think these things through in such detail!
SingleRoots: What are your first impressions?
Lauren: Sadly, my first impressions are that I’m unimpressed. It appears to me that the matches I’m receiving are less a result of compatibility and more just a matter of proximity. As of yet, none of the men eharmony selects for me have really matched the criteria I’m looking for, except for the fact that they’re within my specified 120-mile radius. So that’s been a little disappointing. But it’s only been one month, and I firmly believe that if eharmony is where the Lord wants me to find someone, then patience is key!
SingleRoots: Have you had any dates yet?
Lauren: No, no dates yet. After a month of being online, I haven’t really even communicated with anyone yet! I have received initial communication questions from a few people outside of my eharmony matches (this happens by using eharmony’s search option, called the “What If?” function), but none that I have felt are good matches for me. It’s only been one month, though. I still have five left to go!
SingleRoots: What is the most frustrating thing about online dating so far?
Lauren: The most frustrating part has just been trying to pinpoint that oh-so-fine line of mutual attraction. Along with all the other important factors, I do think attraction plays a huge part in the whole dating process. At the end of the day, you have to enjoy that person’s face! So far, I haven’t felt myself initially attracted to any of the 40 or so men who have tried communicating with me. (There have been other factors ruling them out as well… I don’t want y’all to think I’m all about looks!) There have been only 6 men I’ve found interesting enough to send questions to (all found using “What If?”), and I’ve only heard back from one so far. But perhaps the most frustrating is the fact that with the matches eharmony’s algorithm actually provides, there seems to be this funny gray area of mutual disinterest. They don’t reach out to me, and I don’t reach out to them. I’ve said “no thanks” to over 240 matches so far.
SingleRoots: What’s been the most exciting thing about online dating so far?
Lauren: I’d say it’s just the feeling that I’m at least doing something productive about my singleness. If I wasn’t on eharmony, I probably wouldn’t be doing anything different than what I’ve always done. At least in this case, I’m putting myself out there and learning more about what I want vs. what I don’t want. All things considered, it’s been a pretty enlightening experience!
SingleRoots: Okay, so you’re one month in. On a scale of 1 to Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch, how do you feel about online dating at this point? Explain.
Lauren: I’d say I’m a 4, but that’s just because I haven’t had any luck to far. Even if nothing should come of it, I’m glad I tried it! This experience has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone! If I happen to find someone amazing on eharmony, then great! But if in 6 months I walk away with nothing to show for it, I figure there’s no harm done (except for the slight ding to my bank account… haha).
Photo credit: Ed Yourdon