eHarmony Interpretations

Essays — By on May 11, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I thought I was ready to date, but now I’m not so sure. Out of curiosity, I created a profile on eHarmony to see what my “ideal matches” would be like. I got 10 matches and I was skeptical of all of them. I imagined them all as the most awkward guy from college, sitting at his computer, typing away his “Must Haves” and “Can’t Stands”.

“I want a Proverbs 31 woman who is physically fit, able to laugh at herself, and enjoys the random things in life.”

This description doesn’t sound like a real person I’d actually like to know. If a friend described me this way, I would feel insulted that they couldn’t think of anything more specific to my character. Ask for “a Proverbs 31″ woman and you might get the widow who always wears a hat with a feather in it to church, or you might get the mousy 19-year old girl who sits in the back row every Sunday.

And if you are a Christian looking for another Christian, the profiles are all the same.

“I am deeply committed to Jesus Christ and his grace in my life and I am looking for fellowship and a strong attraction to a woman who shares the same values.”


If these aren’t enough reasons for me to “Close the Match” there is the entire guy factor. If he watches and plays sports, I picture a one-dimensional sports guy who is always wearing shiny basketball shorts and sitting on a cloth couch with a sweat-soaked shirt, drinking a Mountain Dew.

If he says he enjoys video games or sci-fi/fantasy, I stop reading his profile altogether. I didn’t grow up with video games, and I just can’t tolerate them. For me, he is one of two stereotypes. One, he is the kid who sat in his basement in high school clicking on his Playstation until 3 a.m. when his parents were asleep, and as a result, never had time to shower. Or he was the conservative kid who went to college and wasn’t a man-slut, so he devoted his life to video game marathons with the other Christian guys in the dorm. Three days later they would emerge from their cells and stumble over to the cafeteria in their sweats, where they would make paper footballs and put salt in each others drinks when their buddy was filling a bowl with Soft Serve.

If he says, “Most people think that I am quiet and laid-back upon first impression.” To me this means a “insecure” or “anti-social.” If he says he is “easygoing,” I interpret this as “spineless.” When he says he is funny and promises to make me laugh within the first 30 seconds of introduction, I think, “Really? I question your wit. And it is really presumptuous of you to think you could make me laugh within seconds. In fact, this gives me more reason to not like you.”

In the end, he is always too young or too old, too geeky or too arrogant, too macho or too wimpy. His name is “Tad” or “Rodney” and I just can’t see myself with a Tad or a Rodney.

Obviously I am too hard on the opposite sex. I think I might not be ready for eHarmony.

For now, I will stick with the “real life” dating pool, which means I will keep my fingers crossed every time a new guy joins my small group.

At this rate, I will be single indefinitely.

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  • Mike says:


  • sara says:

    preach it! love this.

  • Adam says:

    Maybe you just need to take some risks. What’s the worse that could happen? If you guard your heart, don’t be too quick to jump in head first emotionally, but be ok with giving a guy a shot, you may be pleasantly surprised

  • Betsy, I met my wife the “old fashioned” way. Don’t lose heart. There are people out there who like to date independent from technology. Thanks for this piece. It really draws attention to the degree of dependence we have in technology mediating our relationships.

    • Carrie says:

      Michael, I’m frustrated by your comment; you sound unempathetic, like you don’t know what it’s like. I’m glad for you and your wife, but I doubt Christian singles who are hoping for a spouse (myself included) would be comforted by *your* finding a spouse “the old fashioned way”. A good friend just emailed me, saying “I’m freaked out about it but I also feel like it really is something I should do. Not just for the possibilities of marriage, or for the “practice” interacting with men, but as a leap of faith.”

      I am not online but would defend anyone who had the courage to hope actively and take that step towards having a softer heart.

  • Heather says:

    That was aweseome! I kept trying to sign up for eHarmony and for some reason a computer glitch (no matter which computer I used) kept me from signing up. Their loss they didn’t get my “subscription”.

    Turns out I didn’t need it anyway.

    Good luck!

  • loved this piece, ms. zabel. thanks for sharing.

  • Very funny…when I was on eHarmony, there were a lot of men who (if they were honest with everyone) were looking for a nice, safe woman who loved Jesus and desperately wanted to have babies.

    It’s worth giving online dating a chance, though. I met my husband (our 3-year anniversary is this summer) on Match :-) For the right person, online dating can be very effective.

    • Betsy says:

      See, that’s interesting because I am a “nice, safe woman who love(s) Jesus and desperately want(s) to have babies.” And proud of it.

      And yet. Not the venue for me. Just not going to happen, Tad.

  • This reminds me of my old friend Paul, who used to say that all Christian guys were holding out for a cross between Elisabeth Elliott and Pamela Anderson Lee.

    For what it’s worth, this is exactly why I have not ever tried online dating. Guys who are right “on paper” are often big let downs, and guys who would never pass the muster on paper are often the affable blokes who win my affection in real life.

    Great post!

  • Betsy, you are awesome. Would love if you followed this up with a piece on profile photos.

    • Jordan Green says:

      Two thinks I like:

      1) That Burnside ladies back each other up.

      2) That Stephanie shortened her last name to Niko. You know how hard it was remembering how to spell Nikolopoulos for an anglo like me?

  • Brittian Bullock says:

    Oh man,
    this is hilarious…I loved this article.

    I still have a thought about what a hilarious (and poignant) book might be for you to write exploring this topic.

    Good stuff.

  • Carrie says:

    Betsy, lovely and funny piece! I feel like you could just keep going… there are lots of funnies in such sites.
    This really takes a diff direction from our conversation last night, but i agree with this, too. Rock and a hard place.

  • Becky says:

    Great Article, Betsy!

  • Beth says:

    Hahahaha!! Oh man. My husband and I met each other online (way before eHarmony existed… but still through a dating site). And I totally dated another dude first because my husband sounded too ‘right on paper’ and Christiany. Hee! :D I totally did the exact same mental image things as you ;) Awesome. This was really funny :D

  • Alien says:

    We all want our partners (soul-mates, spouse, etc.) to be perfect. As Don Miller and Susan Isaacs wrote, we want them to be Jesus, and love us unconditionally; to like everything we like. Good luck with that, no matter how you meet them! Nothing is perfect on this side of Heaven, so what can you “tolerate”?

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  • ValVe says:

    Hello Miss Betsy,
    Thank you for the amusement.
    I just wanted to say that it seems people have forgotten how to network outside dating sites for dating purposes. The past 2 years I have been going to pro-life walks, supporting pro-life congressmen, attending charity dances, returning to my college’s homecomings, honoring Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday, sitting in Bible conferences, and such. I’ve found that radio station websites and large churches also have community calendars with a variety of events on a regular basis.
    I may yet resort to on-line dating, but I think a problem with a lot of us single Christians is that we have not learned how to go out and meet other people. We can’t use “God’s providence” as an excuse to be lazy and not live our own lives and get involved with others.

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