I have now dated my girlfriend for a little over 5 months and I thought it was time to put down my thoughts on online dating, and specifically the service I used, eharmony.
First let me say that I'm very happy in my relationship. The girl I'm dating is wonderful and we are very compatible. Other than the fact that she is a USC Trojan she is great, but hey, not everyone can be perfect. I'm actually shocked with how well we get along and how much are interest and beliefs match.
I think most can understand that I was a little hesitant to try the whole online dating thing. Even in this day and age I felt it smacked of a little bit of desperation. But I figured that I was a pretty normal person and there must be other normal people contemplating such a move. I just had problems meeting any new people as doing the whole bar thing isn't for me (even though I have a knack for being able to just talk to complete strangers). In the end I reconciled it by just chalking it up to a change in our society that technology has enabled. After all, why is it any better to meet someone in a complete stranger in a bar than to meet a complete stranger through the internet?
So I took the plunge and signed up. The process is long but I suppose better than say Match.com which just feels like a meat market.
So what is the final verdict? I can't recommend it. What? How can that be if I met someone wonderful online? Well I think I was one of the lucky ones. Of all the people I was "matched" with this is the only one that worked out. I talked to a few people and went on a few dates but didn't really feel like I was all that compatible with any of them except for my current girlfriend. Most of my dates' experiences were the same. They weren't really meeting a lot of compatible people. I think for a few of them it made them feel even worse as if they couldn't make it work with someone online, how hopeless must they be?
Also, just like in the real world, you get a lot of fake people. People who say they are looking for one thing, but really aren't. My girlfriend is guilty of this. She put she was open to meeting anyone from anywhere but rejected anyone she met who lived to far away. You have an option to specify how far away someone can live that you would consider dating, so why even put "anywhere in the world" if you really only mean "within 100 miles"? I also found that a lot of women who think they are open minded aren't. Most women don't think they are racist but more than a few women did not want to date me simply because I was Asian.
I also don't like how Eharmony will match you with people who can't respond back to you. I had my account closed for months but still received "request for communication". These request just remain unanswered and you have no idea what is going on on the other end. They do this to maximize the number of matches they provide to people but don't let communication happen unless both sides are paying members. This can be somewhat frustrating.
But I guess it only takes one, and thus far it is working out for me. Dating is a process, and just like anything else, you probably have to have a few failures before you finally have success. So if you set your expectations low, and treat online dating as just one part of your dating strategy, it might work out for you.