eHarmony markets itself as being different from (and superior to) other online dating sites. It touts its "29 dimensions of compatibility." This site is supposed to the one people come to when they are actually looking for true love, rather than just looking for a good time.
After a couple of months of dating guys I met through match.com--which, for those who are unfamiliar, offers no screening and is basically a personals ad--I decided to give eHarmony a try. Surely the men who were pre-screened for me would be better matches than those who just saw my photo, read my ad, and decided to contact me. Surely these men are serious and ready to get involved with someone.
I hit it off with the third guy I go out with, who we'll call Steven (not his real name). We exchange our first emails on February 13 and meet for a drink that same night. He is not my physical ideal, but he's funny, and conversation flows easily. Due to schedule conflicts, we don't have an actual first date for another ten days or so. Date #2 goes well; so does date #3. Soon we are talking on the phone or via email almost every day.
The night before I am due to fly to Ireland for a two-week trip, he takes me to dinner with his closest friends, a couple. (This is date #6 or #7; we have been seeing each other for about a month at this point, and yeah, we're doin' it.) He marvels at my independence in being willing to fly to Ireland unaccompanied.
Although I really like Steven, I am not yet sold on the idea of a long-term relationship with him. He is 7 years older than I, which in and of itself is not a deal breaker; however, he and I seem to be at different stages of our lives. He is a long-divorced father of a 15-year-old daughter who has been working in the same field for 15 years (with the same employer for 11 of those). I am a never-married, childless graduate student about to start my second career.
Nevertheless, I leave for Ireland thinking things are going very well between Steven and me. He is very sweet as he says good night and wishes me a good trip. We make plans to get together when I return. While I am in Ireland, he and I exchange a few emails, including one for my birthday, which falls during the trip.
When my flight lands back in Arizona, I am happy to be home and looking forward to seeing Steven again. I call his cell phone and get voicemail; I leave a cheery message and am not too surprised, thinking he is probably busy with his daughter.
The following morning, I check my email and find the following message (its subject line is the title of this post):
I hope your trip was everything you dreamed it would be. I would love to hear all about it. However, before we schedule that, I need to let you know that over the past couple of weeks my ex-girlfriend contacted me and we have decided to give it another try. I really enjoy the time I spend with you and hope we can continue having lunch and being friends. I will leave it up to you to let me know if that is something that is possible.
Let me know your thoughts,
Am I the only one who thinks that "cutie" is an inappropriate form of address for someone with whom you are about to end things? You can guess whether I decide that we can continue to be friends and have lunch (note: the last lunch we had together didn't involve food).
And now I've officially been given the brush-off for the first time via e-mail. I guess it could've been worse; it could've been a text message.