Friday, 22 March 2013

Date? Me? No, I can't remove this darn Invisibility Cloak



A few years ago I decided it was time I started dating, I hadn't bothered before as I knew I was single because I knew I was fat and ugly.  Weirdly, knowing this gave me confidence, knowing that I could move amongst other people almost invisibly.  I enjoyed sitting in a pub by myself with a book, a newspaper or just people watching.  I would go for meal by myself.  I would happily go on days out, weekends away, weeks abroad thoroughly enjoying my own company.  I used to laugh at people who needed other people around them, or who couldn't go anywhere by themselves.

Then everything changed, I suddenly became aware that looks and body shape did not seem to be a hurdle to anyone else.  I then realised that there must be something more wrong with me than just looks and size but I didn't know what it was.  All I know is that thinking about it completely killed my confidence.  I went from a happy outgoing woman, who whilst spending at least 90% of her non-working hours alone, was never lonely to someone who was a virtual shut in, only leaving the house to go to work and college.  After all, why would I want to inflict my hideous being on anyone?

I realised too late that shutting myself away was not good for me but I didn't have the confidence to go out by myself, as I used to do, and speak to people so I decided to give internet dating a try.  I thought it might be easier to get to know someone online before we actually met.  I knew that I would have to be careful, I knew that I might not be talking to the person I thought I was but I went into it with my eyes wide open.

I tried all the genuinely free dating sites first, but no-one caught my eye, I was not looking for gorgeous but I needed something to catch my eye and make me want to know more, it could be something in the photo or something in their 'blurb'.  I did send a few tentative messages but had no replies.  The only men contacting me were, at the risk of sounding a complete snob, just not my sort.

I then moved on to the sites who claim to be free, but actually are fee charging if you want to make contact with anyone or reply to any messages.  Again, no-one really caught my eye, certainly not enough to pay for.

About this time, eHarmony were holding one of their 'free contact' weekends so I thought I would give it a go.  As they proclaim to scientifically match people I thought I would give it a go.

There is a very detailed questionnaire to complete, it is a mixture of multiple choice questions, some wit wordy answers, others with pictures.  I spent a good 30 minutes working my way through the questionnaire so that eHarmony could assess my personality.  A short while later I received a report or 'Personality Profile'.  As it was about 6 pages long I am posting below some of the bullet points they included..

You Are Best Described As:

Taking care of others and taking care of yourself
Sometimes curious, sometimes content
Steady
Flexible
Reserved

Words That Describe You:
Thoughtful
Modest
Reflective
Private
Introverted
Careful
Restrained
Meditative
Spontaneous
Intuitive
Perceptive
Natural
Somewhat Disorganised
Unpredictable At Times
Relaxed
Even
Unwavering
Constant
Certain
Together
Cool
Detached
Tranquil
Accepting
Flexible
Educated
Self-aware
Middle-of-the-road
Proper
Distinctive
Indecisive
Adaptable
Fair
Considered
Collaborative
Responsive
Sensible
Diplomatic
Contemplative
Indulgent
Rational

Not a bad mix as far as I could see, a good balance of positive and negative, after all we are not all perfect despite what some people seem to think.  I felt that this was a positive step for me in turning my life around and was looking forward to seeing who I would be matched with.

However this is the response I received....

"We're very sorry, but our matching system cannot predict good matches for you.

eHarmony's patented matching system was developed after extensive research into marital satisfaction. We use each person's responses to our Relationship Questionnaire to predict the pairings of individuals that are highly likely to result in satisfying long-term relationships, based on what we learned through our research.

Unfortunately, based on responses to our questionnaire, we occasionally find situations where our matching system cannot identify high quality compatible matches, and this has happened in your case. Please understand that it is a result of our matching process and in no way reflects on you as a person or your ability to be in a happy relationship.

We apologise and regret our inability to find good matches for you. The time you spent completing our questionnaire, however, has enabled us to provide you with a free Personality Profile.. This Personality Profile lets you learn more about yourself and should provide you with valuable insights.

We wish you all the best in your search for that special someone."

When you are told by a dating agency that you are unmatchable you really do know that there is no point worrying about dating and that I should just accept that I will always be single.  After all, I have spent the last 42 years as a single person, I am sure I can cope with a few more.

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