Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chemistry

I don't make any secret of the fact that J and I met though eHarmony but I have to say, I hate telling people that. Not because I have any issues about online dating - I just think the eHarmony TV ads are so irritatingly cheesy that I would hate for anyone to think that the success of my and J's relationship is in any way a reflection of meeting through eHarmony versus some other online site. I've gone on countless first dates with guys I met on Match.com and Salon.com personals and I can honestly say that I never really felt there was any difference in the "quality" or compatibility of the guys I met there versus those I met on eHarmony (on average). If anything, I always worried that eHarmony's process, which requires you go through several steps online before meeting in person, sort of diminished the excitement that might have been there if I'd just met the guy sooner. That is, I think that knowing too much about someone before you meet in person can actually be a detriment - a lot of the fun of dating is finding out what you have in common with someone in person, over time. I met a lot of guys who were smart and interesting and there were some who I thought I'd probably be more interested in if I'd met them under different circumstances, like through friends, where I'd have to get to know them 'from scratch'. I'm not sure why I think it matters but I do.

Of course, having met J online, I'm now tempted to put more emphasis on "chemistry". Simone Grant just wrote a post about chemistry, wondering whether it has to be there from the start or can develop after meeting, and it's got me thinking. I've always sort of thought that "chemistry" is over-rated, and I still think it's not particularly healthy for people to believe that they will just "know" when they meet the right person. Some of the guys I have fallen for hardest have been guys who started out as friends and I never would have imagined dating them at the beginning. But on the other hand, I did know right away that J was different from the other guys I had met online, largely because there were several points during our first date when I found myself wondering what it would be like to kiss him. He was the first/only guy I've ever met online where those thoughts went through my head.* And I think that with online dating, it is important that chemistry is there from the beginning because if it isn't, it's unlikely it will develop eventually, since the only thing bringing you together is dating and you'll constantly be looking for that chemistry (as opposed to getting to know someone outside the dating context, which is what happened with the guys I mentioned earlier, where we were friends and then things developed into something more).

At any rate, I don't really know why I was attracted to J and not to the many other guys I met who were just as nice, funny, etc. but I know it wasn't because eHarmony's extensive questionnaire and personality-matching system somehow knew we were right for each other. I think us working out has a lot more to do with me finally being in the right "place" in my life...


*Of course, we also met for drinks (which led to dinner and more drinks) whereas most of my other first dates had been coffee and I always find myself more attracted to guys when I'm a little tipsy - I like to tell him that we might never have made it past the first date if he hadn't gotten me liquored up, which he thinks is bizarre because he didn't even try to kiss me that night. But the point is that I wanted him to kiss me that night.

2 comments:

onely.org said...

Eharmony fancies itself very discerning. I used them for a while and discovered that even though I indicated my partner's education level was "unimportant," they were still only pairing me with people who had equivalent education, because (I confirmed this on the phone) that's their policy. (So why even bother asking me if I think education is important?)

Christina

Male Enhancement said...

I am not really a fan of dating sites but I know that they can really help in creating relationships. But with eHarmony, I think it can also be as effective as other sites. It really depends on the person searching for a date. Just like yours, it was successful all because of your own personality.