Oct 19, 2004

We'll find (most of you) a soulmate...

I currently subscribe to a couple of dating sites, and while I have met some very nice women and have had interesting conversations and fun times, nothing that could be called a relationship so far. So, recently I gave eHarmony a try. That's the site whose founder talks about their unique system of 29 dimensions of compatibility to find you a soulmate, the implication being that to not use their unique system will lead you to guaranteed heartbreak and misery.

"Honey, we've been married for years, but look, we only match 24 dimensions!"
"Twenty-four? God, we're wasting each other's time! I'll pack right now."
"OK, let's flip for custody?"
"Right, winner gets Rover, loser gets Junior..."

Anyway, since the signup and test is free, I signed in and started. The test is basically the MMPI in dating format. The first ten pages of the form list twenty adjectives each, to which you have to assign a rating of how the words apply to your personality. To my credit, I only had to look up one (gregarious). Still, not that much variety. Would've liked to seen lachrymose or eleemosynary. Why waste ninth grade vocabulary skills?

Next part was similar; rate accuracy of statements from a scale of strongly disagree to strongly agree.

I'm the life of the party.
I find it easy to meet people.
I enjoy beef jerky and the comedy stylings of Gallagher. No, wait...

The last part to me was the most interesting; within a group of four words, you had to mark which most and least applied to you. The instructions made clear you had to do this regardless of whether ANY of the words applied to you or not. So, if you had a group of, for instance:
Most applies     Least applies


unless you're lactose-intolerant, you'd have to put yourself down.

The entire test took about a half-hour, even with the instructions to finish it as quickly as possible. This includes a little part where you have to fill in info that is comparable to other dating sites (zip code, radius, etc.).

And then, when you're finished, you click a submit button to find your soulmate!

And I got this.

Unable to Match You at This Time

<Garrett Morris>Say what?</Garrett Morris>

eHarmony is based upon a complex matching system developed through extensive testing of married individuals. One of the requirements for it to work successfully is for participants to fall into our rigorously defined profiles. If we aren't able to match a user well using these profiles, the most considerate approach is to inform them early in the process.

We are so convinced of the importance of creating compatible matches to help people establish and enjoy happy, lasting relationships that we choose not to provide service rather than risk an uncertain match.

Unfortunately, we are not able to make our profiles work for you. Our matching system is not suitable for about 20% of potential users, so 1 in 5 people simply would not benefit from our service. We hope that you understand that we regret our inability to provide service for you at this time.

Well. That's a kick in the groin.

To their credit, they tell you up front, before you have to plunk down cash. But still, if I'm going to fill out a psychological profile where I'm forced to do some introspection, I'd like a little more in return besides a thanks but no thanks message. How about a dollar off a bottle of Colt 45? Or a free motivational message?

Oh well. C'est la vie. I didn't want to be part of your stupid dating site anyway. I'll be over here, looking at the ones where I'm currently subscribed.

And microwaving bagels.

Postscript: After posting my story, I found this article on eHarmony which includes this little nugget:

[Dr. Neil Clark] Warren says more than 350,000 people who have taken the personality test have been denied access to the service. He said people are rejected because the test showed they were not emotionally healthy, or because they tested to be especially "obstreperous,' the eHarmony description of a person who's difficult to live with. (emphasis mine --6doc)

WHAAAAATTTTTTTTTT???!?!????!?!? Up yours, Dr. Warren! I'm emotionally healthy! Why, as soon as I take off my ballerina uniform and finish my copy of Guns and Ammo, I'll give you a piece of my mind, I will...