I decided, about a year ago on an evening over Christmas break fueled by self-pity and wine, to give online dating a shot. I poured myself another glass of wine (naturally) and began to build out my eHarmony proﬁle. For anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of dating online, ﬁlling out your proﬁle feels like it takes an eternity—I’m pretty sure it’s worse than most personality tests and Cosmo questionnaires combined.
After my proﬁle was complete, and I had gone on a few dates and a handful of repeats, I made the decision that I wasn’t really interested in online dating. The dates were shockingly bad (including a guy who chewed gum throughout an entire Mexican dinner and ﬁve solo beers), and I just wasn’t interested investing time in feeling as though I had to be searching for a man. My proﬁle stayed online, but I no longer gave it a second thought.
That is until I received an email from eHarmony. This email wasn’t the typical update that dating sites normally send with teeny pictures of your future Prince Charming. No, this email was very different. It was written to inform me that my requirements for who I wanted to be matched with were too speciﬁc.
At ﬁrst I wasn’t sure that I even read that correctly. Wasn’t this the site that promised to match me based on 27 dimensions of my captivating personality with a total dream boat? Wasn’t I supposed to fork over my credit card in hopes of becoming one of those gaggingly lovey-dovey couples frolicking in a park on one of their commercials? And now I was being told I was too particular. I wanted too much from the person I was going to swear to love and honor until death do us part.
After getting over the initial shock of what I had read, I realized this is what a lot of well-meaning people in my life have said to me and something I think many single women my age are told.
“You are too picky.”
I’ve reﬂected on this for a while now, and would like to politely say I think that is complete bullshit.
Yes, I have a few things that are absolute non-negotiable to me – shared religious beliefs, hard working, funny, college educated, creative and patient. But I don’t in any way believe these things are too restrictive or too demanding.
I have been in long-term relationships before. I fully understand that no person is exactly what you create in your mind, and that things take practice and compromise. But I’ve also learned something from all of those relationships. All of those lovely men that I have shared parts of my life with have taught me this— there are men that have all of these traits. And if I didn’t have things that were important to me, I could marry an old random person off of the side of the road.
But that’s not what I’m looking for. And, it’s also why I never married any of those men. Each one showed me something else I needed and wanted, and I choose to believe that I will meet someone someday that has these things. I’m also certain that I would rather be single than settle for someone who is pretty close, most of the time.
And so eHarmony, thank you, but no thank you. Thank you for reminding me that the world will constantly try to convince me to sell myself short because it’s easier and less painful in the short run. Thank you for reminding me why I won’t do that to myself. And no thank you, please do not even think about auto-renewing my membership.
Emily is a late-twenty something living and working in Denver. When not wowing her neighbors with her incredible vocal range in the shower, she is an avid wine drinker and stalker of large dogs.
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