My thoughts on eHarmony

My subscription ends this weekend, and I have no interest in renewing it. I signed up in one of my panicky moments after SCL and I broke up, thinking I needed to take charge and get on the prowl, and while I almost choked on the price tag, I wasn't exactly in the clearest state of mind. So, I just went for it anyway.

God, I wish I could get that money back.

At first it was really exciting to get matches "delivered" everyday. I took a pro-active approach, religiously going through each profile and requesting communication with any of them I found remotely attractive. I did, however, rule out any profile with a picture that made me scream. My strategy was to keep the pool as big as possible with the thought that you never know whom you will have chemistry with.

This strategy, as it turns out, is flawed because eHarmony takes a LONG ASS time to get through guided communication with someone. There's a ton of back and forth before you even get to e-mail (although you can skip straight to it, but because the "norm" on the site is to go through guided communication, skipping it can feel like rushing). And, I felt like I needed at least some time to pass in between responding, so by the time you get past the inane "what's your idea of fun" and must-haves/can't stands and three questions, at least a week has passed.

I went out on a few eHarmony dates, none of which had a spark. None of which I even feel deserve a link back to them in this post.

In short, I should've listened to Katie's advice that it would be a waste of my time. And my money. Maybe I'm just not patient enough, but the whole process was exhausting to me. It would suck to go through guided communication and then not hear from someone again--and I know I did it to others as well. I know lots of people, at least according to the commercials they play on TLC, find their loves on the online, but they must be a) lucky or b) a helluva lot more patient than me.

The Good Earth (Friday)

I am trying a different kind of post, one that speaks to an area I rarely have discussed here. I know it's a shift from my usual post, but as some have suggested, I am trying something new here. Would love to hear your thoughts! 
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Interesting that Good Friday and Earth Day fall on the same day this year. I wish I had some deep enviro-ethical thing to say about this, but my theology brain has gone on what seems like a permanent vacation. Unless it pertains to maternal health, in which case I can usually whip something together.

From the looks of things Earth Day is getting a lot more coverage. This makes sense on many levels. The environment is just beginning to get some of the much-deserved attention it requires. It's mostly non-sectarian, unless you think Earth doesn't deserve its own holiday. And, as for Good Friday, who really likes talking about ancient torture, humiliation, and death?

Answer: seminary students. Apart from them, not really anyone. But, I digress.

Easter is a holiday that one can't really jump ahead of time to celebrate. The 40 days (plus Sundays) of Lent leading up to Easter are marked by introspection, sacrifice, and centering. In my case, it has involved abstinence from all forms of alcohol (and I'm counting the hours down until my first mimosa at Sunday brunch with Katie at our local gay bar.) Basically, it's a whole lot of un-fun. But not pointless un-fun. Really, really important un-fun.

On Wednesday I got to lead a small chapel service in song. I started with "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child." I almost got choked up. It's a spiritual I almost feel unfit to sing; it carries with it the weight of suffering I've never felt. And yet, there is part of me that can connect with the feeling of being  "a long way from home." Lent is a time of journeying into the wilderness, of being far away from our "home," our comfort and familiar routine.

Good Friday is the beginning of the end of this journey. It's been a long one for me. And, I'm ready for some Easter joy to cast out the darkness again.

A Pause

My posting has screeched to a near halt. It started unintentionally but has become less so. Observing some of the less than charitable behavior that goes on online (of which I have certainly been a part of at times) has gotten me thinking about the purpose of my own blog and if it's something I wish to continue.

Whether right or wrong, when you share your life publicly, you open yourself up to criticism. I have not been the exception. I can't say I agree with the idea that having a blog somehow means you have signed up for whatever kind of bullshit people want to hurl at you. (Is human decency a lost art?) But nonetheless, feeling unfairly criticized and judged is part of the blogging territory.

And, I've been feeling like my inner critic, the little bastard that he is, really doesn't need any more ammunition. He does just fine on his own finding things to cut me down. So, do I really need another venue for feeling like a jerk when I screw up in my life?

I started the blog with a pretty clear idea of what I wanted it to be--a blog about what it was like to date a PhD student when I wasn't in school. I had grand notions of providing a community for those in this strange situation. But when I found myself single, the blog became a refuge--one I really needed. I found support and community in the midst of real heartache and pain. And then, it became a dating blog, and that was a shift I was not prepared for. Apparently people have lots of opinions about dating and what people should or shouldn't do--and they like telling you what to do. And, before I realized it, dating had been elevated to a level of importance in my life that I never anticipated. I let it become more important than it should have been.

Which is why I haven't been blogging about dating anymore. I don't want it to take up that space in my life--because it could if I let it. Dates can make a good story. Dating is attached to so many other deeper issues--what I want and desire, how I feel about my future, things that I should really reserve for those closest to me. Unfortunately, I have a problem with spilling my guts to anyone, and it's something I'm working on.

You know, I thought operating under a pseudonym would protect me, but it didn't. It never did. In some ways I think by not having a picture or a real name it made it easier to forget that I was a real person.

This is all to say, I'm not certain what I want to do about the blog, but I know that going forward, I'm going to keep my personal life just that--personal.