February 24, 2006

The Other Side of Dating

Tonight, as I channel-surfed my way through the vast wasteland that is modern day television, I happened to come across a commercial for eHarmony.com.

For those not familiar with eHarmony.com, let me just explain that it's an online dating service which touts itself as: "America's #1 relationship site, committed to helping you experience the joy and fulfillment that comes with every successful relationship."

Which is all great, don't get me wrong. Three cheers for successful relationships! But, as I sat there on the couch, wearing a nice butt groove into the cushion, something started to bother me. And then it hit me. . . why does the eHarmony commercial only show the dating SUCCESS stories?

I mean, I have a dating history. Granted, it's not a storied almanac that can rival Casanova or anything like that, but I've done my personal share of the dating thing. And, I'm here to tell you, the success rate of dating--at least in my experience--is entirely overshadowed by the failure rate of dating.

Of course, I eventually met my current girlfriend, Melissa, pretty much entirely by accident, about three years ago, and things have been great between us in that time. But, prior to our meeting, there was a string of dating tragedies that make the sinking of the Titanic seem like a whimsical children's tale.

Which brings me back to eHarmony.com. Even on their Web site, they only list their dating success stories, stories like April and Barry, who were married July 9, 2005, and April says: "When Barry and I started to communicate on eHarmony I could tell that he was someone that I really wanted to meet and talk to. We emailed back and forth for almost 9 months till we met in person. We were engaged on March 7th of this year and I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life with Barry!"

Again, that's great. Three cheers for April and Barry! Still, as happy as I am for April and Barry, I can't help but think, for as many success stories as there are on eHarmony.com, there has to be, at least, about eight times as many disaster stories. And, personally, I'm far more interested in hearing about the disasters. Be honest, if you were surfing eHarmony.com, and you saw a disaster Stories link, you'd click it, wouldn't you? So, being the hypothetical guy I am, I thought I'd provide a couple of hypothetical eHarmony.com disaster stories.

Please note, these are entirely fictional dating disaster stories that in no way reflect my own personal dating disasters. . . as far as you know.

Ronald Clark and Petunia Masters; matched on Nov. 12, 2005. Ronald says: "I know this sounds harsh, but Petunia is, quite possibly, the only human being on the planet able to survive without a functioning brain. I mean, she looks great. She's a jogger. She's very toned and sexy. But, I kid you not, I took her out for dinner and she referred to the menus as 'menoos,' and she talked for 45 minutes about her hair. By the end of the evening, I thought I was going to die of boredom. The saddest part is, I'm sure there's a perfect match out there for Petunia somewhere, and the fact that there's two people like her makes me weep for humanity."

Steve Barsh and Gina Florence; matched on Oct. 23, 2005. Gina says: "My. God. One hyphenated word describes Steve. . . self-absorbed. You could tell this guy that there's no 'I' in 'TEAM,' and he'd respond 'no, doll, but there is an 'M' and an 'E'. . . ME.' At the end of our marathon four hour date, I knew all about Steve's high school years, his college years, how people just don't recognize his brilliance, but some day they will, and they'll be sorry. And the name dropping! 'I met so-and-so last week, and I cleaned so-and-so's house last month.' I just wanted to scream! I can't for the life of me figure out how we got matched up. I'm seriously thinking of joining a convent after this dating experience. But, no, I better not, because according to Steve, he's God."

I could come up with more "hypothetical" scenarios, but I'm not going to. Instead, I'll just say congratulations to April and Barry and leave it at that.

And I'll probably be thinking a lot about Scarlett Johansson. I'll be trying to imagine Scarlett Johansson nude. Because a nude Scarlett Johansson would be pretty awesome all around.

Posted by Ryan at February 24, 2006 01:17 AM | TrackBack

HEHEHEHEHE well, i have been online dating for a year now....and I have started a blog to chronicle all the crap that IS dating and especially online dating. I have done Match for I guess two years on and off. And I tried Eharm (as I call it) 2 times 3 months a piece....what a scam it is....anyway..if you are interested in knowing just how bad it is...try my blog....its full of vitamins and minerals and dating tragedies....but it is life and this is my story. There are fillers in the blog since dating has dry spells....so cruise around...Player, Not Player is pretty funny.
Nice blog you have I'll be checking back....nice to meet you.

Posted by: Dave at February 24, 2006 11:58 AM

True enough. The worst, though, is the successes that turn into failures. I'm giving the whole damn thing a rest.

Posted by: Hammerswing75 at February 25, 2006 10:36 PM

I laughed out loud reading your scenarios, and boy did I need that. Dating is a horrible, horrible creature that for some reason, none of us can stay away from. I've done the online dating thing ... met and married and quickly divorced. Geez, what a total disaster. And as for eHarmony, out of hundreds of thousands of people, they can find no matches for me? How is that even possible? Am I really that difficult? Do I even want to know the answer to that question?

The strange thing is, the old fashioned way is always best. We all know it. When you meet that sparkly-eyed, charismatic guy at a, just for example, birthday party and suddenly your heart leaps into your throat (even though there's not a chance in that burning place you'd ever spark his interest) you know that's how it should be. Exciting and spontaneous ... unexpected and totally, without reserve, WONDERFUL!

So I'm thinking maybe I'll start cruising some birthday parties ....lol.

By the way ... would love to add a link to your blog from mine ... mind?

Posted by: Gina at February 27, 2006 11:09 PM

Knock yourself out, Gina. I'll reciprocate the link when I get to it which, if you're familiar with my laziness is, like, about a year from now. Or two.

I'm a terrible blogger.

Posted by: Ryan at February 28, 2006 12:01 AM
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