Dear the eHarmony,
I’m writing to complain about your online dating site, specifically your claims of using ‘smart’ algorithms twinned with scientific rigour in the application of finding someone to suck face with.
I’ve been a big swinging bachelor for a number of years now and I have enjoyed a majority of it. My flat’s a mess, my diet hilariously abysmal and my time taken up with doing pointless stuff to amuse myself; in essence, heaven.
However, after about seven years of bachelorism the thrill has started to become stale. I’ve begun to resent my friends as they have ‘couples dinner parties’ or ‘couples shopping days’ and even ‘couples weddings’. As time cruelly encroaches upon me I’ve found myself cringing when I’m introduced to people as “My Single Friend”. As such I’ve decided it’s time to get back on the scene.
Now, many years before my Saharan grade ‘dry spell’ I had attempted to apply for your site, going through the interminably long questionnaire and even calling several close friends to ask what they thought of me (we don’t speak anymore). Eventually I came to the final screen and what was printed across it wasn’t exactly edifying. The wording has eluded me but the sentiment I remember well;
‘HAHAHA, die alone weirdo.’
And then I was promptly blocked from signing up with you.
Thankfully the thundering wheels of capitalism and greed now means that despite originally being told I would die romantically destitute, you’ll now let me sign up for your service. That, or because I’m using a new email address, I’m not sure which. Either way, I was now online and ready to find a Match.
I spent an entire evening slogging through that kitschy graphic style you’ve slapped across the website, even filling out all of the superfluous details that you ask for nowadays. I suppose it’s fortunate I’m the sort of person who needs to have everything in order; but what can I say, I’m a fan of uniform dating profiles.
The problem is, I’m in the ‘wait and see’ bracket of humanity, which is the nice way of saying I’m too cowardly to actually talk to people unless they kick it off. But from what most people say about online dating, there’s plenty of fish, you’ve just got to cast your net (or web, I suppose) and hook one.
Yet despite the popular adage, whenever I would take a gander at the possible matches section there was never anything there: no names, no pictures, no explanations, just a whimsical wall of solitude.
My account sat there stagnating as month after lonely month sailed by. My desperation increasing in contrast to my decreasing bank balance; I began to lose heart with the whole affair.
That was until one, shall we say, slightly odd day. I was in front of my computer, finishing off a letter to a certain company regarding their overly enthusiastic bath products, when I decided to quickly flick over to my eHarmony account. As always digital tumbleweed blew across the monitor, showing a complete lack of interest from the female persuasion.
I sighed and was about to flick away from your site when something caught my eye, something I had never seen before. There was a garish yellow circle by the matches tab, with of all things, a number in it.
In a completely masculine way I squealed and flapped my hands, tears of alpha-maleness leaking from my face, blurring the buttery coloured disc just like how a terribly phrased and overly long sentence can ruin the point of it.
After several minutes of attempting to calm my wiggling digits I finally managed to click on the disc; what I found was disconcerting.
It was me, or to be exact, someone who had stole one of my pictures. I hovered over their profile name; curiously it was the backup name I had written down during the sign up process.
I stared at the picture of me, eyebrow raised, then burst out laughing.
“Good luck finding a girl with that picture, buddy.” I said to the imposter’s image, chuckling for several minutes, before it evolved into quiet heaving sobs.
I avoided your website for a couple of days due to a mixture of nerves and being actually busy for once. But eventually intrigue got to me and I brought up the eHarmony site and clicked on ‘matches’. He was still there, floating around on the page all alone, much like myself. I was feeling mischievous and so for the first time since I joined your dating site, I sent a private message.
The moment I clicked send there was a bing, I had mail. Surprised and intrigued I clicked on it, only to find my imposter had just sent me a message too.
There begun two weeks of messaging between me and somebody who I believed was nabbing my account details. Oh he had my moves, I’ll give him that. Whoever was playing thief with my life had done some good research on me, everything they sent was similar in its wit and eloquence that what I would send. I wanted to find out exactly who this doppelgänger was, so I suggested a meet, they agreed.
We arranged to convene in a crowded Wetherspoons one drizzly Saturday afternoon. The location was my ideas as it was the perfect place to meet if I needed to make a quick getaway, or hit said fraud with a bottle then escape. Turns out I didn’t need to do either, what I actually needed was a stiff drink, as it turns out so did I.
You see, it seems I have a clone, I have no idea how or even why, but I’m sure I’ll find out at some point. We sat down, grabbed a strong whisky and discussed ourselves, to ourselves.
Turns out, we had a lot in common. For hours we talked about everything; politics, religion, the economy, favourite power ranger, everything. We decided to meet up again at some point, you know, like a second date.
That second became the third, the third the fourth, the fourth the eighth (our arithmetic is terrible) and before we knew it we were living together.
Now if this were a Hollywood movie this would be the point that we would; leap in the air, high five, freeze frame, credit roll, everyone drives home complaining about how poorly written the film was.
But this is life, reality; real stories don’t end (don’t worry, this one will at some point). If this was a film script than right now I would be sending you a big ole’ thank you, but as I said at the start, this is a complaint.
For months we lived happily as one, our lives entwined. We did everything together (no, not that, that’s far too similar to what we had been doing during our bachelor years, only more guilt ridden), shopping, dining, breathing, walking, fighting…
It appears the old “opposites attract” theorem holds water, you need that diversity to keep a relationship interesting. Sharing political views, musical tastes, thought patterns, it means no variety, no excitement.
Oh, it also turns out that I am a terrible person. He (well, I) is selfish, self-obsessed, demonstrably mentally cruel, arrogant and a complete slob. As we realised our relationship couldn’t progress any further we decided to part ways, which was fairly amicable as we had two of everything.
As you can see from this brief summary of events, I have an issue. Your websites claim to scientific accuracy when it comes to life partners is flawed, as your complicated system could find no-one for me to share my life with, apart from myself, which kinda defeats the point of joining your site in the first place.
Oh, it also turns out I’m a terrible person, so thanks for that.