Harvard Business Review has an interesting article about the mistakes people make while dating (not limited to just online dating, as these traps are the same ones people make when meeting in other ways).
What I find interesting about this article, having been on the online dating circuit for several years, is that the problem they illustrate is exactly what eHarmony was supposed to fix!
When I first started with eHarmony, I was idealistic and focused and followed this philosophy. Of course, I had no success, because it is the expectation to go pick the easy questions and to find comfortable conversations. That was the community standard and not following it got you the good old “Match Closed”.
When I think more about it, the process of getting past the smalltalk and working your way up to some serious questions follows the process of Dr. Warren’s books. So, he started with a good idea and as the masses converged upon it, the sheer numbers turned it back to “things as usual”. I can sort of recall this trend as the service gained popularity and the nature of questions/communication of new matches over time that I was an active subscriber…
What do I plan to do with this “new” information?
I have deleted or hidden all but one of my online dating accounts and after the usual filtering of matches and flurry of messages to potentials, that service has not provided opportunities to meet people. I stumbled upon a few new resources that I haven’t tried in terms of profile composition and communication approaches, so I will give them a go. If I do find someone worth pursuing, I think it is worth the risk and a time saver (in terms of ruling someone out early who isn’t a good match) to poke and prod outside the usual pleasantries as soon as possible in “the process” without offending them.
Of course, the real question is if I will I return to the madness of eHarmony (after kicking it to the curb some 9+ months ago) to see if I can make lemonade out of lemons after going through nearly 3500 matches.
These days, I still feel like I would have better luck trying to sell ice to an Eskimo.