Search Party

During my online dating stint I came to appreciate the “search” feature.


Some sites, like eHarmony, place high stock in their ability to find your perfect match- without your help. They ask you to fill out a lengthy questionnaire, then tell you to lie back and relax– they’ll do all the work for you, that is, if you don’t mind putting your fate entirely in their hands.

As I’ve mentioned before, I found my last long-term relationship on eHarmony. However, I had to circumvent the system a tad and do a little searching of my own. How did I do this? I broadened my search radius (from 50 miles to 200) and took a chance scrolling through my “hidden” matches– eHarmony’s version of “maybe, I don’t know, what do you think?”

And there he was! If I’d left love up to eHarmony’s algorithms alone, I never would have found him. Side note: he was also out of my requested height range, but I found out that you can’t always put a “you must be *this* tall to ride this ride” sign on love.

On the flip side, my current BF was also outside my “desired” parameters, but luckily Match isn’t so stingy with its science. He was allowed to find me (search) and message me, and then the ball was in my court.

When I weigh the pros and cons, I can’t figure out why certain sites don’t allow a search option. Shouldn’t they maximize your potential by providing matches based on your questionnaire, AND allow you to search, going with your gut?

Bottom line: while online dating sites want to help you find love, they always want to take your money. The best way to do that is by giving you glimpses of love, but not sealing the deal… not for awhile at least. Ultimately, they want to tease you with attractive profiles at first (some of which may not even be active), then phase out slowly, dragging things along until you’re about to cancel, THEN they will start showing you members who may actually stand a chance at taking you off the market (and their site).

Okay, that may be a tad pessimistic (although often true), but my point is thus: stick with the search option, Sites. We appreciate it.