Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I got "other" -ed

As you remember from my 4/13 post, there are several ways to close a match on eHarmony. One of the most lame excuses is "other."

Well, this week, I received the icky "other" excuse. Some guy in Elk City wanted to close our match, and he said his reason was "other." Which begs the question, what is the real reason he wants to close our match? It can't be because he thought I was ugly - I don't post my picture until stage 3, and he closed me at stage 1. If it were due to something I said on my intro page, there's an eH reason available that says "based on your profile, I don't think we'd match." So what is it?

Hmmm...for purely journalistic purposes, I'd like to email Mr. Elk City back and investigate the truth. But am I a hard-hitting journalist? No. I'm state employee who needs a blog because it's the only way I get to write.

Mustang said he has received the "other" excuse, too, and he never understood it, either.

Which leads me to a short tangent - Mustang has been in a foul mood this week because he's very stressed at work. While I agree he has every reason to be stressed, it's been an interesting week. To quote Julie from Real World: New Orleans (which BTW, was the best season): "You see the quality of the oil when the olive is pressed." I guess I've discovered the down side of feeling so comfortable with Mustang - we see each other with no pretenses, and that includes when we're cranky.

But hey, I'm not about to bail - he's got his own surprise coming when I become cranky someday soon.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Prayer works - what a concept

So today I'm blogging about Mustang and my insanity, again. I promise tomorrow's post will be about eH.

As you know, I've been torn about how to approach this relationship with Mustang. I feel myself falling for him, and I'm uber-scared. Lately a local hospital has been running a TV commercial that uses the Nat King Cole song, L-O-V-E. A line from the song says, "Take my heart, please don't break it." My feelings exactly.

So earlier this week, I've been wondering how I can distract myself from my true feelings. Is this the best approach? Probably not, but I'm open to anything at this point. I considered getting back into the eH trenches, and I now realize that's a stupid idea. It'd be playing games, and I'm soooo not a game-player. And Mustang and all the potential boys I'd email wouldn't appreciate it, either. So that plan is out.

Thankfully, Mustang and I had another DTR discussion this week, and this one resolved itself very well. He's equally freaked as I am, and we've been tossing around the idea of praying together.

Now, lemme just pause a moment here - I am by NO means a saint. Growing up in church, I always heard you should pray with your date/spouse, but honestly I've always been afraid a guy would laugh his rear off if I suggested this to him.

To be candid, Mustang & I click so well - um, chemistry-wise - that we're not sure how to handle our good/yet-not-so-good-for-us mug sessions. (Mug is another sorority term for making out.) Truthfully, we're fresh out of ideas and so I tossed out the prayer suggestion. Waited for him to laugh. And he said it was a good idea! Phew! But neither of us have had the courage to go for it yet. Praying aloud is not my strong suit.

Wednesday night, amid the quality kisses and the strong feelings, we got all weirded out again. Mustang brought up the prayer idea yet again, and this time, we went for it. I prayed first, aloud, and then so did he. It was so great! (Is it wrong to be attracted to someone based on how they pray? Huh.) But seriously, he prayed that we seek God's will for us, even if it's not for us to be together. And since that prayer happened, it has made all the difference.

I feel much more peaceful about things now. Granted, I'm still crazy about Mustang, but I just see things in a different light. Yesterday I even found a great article on Crosswalk.com about preventing a broken heart. Funny thing is...the article quotes some scripture that says we shouldn't be unequally yoked, and Mustang has talked even talked about this scripture himself.

And I'm not so scared anymore. Sure, Mustang could break things off and I'd be bummed, but I'd much rather be happy - even if it means not winding up with Mustang or any guy - than be in the wrong relationship. Instead, I'm more excited about getting to know Mustang as a person, the joy of dating, and faith in general.

Lean not on your own understanding. Got it.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

In the database - to be or not to be

That's the question I'm pondering right now regarding my eH account. Currently, I have changed my eH settings so that they don't send me any new matches. I thought it was too much to keep track of, and honestly, my interest level isn't there on new guys...some cute boy who drives a Mustang has my attention....

So everytime I log onto eH, it takes me to a special page and interrupts me to say:

"You have chosen not to be in our matching database. New matches will not be sent until you are re-instated."

Then it asks to choose one...yes, put me back into the database; or no, continue as-is. For about the past 2 weeks, I've said no, but now I'm reconsidering.

Here's why: I'm trying to keep whatever shred of sensibility I still have with Mustang. It's pretty much null & void at this point; I can't concentrate on anything, I think everything he says is brilliant, the man could do no wrong. But to prevent me from going totally over the edge, maybe I should start distracting myself with other eH matches. Then I wouldn't be thinking about him all the time, I could get some work done, and I could guard myself a little longer. At the least, he could be the benchmark against which all other eH matches are measured.

But let's be honest - that's so counterproductive to the whole eH concept. Basically, I'd be playing games with these new poor souls...little would they know that I'm already dating somebody else. Heck, Mustang & I describe one another as boyfriend/girlfriend. And wow, would Mustang be totally jealous if he knew I was back on eH. He already knows that I have this blog (which is stupid I told him, I know, what can I say - my judgment has been out the window this month) but I didn't tell him the address, he can't find it with Google, and it's killing him.

I dunno. It's just tough. He's trying to pace things slowly because he doesn't want a repeat of his last eH experience.....met his ex, got very serious quickly, talked about marriage, broke up & broke his heart...and I respect that. I just know that I'm losing my head and I need to find a distraction until he's ready to come around. Ugh....I feel so girly & vulnerable.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Dealbreakers

Today I'll actually post about eH. It occurred to me last night that I have about a week left on my membership. Am I renewing another month? Heck no! Let's pray the next time I get on eH, it's to tell my success story. Mustang said he noticed the eH commercials don't show interracial couples; maybe we can be the first one.

Geez...I've already gone on a tangent about Mustang....focus, girl, focus....

As you remember, the eH process has 4 stages...first, multiple-choice questions. The second stage is where you exchange your "must-haves and can't stands." For those Sex & the City fans like me, I call the latter the "dealbreakers," i.e. Carrie's smoking was a dealbreaker for Aiden. BTW, I always liked Aiden better than Big.

Anyhoo, there are 10 items of each category...10 musts and 10 dealbreakers. It's amazing how much you learn from these. Things can be going well, I like a guy based on his introductory profile, his multi-choice questions are good, and then BAM! I can't close the match fast enough because of his stage 2 stuff.

What, you ask, could be so revealing?

1) There are some seriously superficial guys out there. When 3 out of 10 musts are about physical appearance, whoa. Must be attractive, must be stylish, must be a supermodel (okay, I made up the 3rd one, but really, people). There's also a dealbreaker where you can say your mate can't be overweight, and I've had about 4 guys use this one. Buh-bye. There's an irony about this overweight one, and again I'll refer to another blog about it. See the blog http://kj4ever.blogspot.com/2006/03/eharmony-hates-fat-people.html. (BTW, viewer discretion advised...this blog curses a lot).

2) On another quirk about the dealbreakers, some of them are really weird. No television junkies, no worriers, no flirts. Why in the world would somebody choose no flirts? Isn't flirting a key element of dating? How am I going to let you know I like you, if I can't flirt? And a dealbreaker that's available is no porn. Now, have I had any guys choose THAT one? Whadda you think? And here's what's odd...there's a dealbreaker available that says no illegal drugs. Duh - obviously. So of course I choose this dealbreaker for me. What's weird is, few guys choose this. I guess they'd rather have a skinny, attractive crackhead.

3) Of course there are nice, real-life, deeper qualities to choose from. Must be affectionate, must have same spirituality as mine, must be kind. No rude people, no infidelity, no racism. Mustang must have someone who wants children (yay) but one of his dealbreakers is punctuality (ahem, not one of my best qualities - ask my coworkers).

4) The funniest must-have quality to me is "must be sexually experienced." Again, I've had about 3 guys choose this one. That takes this big V girl right out of the running. Close match. Funny part is, 1-2 of these guys have asked me to open our match again. How I've thought about scaring the socks off the guys, email them back and say, dude, trust me on this...

As you have learned, there's a lot you can tell about a person from their list of musts and dealbreakers. In fact, it's so revealing that I wish I hadn't closed so many GOBs at first, so that I could have seen their lists. Quite the source of entertainment.

And speaking of GOBs, is there a dealbreaker available that says "must not use Skoal"? Nope. Oh, how I wish there were...that, and "must not spend excessive time with barnyard animals."

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Convertible + Oklahoma wind = bad Easter hair

(beep beep, beep beep, beep beep)
We interrupt this usual blog topic to bring you this message...Happy Easter, everyone!

Easter is my favorite holiday of the year. So many reasons....
1) it coincides with spring, and it seems the whole world is rejoicing.
2) there's not a whole lot of commercialism that dilutes its message (although I guess there are the egg hunts).
3) it's all about starting anew...new Easter dress, new spring, new hope. I always feel much more renewed & energized after Easter than I do on New Year's.
4) Cadbury eggs. 'Nough said.

This Easter has been terrific. I tried to honor Lent and give up fast food. That lasted a week, I think. So Lent is something to work on next year. I think Lent is really cool, and us Baptists are really missing out that we don't celebrate it or Holy Week.

I DID go to Good Friday service, at least. With the date. Hmmm....I need to give him a nickname, so you guys can distinguish between the date (the person) and a date (an event). Let's name him Mustang, because that's what he drives.

OH! Speaking of the Mustang, so he offers to drive us to church Friday night after work. I got dressed up (remember this is only our 3rd weekend together...although it seems like we've known eachother wayyy longer than that). Lemme tell you, I had quality hair. Wore it curly, hairspray, the works. And after he comes to my front door, we walk around the corner, and the car's convertible is down. CRAP. He offers to put the top up, but I don't want to be the high-maintenance girl who whines. So I pull out my hair clip (I now carry these in my purse at all times) and say let's go.

The hair clip is no match against 75 mph driving, Oklahoma wind, and the Kilpatrick Turnpike.

Anyone remember Bridget Jones' Diary, where they show up at the bed & breakfast after driving in his convertible? That's me, walking into Henderson Hills for Good Friday service.

I seriously got the feeling our greeter lady couldn't take her eyes off my hair.
"Hi, welcome to our Good Friday service!"
...eyes wandering toward my forehead....
"Here is your pamphlet that will lead you through the self-guided tour."
...eyes now fixed on my stringy bangs...
"Take your time and we hope you enjoy the service."
....courtesy smile from greeter lady, who is now thinking, bless this girl's heart, she has no idea what her hair looks like...

Today Mustang & I are going to Easter service together. I'm so excited. Will have to bring the tissues; I always cry on Easter Sunday, as he has been forewarned. We're going to the church that we'd been visiting before we met, and we're kinda joking/looking forward to seeing our Singles minister and his reaction to seeing us together. We imagine it's gonna be weird for him, he knowing us separately, asking us to get involved in the new SS class for 20-somethings (which is odd he asked Mustang because he's 31...guess he doesn't look it). We both said we would, but then we haven't been back to church since then. The week that our Singles minister asked us to get involved in the new class, we both had been to SS that day - I went to the 9:30 class, Mustang went to the 11 class. Funny thing is, when our Singles minister talked to us, we each got the feeling he was trying to tell us there were cute dating prospects in the opposing class (i.e. he told me, "yeah, we don't have a good group of young singles built up yet...but we did have several young single guys in the 9:30 class....hang in there, we'll get more"). My thoughts are, that's fine, but I'd just like a group where I can feel welcome studying the Bible together...guys or no guys....

Although my mother would probably insist on there being guys...it brings her great joy to tell friends that I met somebody at church. She's afraid to tell people I met someone on the....GASP!...internet...so saying that we go to the same church is, well, accurate. Technically.

Sending out a little prayer right now that Mustang keeps the top UP today for Easter.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Close match (AKA get the ax)

One of the most interesting parts of eHarmony is closing a match. This is how you tell a person that you're not interested.

As you know, when I first joined eH, I received about 5 matches per day. These are sent from eHarmony; you can't go out looking for them. After I received a match, I'd either immediately email them (if I liked what they had to say) or I'd just let the match sit idly by (this is the destiny of the GOBs). Some of the idle matches would email me (again, mostly GOB).

As I was looking through my matches, I saw there were two options at the bottom of each match: "put on hold" and "close match."

***Lemme make a side note here, and for you grammar-nuts out there like me, this is a prime example of why the English language is so jacked up. At first blush, I thought that close match worked like bookmarking a match - if you're thinking, "hmmm....we have a lot in common; we are a close match!"

So I was thinking that close match was a good thing, but just hadn't been brave enough to use it yet. I assumed put on hold was a bad thing, but truthfully I didn't want to tempt the eH karma and put a bunch of dudes on hold, and then not get any more matches.

I also wondered if there was some etiquette regarding putting a match on hold. Like anyone who knows me could testify, I'm a rule-follower and a people-pleaser. So what'd I do? Of course, I research the eH site to find out what advice they give about holding matches. No luck there, but I did Google the topic, and found this very, very good description. Here it is, courtesy of some other lonely person out there in the eH trenches....http://www.ewooing.com/2005/08/30/closing-off-communication-on-eharmony/

Read and enjoy.

PS - I came home last night to a flower & note taped on my front door. The note apologized for this weekend's weird discussion and said "he's looking forward to our relationship flourishing."
*Sigh*

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I'm alive and posting

Sorry I fell off the planet for the past week. It's been a long ride into this wild frontier called "relationships."

My date that I gushed about earlier is still around...in fact he was in Las Vegas last week and during the hours I spent in front of my computer, I was emailing him. Things were great. Hearts and flowers. My coworkers would testify I was floating on a cloud.

This weekend we saw eachother and I guess we had a DTR (sorority speak...Define the Relationship). It was alright, but weirdness abounded. We're both really freaked out. I told him that I feel like I'm dating myself, and he totally agreed. We both have really strong feelings but the practical sides in us want to pace things out. Ugh. We both over-think things and get wayyyy too introspective when we're tired. And trust me, we're tired. We fell asleep Sunday watching Season 1 of The Office.

Another development during the past week...I told eH to not send me any more matches for the time being (this is a computer setting that I can change if I want). As I alluded to before, I was receiving an average of 5 per day and it was getting way too tough to manage. Plus, I felt it wasn't fair to these boys from Kansas, Arkansas and wherenot to be matched with me when not only a distance is a factor, but now my current relationship is a factor.

Anyhoo, better go...tomorrow I'll post about closing matches, which is one of the most interesting parts of eH.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The photo dilemma

Although things are going extremely well with my date from Saturday, I still feel obligated to give other eH dudes a chance (and have I mentioned the $60 it took to sign up), so today's post will be about photos on eH.

One very cool thing about eH is the high level of security they've built into the system. For example, the entire time you correspond with a match, all correspondence is routed through the eH site. So dudes never have your email address.

They also have it set up where you can post your photo, or you don't have to post it, or (my favorite) you choose to post it at a specific stage in the correspondence. As you know from past posts, there are 4 stages of correspondence; I show my photo on stage 3.

I've noticed several things about photos on eH:
1) Some people out there have GOT to get some new photos made. Outdated is an understatement. Seriously, dude, grab a friend and ask them to take a picture with your camera phone. Sure, if I had a choice, I'd also like to use a picture from 1997 (when I was like three sizes smaller), but that's just not right, is it? And don't post a picture where your eyes are closed. Really.

2) Regarding the security feature (photo will show later), I'd say about half the dudes use it. Which is interesting, because if some guys are courageous enough to IMMEDIATELY show their photo where their eyes are closed, what the heck is out there to make them hesitant? I guess some could have security concerns, like I do...

3) Scum that cut me because I didn't post a photo. The first 1-2 days I was on eH, I didn't have my photo up because I'm old school & I don't have a digital camera. So I scanned a couple of pictures and uploaded them. The very same day I uploaded my pics, I got a message that a guy had cut me because I didn't have a photo (yes, you give people reasons why you cut them...I'll get to that later this week). Well, when somebody cuts you, in turn you have an opportunity to reply to them. So I did, and said I have a photo now, just to show him that I'm not a TECHNOPHOBE (work peeps know what that referenced). Anyway, after I did that, not only did the guy "un-cut" me, he then proceeded to contact me for stage 1!! What a jerk! So I then cut him. Ha. =)

Okay...other topics to discuss in upcoming posts....the concept of cutting matches, how eH matches us lonely people, how stage 2 reveals a lot, and I'll probably goosh on my date some more. =)

Oh! And I finally reached stage 4 with another guy, so we'll see if he proceeds to the infamous OPEN COMMUNICATION. Aaahhhh....

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Maybe I COULD date a guy shorter than me...

So I had a first date last night with a match from eHarmony. Wow, I was so nervous! Especially at dinner.

My first impression: CRAP, HE'S SHORTER THAN ME. I really, really don't like guys to be shorter than me. It's just that I'm not a petite girl myself, and I'd like to feel like a non-Amazon woman, thank you. Have I ever dated a guy shorter than me? No. Of course have I dated much? No. I've always said short is a dealbreaker. Maybe my standards are a little too high (no pun intended)...

But the good news: time FLEW by. We closed down the restaurant (granted, we got there at 8). He's incredibly intelligent, very funny, and talks about God more than I do. And although he's short, he's stocky. Oh, and he has a goatee (ah yeah!).

Granted, there are a few things might be challenging. He's a different race than I am, and although we're both cool with it, we have family/friends who'd probably never say anything outright about it, but would be a little disappointed. Hey, and let's be honest, how many interracial couples do you see in Oklahoma. And, he got over a serious relationship 6 months ago and he mentions her a little more than I'd like. But that may be because he's an open book.

I like him so much, and part of me thinks that the whole scenario...sign up for eH, talk to the first match I had, BAM! found a somebody to date....was way too good to be true. I've already started (even before the date) praying over this. Gonna have to bump up the prayer frequency even more because I didn't think the first date would go so well.

Am I still using eH to talk with other guys? YEAH! I've gotta work that $60. I've advanced to stage 3 on a couple more guys now. And you people are reading this to get the inside scoop on the quirks of eH.

Overall, I think the date was important to both of us to see if the chemistry was there. Obviously we have great conversation, but I know from experience last summer (toothpick guy, for those who remember) that conversation doesn't make up for no spark.

Did we have good chemistry? Oh yeah. So maybe I COULD date a guy shorter than me...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Didn't expect this

Okay, I'm gonna post something that's far from what I expected. It's day 7 of eH, and I have a date tonight. I know it's really fast and the rational side of me keeps thinking, "this is weird" but the other side is thinking that maybe there really IS something to eHarmony.

So this guy & I have been progressing through the 4 stages within eH this week. First you start with fun, multiple-choice questions, then you exchange your must-haves & dealbreakers, then you continue with open-ended questions where the recipient can type lengthy answers. If you pass all 4, you can proceed to the biggie: OPEN COMMUNICATION.

I have now had about 25 matches on eH. Some have progressed to stage 3; most are at stage 1 . My date is the only guy who've I reached OC with. We're now at the stage were we can email eachother at any time - but for security, the emails always go through eH. Thus, he never has my real email address.

We exchanged a series of emails last night, and after a while, he suggested it'd be easier to call eachother. HOURS later in our phone conversation, we decided that we should meet. He's going out of town for a week and we were both too excited to wait until he gets back.

I know - it sounds so crazy and trust me, this is really out of character. Be assured we're going to a public place and my family knows I'm going.

But here's why I was okay with meeting already: we have so much in common that it's downright scary. We WORK within a mile from eachother, we LIVE within a mile from eachother, we go to the same church! We have actually visited the same singles Sunday School class, but just on opposite weeks. And if you're skeptical if that church thing is really true (I was), he could name people in the class and describe what they looked like.

So tonight I'm going to my first date in 7 months. I'm so nervous, but I also can't wait to meet him.