Last year I had several friends give me a pathetic, sympathetic look and say “why don’t you try online dating?” Yeah, no thanks. I seem to have no problem finding men live and in person at the grocery store or a local wine bar who are insecure, narcissistic and have extremely unhealthy relationships with their mothers which for the record, is SO much more disturbing after their 40th birthday. I don’t need to search for any on the internet. Just sayin’.
But one night, after a few glasses of my favorite Chilean Malbec and an entire bar of dark chocolate, I caved. I let my friend tell me her incredible story of finding her husband on eHarmony. And unfortunately she wasn’t the first. I have five, yes FIVE friends who have found “the one” courtesy of this guy:
I spent over an hour filling out the longest questionnaire EVER. I think moving to a foreign country took less paperwork. I finished, took the last sip of my wine and pushed the submit button. The system seemed to be taking a rather long time to think. My friend assured me that it was taking awhile because they were probably finding several men who I would have to choose from. And then the screen changed and a simple message flashed in front of me:
“Unfortunately, we are not able to make our profiles work for you. Our matching model could not accurately predict with whom you would be best matched. This occurs for about 3% of potential users, so you simply will not benefit from our service. We hope that you understand, and we regret our inability to provide service for you at this time.”
O.M.G. SERIOUSLY?!?! “Yes, I’m sorry, we are rejecting you because we cannot find anyone in the ENTIRE flippin’ world who would want to put up with you. Keep trying. Oh, and you should probably pray more.”
I sat there dumbfounded. And then I looked at my friend and we laughed. I mean we really laughed; jaws aching, stomachs in knots, tears streaming down my face. This is not a joke. This really should not have come as a shock to me. I’m not average and don’t fit into categories or am easily labeled. And I’ve come to appreciate that about myself. And the questions that followed only confirmed this. I didn’t get upset nor did my self-esteem suffer.
I wanted to know where the other 3% were! I was actually ok with those odds. At least there was a percentage. If 3% of the world was even remotely like me, then where the hell were those men? A flash of brilliance hit me. Maybe there needs to be a website, a service for all of us “rejects”! Well after a quick Google search I found that there is in fact a company who caters specifically to those who did not qualify to be part of eHarmony. Awesome.
As funny as this experience was, it did cause me to do some thinking. Why do we put limits or bounds on love? Does there have to be a checklist? Am I really ok with a set formula or way of calculating compatibility? Why is there a right and a wrong answer to what we need or what we want in someone? And why were the majority of the questions about the person I wanted to find and not about who I am and want to offer to someone else?? This is about two people right?
Months ago I threw out my “list”. You know what I’m talking about because you have one too. :-) It’s the list we all make for the person we believe will make us happy. We write down things like attractive, has a good sense of humor, faithful, loves children and small animals, can play guitar and cook more than soup. But here’s the problem….it’s possible for more than one person to be all of those things. I know because I thought I had found someone I wanted to be with earlier this year because when I read through my list, he had all of the qualities I was looking for and more. That briefly created a false sense of comfort. God quickly spoke to me: This is not the man I have for you. He may have met all of YOUR standards, but he doesn’t meet mine. So then began a new journey for me. I threw out my list. Actually I burned it. I watched the page of my journal go up in flames and felt relief. God desires so much more for me than I want for myself. I don’t want to limit God by providing a list of qualities that may be good but not complete.
I’m confident that the man God has for me will fall in love with the wildly, apologetically authentic spirit in me that others have only tried to tame. He hopefully will be kind, good-hearted, loves children and dogs (and hates cats), runs after Jesus and owns a pair of cowboy boots. But I pray he doesn’t make any list. I pray he is so much more than this. Someone only God sees fit to deal with me until death (that’s where I believe the 3% comes into play)
I still believe love has no bounds. I trust that this isn’t a formula, a simple set of rules or even a picture I can dream up in my mind. I reject the idea that any of this is not from God and God alone. He’s the only one I want to figure this out, to search and choose for me. And I take comfort when He whispers “I know your heart.”
Oh, and for all of those men who are searching on eHarmony, here’s a real winner for ya. AND she loves cats, all cats. She wants to hug them more than she wants to hug you. But if you’re alright with that, then I’d like to introduce you to Debbie