So what’s left is the online option.
I tried “Are You Interested?” which is tied into my Facebook account. After a series of unsatisfying online chats with a gentleman who bragged about his adventures with Russian women, I grew uninterested.
I tried Zoosk and even ponied up the cash so I could communicate by email with my “matches”. As it turns out what women have been saying about men for centuries about men not communicating is even truer in the 50 and over set. Oh, they’ll “wink” at you, as if that provides some sort of thrill, but getting past that seems to be a major effort. Maybe they are just tired from all that winking.
It was time to get serious here, as at this rate I’d be sixty before I ever got a date. So I went for the gold and applied to EHarmony, figuring that if men had to plunk down some real money they might be more interested making an effort to date. Eharmony is supposed to match you on 29 dimensions of compatibility. Now what these levels are, they don’t exactly say though one answer on a EHarmony forum lists them.
However, despite their 29 dimensions of compatibility, I was baffled by the choices of men offered to me in the “daily matches”. I wondered how on earth EHarmony’s matching algorithm thought we shared anything in common, especially the on obstreperousness which despite the dictionary meaning they assign the meaning of “being hard to please”. Judging from the total lack of response to my profile these people were harder to please than eHarmony thought.
eHarmony and I had a very short lived affair. After a month I felt that they got more out of the relationship than me. Fortunately OKCupid sent me a reminder that I had an account with them. With OKCupid being within my price range, totally free, I mosied on over and set up my previously incomplete profile. I’m having a little more fun with OKCupid, who has their own compatibility algorithm that seems to hit on more cylinders than eHarmony. Now here is the curious part about OKCupid. Some of my regular readers may remember a year or so back I got involved doing the writing on the website for with the people who started Starlinked, a date matching service who’s date matching was based on astrology. Lo and behold, when I went back to Starlinked to look over the pieces I did for them I was automatically directed to OKCupid. One wonders if Kurt Grandis’s algorithm survived in whole or part at OKCupid. However, OKCupid expands on whatever original algorithm was used by throwing the results of quizzes and match questions.
The kicker to all this is that while date matching seems like a promising way to meet someone, there are still things that elude the process. One of them is chemistry, that magical component that is only felt by sniffing each other’s pheromones. The other is what I believe is a fundamental flaw in the assumptions of date matching services.
And That Flaw Is
When a site like EHarmony or OkCupid matches someone, the assumption is the more someone matches your attitudes the more compatible you are. Unfortunately, this assumption doesn’t work in practice as it does in theory. Here is my thinking why.
The Mirror of Our Soul
When a relationship astrologer looks at the charts of two clients there are a wealth of astrological clues that show how people get on together. The entire subject is much to complex to go into detail but let’s look at the most common factors that astrologers consider.
First we look at the chart of each individual, the position of the planets at the time you were born. Again a complex subject, but our premise here is that each individual is unique, each have special talents and each has a particular set of challenges to work on. All of this is in the chart and the astrologer assesses these factors. While there are no value judgments, it is fair to say that no one is perfect.
Then we compare the charts of each individual in the relationship and we look at the common things, whether the individual’s attitudes are similar or dissimilar on a general attitude towards life, their emotional outlooks, value systems (money, love), family (take it or leave it), philosophical attitudes and most of all the type of person that turns us on. Astrologers have very specific things to look at in this regard. We look at the position of the planet Venus, which shows us who and what we love, the planet Mars to show us the type of person that turns us on sexually, the fifth house, the romance sector, and the seventh house, the partnership sector of our charts and any planets that sit in either the fifth and seventh house. But here’s the thing, the strange immutable truth is that even if a person was completely compatible with all these things, if there are challenges in your chart regarding these issues, your relationship will be challenged as well.
Let’s take a hypothetical. Let’s say you come from a conservative family (the zodiac sign of Capricorn on the 4th house of the family) who has work really hard to instill these values in your. Your family really likes Suzie Q or Johnny Boy, really nice kids from a good home and think it would be swell it you two hook up. But you, think Suzie Q or Johnny Boy is really very boring and you bring home the local version of the bad boy or bad girl because that is what turns you on (Venus in tension or challenge aspect to Uranus). Your parents object but you persist, but eventually danger boy or girl breaks your heart. Well what did you expect? You are the one with the challenge to your value systems and you had to learn the hard way.
Esoteric astrologers will tell you that any relationship is a mirror at which you look at yourself. If you can’t get along with yourself and reconcile your challenges with yourself how do expect to get along with another person?
Personally, I’m a Big Believer Of:
Because I believe so strongly that relationships exist to help us learn about ourselves, and I do have a belief in reincarnation, I feel we all have contracts set up before we get here for the major relationships in our lives. When we meet that person, there is a sense of recognition, or sparks fly, or something happens that tells our soul, yes, I am meant to be with that person.
Is There a Place Then for Date Matching Services?
Think of it as a party. You get to meet a whole bunch of people you normally wouldn’t, so you have some opportunities that normally you wouldn’t have. But just like any party, it is a starting place. My thinking right now is that these services provide a special set of challenges because they seem to provide some false sense that they are a supermarket for finding the right person. While the matching algorithms sort the wheat from the chaff, matching algorithms, personal profiles, and matching questions only reveal a part of the person. You have to do the rest of the work of making the effort to contract people, converse with them, and set up dates with them to make online date matching work for you.
One thing I’m sure of. Online date matching isn’t going to replace the services of a good relationship astrologer. Whew!
Photo published under a Creative Commons license from Flickr.
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