I was sitting on my couch last night, watching a crappy movie on Comedy Central, when a familiar voice came on the TV. I looked up and felt queasy. It’s the guy I dated who caused me to stop dating altogether for the past five months. I wanted to finish his sentence with, “…it’s perfect for making a girl feel really wretched about herself.” At least he was alone in the commercial and not talking about his upcoming nuptials.I should mention that when I met him, I thought he was great. I could see myself with him long-term, which hadn’t happened in years. He was attractive, sarcastic, and a nerd pretending to be a bad boy. But the first warning sign was that he lied about his age on his profile, claiming to be in his late 20s when he was really in his mid 30s. I didn’t actually care about his age, but should have realized that the fact that a man would lie about it was a little strange. And somewhere between our first date and our third, I ran into him at a bar and he was on another eHarmony date. We had spent something like four hours making out just a few days prior and he was already with another girl. But having been on dating sites for a while myself, I understand the serial dating thing and how it’s hard to commit to one person when you might be emailing several. But then he sent the other girl home to hang out with me! I was flattered, while being seriously offended for the other girl. In retrospect, she probably dodged a bullet, but I’m sure she didn’t feel great about the situation.
We went on several more dates and I was trying really hard, which I almost never do. I dressed up in cute little outfits and wore heels on dates. I took him to Umami Burger, one of my favorite places, and we shared our meals and talked about our families. He comforted me through a thyroid cancer scare, even taking me and my best friend to a diner after the hospital.
And then he started to get a cold, which is obviously not a dealbreaker. I brought him soup and oranges and vitamin gummies. But his cold lasted an obscenely long time because he was convinced that he could cure it by eating nothing but vodka and raw garlic to kill the germs. Our make-out sessions became less frequent because his garlic breath made me gaggy. And our intimacy stopped completely because he was “donating sperm,” but had to keep missing appointments because he was sick. I was starting to realize that he might be the type of guy that I think I should be with, but he was not necessarily the guy I wanted to be with. Our relationship fizzled out after that.
That is, until I received an email from him which picked apart every aspect of my life. He took stabs at what I do for a living, where I live now, and my personality. He said that I talked like I was in a “Michael Cera movie” and was pissing on my life by being negative. He also said that my “unfiltered Olivia web persona is like a freaking mine field for a guy trying to get to know you.” I kind of thought that the things that made me who I am were what he was attracted to? Without all of that, I am just a physical shell, right?
I did take the last part to heart and try to make my internet persona slightly less revealing. But I cried when I read this email. For days. And then I forwarded it to all my friends and mother with a “WTF?!” subject line and enjoyed when they had similar flabbergasted responses. I asked him what his intentions were in sending me such a vindictive email, after writing but not sending the revenge one. He kind of apologized for how it came off, claiming he was trying to be funny by writing it “in a style/voice that I thought you might laugh at,” but he didn’t apologize for the content. Or for trying to make me feel shame for everything I have spent the past 27 years becoming.
I guess it’s comforting to know that eHarmony does use real members instead of actors in their commercials. But if this is the cream of their crop, maybe something is wrong? Maybe they should have hit up a few of the girls he’s been on dates with to see if he’s a sociopath or anything?
And I hope that if any of your relationships end badly, your ex doesn’t show up in an eHarmony commercial as a constant reminder of what “got away.”