A few months ago, I decided to join eHarmony.com for the second time. I had previously signed up over 3 years ago, but was “rejected due to no compatible matches being available”. They further stated, “…this[rejection] happens to about 20% of applicants…”. Luckily I was let in this time, for better or for worse. To my surprise, I’ve been matched 812 times so far, which I found very encouraging. I’m further emboldened by the fact that I answered the entire eHarmony.com questionnaire truthfully, including questions that probed into my state of mind and daily activities.
I wonder, however, if eHarmony.com would actually work for people with mental illness like me. Did my non-Borderline Personality part of my psyche somehow “fool” the eHarmony.com process, lining up 812 unsuspecting women who think I’m normal? Is the science behind eHarmony.com advanced enough to detect people with depression/mental illness after interpreting the questionnaire; or do they only focus on Meyer-Briggs style personality profiles?
As I stated above, I made sure to answer EVERY question honestly, including one that asked whether or not I feel “…sometimes depressed”. Then, after filling out my profile and including a few basic pictures, I also did the “Premium Personality” test, just to be fair to any women who actually might want to get to know me. The results weren’t surprising: I’m introverted, take care of myself most of the time ahead of others, can be passionate or judging, not very social, only have a handful of friends, etc. Overall, I’d say this assessment painted the picture of a narcissistic person, not a BPD person.
I suppose if I had to choose, I’d rather be narcissistic than BPD, but I really hate the “narcissistic” label. I feel like it implies I spend half my day looking at myself in the mirror, could care less about other people, and put my own needs ahead of everyone else’s. In reality, this characterization isn’t that accurate. It’s true that I’m definitely self involved, but not the point that I’m so selfish that I exclude the feelings and needs of others entirely. I’d like to think of myself as someone who is dependable and helpful, not off-putting and callously uninterested in others.
As eHarmony.com stated in their profile results, I believe that “If everyone took care of themselves, the world would be a much better place”. This is rather ironic. On one hand I am plenty capable of taking care of my daily needs and can meet all my financial obligations. On the other, I “can’t take care of myself” when it comes to my BPD: I need psychological counseling, medication, and an environment that validates me except when I’m out of line.
Does all that mumbo-jumbo get explained by eHarmony to my matches, or do the women have to risk being hurt and give me a try?
To be sure, I’d never enter a relationship – from internet dating or otherwise – with the intention to hurt someone because I’m mad at the world. In reality, I already have a few ways of venting my anger, most of which are productive. Practically speaking however, any hurt, inconsistency, anger, emotional volatility, etc. in a new relationship would almost certainly come from me. Is eHarmony.com trying to make a quick buck, or are they simply unaware that my matches might come to hate me and regret the fact they ever invested a few months of their lives getting to know me?
They say you have to risk being hurt to find love. You have to open yourself up and be emotionally vulnerable in order to gain the affections of others who do the same for you. This all makes sense in writing, but not when one has to factor BPD into the equation.
Maybe my BPD symptoms have improved – maybe they have not. In any event, if I actually go out on an eHarmony date, I hope that I’ll be 100% honest and genuine with my potential partner, showing them the bad the comes with the good in me.
Good luck to others trying internet dating!