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I am living proof of the disasters that can happen if you don’t do online dating right.

I’m also a living proof of what can happen if you do.

It won’t be news to regular readers that I met my husband online.  I did, however, have to churn through a lot of let’s say chaff…before I got to the wheat.  The men I met online dating were a motley crew.  Men with Gandalf-style hair (fine, if you’re into fantasy figures and Middle Earth.  I am not).  A man who wore a robe.  An actual robe.  A man who refused to wear shoes.  A man who spoke exclusively in rhyming couplets.

I made my choices as to who I should date online based on what I considered the following expert criteria:

Is he interesting?  “Interesting” had a wide-ranging definition.  Anything from “an interesting job” to “interesting trousers”.

Does he want to change the world?  Note that it didn’t matter what he wanted to change, exactly, as long as he had a mission, a crusade.

Does he have an intriguing name or nationality?  Well, clearly, people from ex-Communist of war-torn countries are much more worthy of a relationship than boring Westerners.  (Yes.  Yes I did genuinely believe that.)

Part of this shambles of a dating criteria was not knowing what drove me, and not really understanding what I was looking for.  Because, guess what, readers?  When it comes to someone you want to be with for life, you need more than “interesting” to keep you together.

We spend a lot of time on Any Other Woman taking about core values, a shared ethos, and the process of finding out who you are.  It’s impossible to quantify exactly what makes people click.  My husband is different to me in almost every  conceivable way on the surface but…something’s held us together.  We share the same values.  It’s what’s inside that’s kept us together so far.  And I met him at 23.  When I was 23 I could barely even dress myself, let alone tell you what drove me, what I felt inside, what I needed from a partner to complement me, challenge me, understand me.

That’s the crucial thing.  You just don’t always know what you want, what you need.

And that’s where eHarmony comes in.

Dating shouldn’t be a numbers game.  It should be about fewer, better dates”, they say.  And that’s a breath of fresh air.  (Where was that nugget of wisdom before I met Gandalf-man?)

When eHarmony contacted us, we went into an excited tailspin.  Because frankly?  When it comes to internet dating, eHarmony’s ethos is unlike anything else in the online dating sphere.  We talk so much about who we are on this blog, and coming to terms with that, and being happy, even proud of that.  eHarmony uses a  “Compatibility Matching System”  to find out who you are, what you want, and what drives you.  It then matches you with like-minded singles based on  what they call “key dimensions of compatibility”. These are the things that really matter when it comes to dating, such as humour, intelligence and passion.  And the things that matter when it comes to laying the foundation for a long-term relationship, like character, intellect and values.

Gone are the days where you have to browse for hours through seemingly endless profiles where everyone describes themselves as the same thing.  Because we are not the same.  No-one is.  And that’s what eHarmony gets.  That’s what it celebrates.  They send your compatible matches to you, helping you connect with like-minded people that are looking for a relationship.  And when you do go on that all-important first date, they’ve done the hard work for you.  You’ll know that the person you’re meeting shares your values, that you have similar interests, that you’ve got the best possible start to a relationship.

eHarmony works with you, whoever you are.  There’s dating for the singles, for those in a relationship who think they deserve more, for the over 40s, for you whatever your age, background or beliefs.

So, to all our single readers who think they might want something more…what are you waiting for?  Go look, explore, and sign up.  And if you do decide to make a go of it with someone you meet through eHarmony, please, please, tell us about it, and what difference it made to you.

Good luck!

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3 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Anita
    Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m really sorry to say this, but eHarmony is the one dating website I will not use. Why? Because if you state you’re divorced, they ask to see a copy of your divorce certificate before they’ll let you join. None of the other dating websites do this. If that’s not discriminatory, I don’t know what is.

    • Peridot
      Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      I kind of get this though – my mother found out that my dad had been portraying himself as a childless widower online and some poor woman was having quite a correspondence with him, believing him to be someone he quite patently was not. We, erm, disabused her of the story she’d been fed (I *may* have hacked into his email). And now he’s divorced.

      • Anita
        Posted December 20, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        Peridot, that’s obviously awful, but how would it have been different if your dad had been doing exactly what he was doing but he and your mum happened NOT to be married? If they’d been cohabiting for years and he had kids and was still feeding the same story to women online, it would be just as bad wouldn’t it – both for your mum and the other woman?

        My point is that on dating websites single people don’t have to prove their single-ness so why should divorced people have to prove their divorced-ness? If that makes sense. I think it’s actually encouraging divorced people to lie about their status which is surely counterproductive in itself.

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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