Vote for love

"If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around." — Love Actually
“If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.” — Love Actually

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me … nothing, because I was still single.

But my single status isn’t due to lack of interest—in fact, thanks to eHarmony, I went on more first dates in the last three months of 2014 than I had IN TOTAL in the past three years!

January is the busiest time of year for eHarmony as thousands of singletons across the country take stock after another Christmas spent single and answering annoying questions from nosy family members and finally take the plunge and jump online in a quest to find love. A quick round up of a few friends who are also on eH has revealed a definite spike in interest over the past few days.

For the past 12 weeks, I have revealed my inner Carrie Bradshaw and, at times, Bridget Jones as I stumbled and strutted through the world of online dating.

I had declared it my summer of love and while I haven’t yet met ‘the One’, summer is far from over and I’d recommend anyone who is single give eHarmony a go—I know at least two married couples who met on eHarmony, and I have had a great time on all of my dates so far.

Each morning I’d wake up to find that eHarmony’s compatibility matchers had been working behind the scenes to find members best suited to my likes/dislikes, values and personality and a handful of new matches were delivered straight to my inbox each day.

In the first few days I was like a kid on Christmas morning each time my phone beeped with news of a potential suitor—eagerly awaiting to see what goodies had been delivered.

And sure, there were a few that immediately went on the “return” pile, but there were others that I immediately decided I’d like to get to know.

With limited experience using online dating sites, I did get overwhelmed by the interest and, within a few days, was ready to hurl my phone out the window as mum and I drove back down the Bruce Highway after a mini-break in Noosa.

Looking back, this could have had something to do with the fact I’d spent years smugly telling everyone who asked, that my single status was due to a man drought; that all the single men had fled the city chasing jobs in the mines.

I wasn’t being picky. I wasn’t deliberately sabotaging situations. It wasn’t my fault. There were no men.

Turns out that theory may have been total bollocks because suddenly, in less time than it takes me to whip off my bra at the end of a day, I had men practically knocking on my door.

Despite my previous misgivings about online dating as a whole, eHarmony had served up a veritable feast of good men.

There were young ones and old ones, tall ones and short ones. Some were from around the corner, others from the north and south coasts. There were lawyers and doctors, carpenters and welders and even the occasional unemployed student or part-time dishwasher.

And while some were fly-in, fly out while working at the mines—most lived within a 100km radius of my house.

Yes there were a few weirdos, but you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.

I answered questions, sent questions, received emails and, eventually, handed over my phone number. I was wooed and not quite wooed. I was surprised and, at times, amused.

I went on dates. Good dates. I laughed and flirted and shared first kisses.

I also loved the chance to share my tips and tricks, from how to write your profile; choose profile photos; dress for a date; and break up; to how to see the lighter side of dating; tackle online dating fatigue; and navigate a date. I loved hearing and sharing people’s bad date stories (because we all have them!), revealed my top date ideas for Brisbane and went on THAT SECOND DATE.

I discovered, with the help of eHarmony’s Dating and Relationship Expert Melanie Schilling what values are important to me (family, an adventurous spirit, respect) and that that some people are worth a deeper look.

Other benefits I noticed include:

Greater access to people
When you take into consideration the amount of time I spent at work, or at home, the only real time I come into contact with ‘new’ people is when I’m at Coles. And to be honest, I’m not walking around with a bunch of bananas in my basket trying to pick up. So to be able to possibly access hundreds of people is a real eye opener. I will admit that when I said I’d dated every guy in Brisbane—or at least his friend or cousin—I was wrong.

Meeting ‘new’ people
Not only did I meet new people, but I met NEW people—people from different backgrounds, different countries, different occupations. I enjoyed dates with an engineer; a project manager; a doctor; someone from the Gold Coast; someone from the Sunshine Coast; an Englishman who had just moved out from England; and a country boy turned city slicker. And that’s just the ones I met; when it came to Q&As and eH mail, there were a few more—carpenters, lawyers, welders, business owners and the list goes on.

Forget hanging out, it’s time for a proper date
There are plenty of online dating apps/websites to choose from, but what seemed to stand out with eHarmony was that people seemed a little more serious about the process and the possible outcome. Instead of random hook ups and “hanging out”, everyone I caught up with organised a proper date—even if it was something as casual as a walk along the Brisbane River after work, or as fancy as dinner at Pearl Cafe. There was none of the ‘let’s just hang out or come over watch a DVD in the hope in ends up in nudity’ suggestions. Real, proper dates. Mostly involving dinner and drinks … hello, adulthood.

You know where people stand
It’s fair to say that most people on eHarmony are serious about finding love. Unlike other sites and apps, joining up with eHarmony requires a commitment—not only does it cost money, but you need to fill in a questionnaire about who/what you’re looking for in a relationship and what values and qualities are important to you, so joining up isn’t really something you do on a ‘I’m drunk on a night out with mates’ whim. You can be fairly certain that everyone you meet on there is single and looking, which is great because it removes a lot of the ambiguity you face when you meet someone at a bar or party. (And there’s nothing worse than meeting someone, deciding you really like them and then finding out two weeks down the track that they have got a partner or are married!)

So, while I’m wrapping up this series still single … it’s not the end; I’ll be taking my dating adventures over to the eHarmony blog, so you can drop by and see what I’m up to and what advice, tips and tricks I’ve got to share. There’s also some other great singles on there, whose stories are definitely worth a read!

And if you’re keen to give it a go yourself … from now until the end of January, eHarmony are offering Blonde Ambition readers a chance to sign up for $29.95/month (that’s a saving of more than 50 per cent!). Click here to find out more.

Long live love.

This post was brought to you by eHarmony. Please support the brands that support this blog (and you might just find love!).

Editor’s Note: A huge thanks to Flowerlovers for letting me borrow their stunning array of flowers for my backdrop and to the lovely Bronte at Brisbane Market Flowers for lending me their giant love balloon! Both florists are located at Brisbane Flower Market, Sherwood Road, Rocklea.

One Comment

  1. Rachael Slorach

    Gorgeous photo Brooke, white flowers are my Favourite!! Thanks for pouring your heart out, I’ve really enjoyed this dating series. All the very best on the eHarmony website. Xx


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