Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


eHarmony Wrote Back: Discrimination or Not?

posted by Beyond Blue

The other night I was looking for an article when I came across this response to my post “Dear God: Why E-Harmony Has Got It Wrong” where I explained that I thought it was unfair that eHarmony includes depression among its character flaws, aspects of a person that you won’t tolerate. It got me thinking, Why not cancer? Why not diabetes? I grow impatient and annoyed when I see depression set aside as a weakness rather than an illness.

At any rate, I laughed at loud when I discovered feedback regarding my post from eHarmony,an “unofficial, comprehensive, and commercial-free guide to eHarmony with news, opinion, discussions, and advice” (to get there click here).

Here it is:

Mental Health columnist Therese L Borchard wrote to God yesterday saying she is angry that eHarmony lets its members screen out people with depression and mood disorders. 

… that’s what made me so angry about the E-harmony selection process (not that I’m looking! I swear!): I feel like it’s so hard to love myself and accept myself for who I am, and then along comes E-Harmony with its list of negatives-obesity, laziness, shortness, depression-and I fall back into the trap of thinking I am unlovable because I suffer from a mood disorder that on some days, YES, makes me feel like a victim!
But not with you, God. I know you love me as I am-and would totally ignore all the boxes on E-Harmony because they absolutely don’t matter. Boy, did Jesus nail down the lesson on judging with his disciples.

Read the rest of her opinion, dated 23 June 2008

Is it fair that eHarmony decides and denies some wonderful relationships from forming? Why DO we have depression, self-pity, laziness, hypochondria, pessimism and recklessness among our Can’t Stand lists? What do we say about eHarmony REQUIRING us to pick ten? Will we, one day, tell our long-term partner, “Sorry you’ve become sick of self-pity, I can’t be with you anymore (Do you remember my Can’t Stand list when we met?)”? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Here are some of the comments:

SingleGuyInNY wrote: 

From the standpoint of shopping for a potential partner, the only difference between “the checkbox” and seeing something that you don’t like once the relationship has started is only time. Even with the checkbox, a person may not realize that they are “that way” and you may still have to weed it out later on. It’s just a screening tool. I know eHarmony only states we pick our “top ten” but I think that most still mentally pick more than that and screen out for other attributes once they get to know someone although the ones you keep in your head tend to be less of a deal-breaker.

Shar wrote:

It’s called a preference Theresa … and we are all allowed to have them. There are certain things that I “can’t stand” and certain things that I “must have”. There are a great many more things that I ready, willing and able to negotiate on. You don’t get to judge anyone for having reasonable preferences and then whine on BeliefNet that others are judging you because of your mental state. Per your own words, you are feel like a “victim” because you suffer from a “mood disorder”. That victim mentality isn’t attractive either Theresa, and that’s another box that an eHarmony member has the option of checking. We all have areas in which we fall short of perfection … and other people have the right to choose to either be matched or not be matched with us based upon their tolerance of these traits. I have all the compassion in the world for someone who is dealing with depression …. but you don’t get to make the decision me (or for other people) on what I (or they) may or may not find acceptable.

To read more Beyond Blue, go to www.beliefnet.com/beyondblue, and to get to Group Beyond Blue, a support group at Beliefnet Community, click here.



  • Melzoom

    here is what i posted over there, Therese
    =========================
    “Sorry you’ve become sick of self pity”?
    Why is depression (a medical issue) linked in with pessimism, narcissism, recklessness, and hypocondriasis?
    I know many people who are pessimists who aren’t the least bit down on themselves. I know a lot of people who are full of themselves who most certainly not depressed. Hm…an awful lot of thrill seekers and poor decision makers who do not have a chemical imbalance.
    Can we please place a moratorium on the common misconception that ‘depression’ is self-pity or internalized anger or mother/father issues?
    There are many people diagnosed with depression (uni-polar or bi-polar) who are proactive with their medical treatment plans. These people are not victims any more than those with diabetes are victims of their pancreas or someone with a broken leg is a victim of their bones.
    Depression is a serious medical condition, treatable but not always curable, and not a sign of moral failure or ineptitude.
    Oh, and is “uncompassionate” and “ignorant” also available as a choice in the “Can’t Stand” section…

  • Larry Parker

    MY TWO CENTS:
    People with mental illness are “victims” only to the extent that they accept the outrageous discrimination of society against them (in America and elsewhere). I sure as hell don’t.
    But while other people — who, like us, want and deserve social and romantic companionship — have problems and illnesses, we are nevertheless singled out. Look at the very idioms of our language — “the crazy aunt locked up in the attic.”
    The majority of people want those with mental illness locked up, or at least invisible, IMO because of their fear they might one day be among them.
    And they might be right, in a way.
    Heaven forfend you check the “no” button for mental illness and then one day develop Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s or another severe form of dementia. Will the life partner you met on eHarmony care for you with all their heart and soul — or will he/she be as accepting of you as you were of others with similar conditions so many years ago?

  • Larry Parker

    This discussion is crackling, folks. Click on Therese’s link for a look-see!

  • Ovidia

    Ok … so remind me again.
    e-harmony rejected me.
    Does that mean I am more or less loveable than I think (or don’t think)I am?
    Sigh.

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