I joined Great Expectations first because I wasn't satisfied with the results I was getting with more conventional services (the typical profile, at least for a female member, did not provide me with much insight into either character or interests to establish if there was much potential for me to develop anything more than a casual relationship with anyone I might meet, and I was busy enough that I found the effort necessary to "separate the wheat from the chafe" too time-consuming) and second, the service touted that it catered to professional people by doing much of the "leg-work" of identifying common interests and values beforehand.
While I baulked at the idea of paying a $3400 membership fee, I also felt that the same would be reasonable if the service delivered on its promises. I also didn't like that on top of that membership fee, I had to pay nearly a $30 monthly maintenance fee.
I was told right off the bat that there were several female members known to the staff, who had, after all, met all the members face-to-face and chatted with them to find out their likes, dislikes, etc., who were "perfect" for me, but even after I joined, I was never provided any further details, essentially being "left to my own devices". As I had some fairly specific criteria with regards to both personality and interests, though I was willing to "deviate" from the same, that I did not receive immediate "hands-on" assistance did not particularly bother me, but I was quite annoyed that I did not have the means to screen female members according to that criteria. When I complained about the same, the response I got was "you can get that kind of information by watching the lady's video interview". So much for my not having to do any "grunt work".
For the first two months I was a member, I "saw" only two women whose profile appealed to me, i.e., indicated we shared similar values or interests, but one never responded to my first and only contact and the other said she wasn't interested. I seriously considered putting a stop on the payments of my monthly maintenance fee (I didn't feel I had sufficient ethical grounds to demand even a partial refund of my membership fee).
In the third month, I received a call telling me that a female member had expressed to the staff interest in me but also some reservations to the effect "I don't think I stand a chance with him", which they then assured her she did. Finally, or so I thought, the hands-on involvement by the staff that I had expected to get.
This woman told me almost immediately that she had been twice married and divorced from men who had been abusive, so it cam as not surprise to me tha she had some "trust issues" with men, but she seemed to be both quite intelligent and have values very similiar to mine, both very important to me, to the point I was willing to help her work through those issues. Initially I was a little concerned that we didn't seem to share many interests based upon both what she had written about herself and said in her video interview, but as I have already noted, I was open to "deviating" from my "wish list". Chatting with her about those concerns, she said that she was indeed interested in a number of the things I had specifically mentioned in my own profile, but that the staff at Great Expectation had told her her profile was too long and to shorten it. When she would not, they cut about 75% of what she had written themselves.
She spoke of wanting to take her time, at least a year, to get to know me, and I had no problem with that--here was a beautiful woman who had most of the characteristics I found appealing, even to the point of seeming to go out of her way to set herself up as a "straight lady" for my humor which most of the people I know will quickly tell me tends to "put off people"! She would even get angry with me when she didn't think my retort to her lead wasn't funny enough!
As I hadn't found any other female member appealing to me, i.e., would be unlikely to resume using the membership, and had only paid for 1 year, i.e., even if we broke up before I had been seeing her a full year, my membership was likely to have expired and I saw this relationship having enough potential that I wasn't interested in dating other women at the same time, after 2 months, I informed the Great Expectation staff of my intentions to resign my membership, something the contract had said could be done, but I was told I could not do so. As I provide "support services" to attorneys, I knew better and told the staff such at which point I was then told I should not "burn my bridges" behind me, but my request would be honored. However, the maintenance fee continued to be taken from my checking account and it took 3 months to get it stopped, but with the stipulation that the stop would be temporary, for only 2 months, at which point the staff would confer with me to make certain that I had not changed my mind. That two months has long expired and I am still "waiting" for that follow-up call.
I have also broken up with the lady. There was much about her behavior that bothered me from the moment we began to date that I attributed to her "trust issues" and expected to dissipate as we continued to date, but they became both more extreme and less stuble the longer we dated, and yet other behavior that should have bothered me because of "inconsistency" with her "trust issues" but did not because I tend to believe the best about people until and unless they prove me wrong.
This woman ultimately revealed herself in not just my opinion, but that of several friends who met her, to be severely disturbed emotionally, accusing me of doing or saying things that never happened and showing a short fuse over the most trivial of things, such as my purchasing the wrong size package of bubble gum for her. While Great Expectations could not be expected to be aware of the severity of her problems, it nevertheless should have been aware she had such problems because this woman told me she had repeatedly complained to Great Expectation of several male members trying to rape her, but Great Expectations never took any disciplinary actions against them and one was even continuing to contact her! I find myself wondering if Great Expectations had not encouraged her to contact me thinking I might get her to "shut up" finally.
Great Expectations, particularly to women, touts that it runs criminal records check on all members, but at least here in Virginia, that means little more than whether a person has ever been charged with a "sex crime" or failed to pay Court-ordered alimony or child-support. Certainly such things should be a concern for anyone when it comes to dating, but it stops far short of providing the reassurances Great Expectations implies.
In short, I found Great Expectations to be a joke--on me.
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