Week 40: Matchmaking I
Second things second: what are people who make matches — like, the kind you use to light candles — called? Also matchmakers?
And finally: I’m an Internet Yente. I matchmake. I am the outsourced receptacle of people’s dating lives.
Since you’re curious: I work for a matchmaking company. Clients sign up, and the operations team dispatches each one of them to one of many, many matchmakers. I should mention that it’s blind — clients don’t see pictures, nor do they receive names. I’ve been doing this, part-time, for several months.
And I have a lot of thoughts about it.
Thought #1: I really value that, by investing in a matchmaking service, my clients are intentional about prioritizing their dating lives. I am a strong advocate for prioritization (and also a poor example of it in 2018: I’m spread as thin as a crêpe right now) because it means creating a pecking order of what’s important. While a pecking order means we do have to let some things go, it also means we can find clarity about what it is we want most dearly…and fully say YES to it.
I adore when folks back up what they say their priorities are with our good friend…ACTION! Action, action, action — even if it’s outsourced action. I admire this intentionality in every single one of my clients.
As one client so eloquently said: “Matchmaking is so 19th century, blind dating is so 20th century, and dating in the 21st century is nonexistent, so why not try matchmaking?”
You know what, bud? Good for you for making steps towards the Tinder-free future you want. There are far more singles out there complaining about their singledom than there are doing something about it.
PSA: This is ABSOLUTELY NOT a comment on being single or not. It’s to say that if you don’t like something — anything — please don’t complain. Move forward with an intention at heart and a plan to implement.
Thought #2: While we are on the topic of being single or craving a relationship…
We live in an age when, if someone says, “All relationships are based on our relationship with our own heart,” our eyes glaze over a little and we want to say something like “I get it, can we skip this part?”
No, champ. No, we can’t.
Or — we can, and please report back to me in 10 years.
If you want to be in a relationship to fill a void, to make you happy, to give you the life you want, I implore — implore — you to try it first with a bowl of ice cream before you try it with a marriage. A relationship stemming from longing will burden you as much emotionally as ice cream will burden you physically (it’s called fat).
If you want to skim over the rest of this post, please do. But take this one nugget: if there is a vacuum in a heart, a relationship with a partner is not going to fix it.
On the flip side, if our hearts are full, if we have a healthy relationship with ourselves, if we prefer a partner but are fine alone…there is magic to be made in partnership. A love that gushes from within is the sweetest kind of love to share. In fact, it is the only love, and a relationship will reflect and evolve that inner glow better than the finest mirror can.
It’s not that we have to be perfectly self-secure when seeking a relationship. An imperfect partnership based on growth, support, and understanding will span long distances, as long as both people have the practice of returning to their inner growth when that hunger for fulfillment rears its ugly head.
Ultimately, our relationship with ourselves determines how we understand and relate to everyone else. As in: if we are emotionally unavailable to our own self but seek a partner, we’ll probably be attracted — subconsciously — to the emotionally unavailable guy.
If we are insecure and do find a great partner, all we’ll see in her is how she looks at someone else. We’ll sabotage the relationship. It all comes down to the core of how we feel towards ourselves.
When we are loving towards our little, frail heart, we can see others for who they are, not twist them into who we need them to be for us. And in the final say, the one who is secure in self is the one able to offer selfless love.
Matchmaking is not coaching, so this doesn’t have anything to do with matchmaking. I just wanted to stand on a soapbox.
Thought #3: I’ve been wary about writing this post because I know my clients can easily find it. (That’s not my thought.) This is my thought: matchmaking is not my passion in life. (Hi clients!)
I do show up for it. I do put in the work it takes to find quality matches for my clients. People’s romantic lives mean a lot to them — I know, because mine means so much to me that I couldn’t imagine putting it in another person’s hands.
But I don’t love it, for so many reasons.
I’m totally interested in relationships and how they work — as you can see from my spiel above. I think they have so much sweetness, growth, and transformation to offer. They can offer us more than we ever conceived possible.
They can expand our capacity to give and receive love more than we even thought imaginable.
They can turn us into non-ogres.
Matchmaking can be effective; clients do end up married to their matches every once in a while. But, to me, even if two people hit it off…what does that mean?
I can see the appeal for other matchmakers who feel this is their dream job. Indeed, the innate connectors amongst us bring a most invaluable gift to this world. I think I’m as grateful for the introducers in my life as I am for the most meaningful people and experiences they’ve introduced me to.
Yet, I sense my own purpose lies in getting to the hearts and the roots. Bringing two people together is nice, but to do it for a living, or even a side hobby, feels too lateral and not deep enough.
For that reason, I’ve not taken even one more than the minimum number of clients we can each have (which is 10). And because I have a lot of changes coming up in 2019, I’ve decided to allow my time as a matchmaker to fade out as clients eventually end their packages, and not take on any new ones.
Thought #4: This matchmaking business has been an A+ way for me to practice letting go of outcome. On the first date I set up, I was probably more nervous than my client was. I felt implicitly responsible for the level of attraction between her and her date.
She ended up not being into him.
Fortunately, I’ve been able to let this false sense of responsibility go pretty quickly — after around the first three dates I set up.
As long as I’m fully invested in my role of finding good-quality matches who align with what each client is looking for, me feeling responsible for the outcome is totally unnecessary. The connection between the two is between them alone, whether it is interest or “PASS!”
It’s been so freeing — especially because I have one client who tried to blame me for a lack of chemistry. LOL girl, no.
Detachment has also helped me when talking to clients about their preferences. Pourquoi? Because I don’t see eye-to-eye with a lot of things they want. “I only want a guy who is tall, thin, loves Dr. Dre with his soul, also loves cats, and says grace at the table.” My (internal) response? “Honey, you need to work on yourself. Let’s talk about why you even want this relationship.”
But I can’t say that. They paid for matchmaking, not coaching, and it’s what they want. I can ask if they’re open to hearing my own thoughts, but usually I give them what they think they want. And this is the essence of the reason I don’t love matchmaking: I can’t go anywhere.
I follow the clients in what they want, gently hinting elsewhere in rare cases, instead of leading them to empower themselves. I admit that it’s far easier to let go of, yet still care about, those that are not the closest to me…than it is to be chill with whatever the people dearest to me decide. Nevertheless, this experience has hammered in detachment — being fine with what they want, even when I don’t agree. But I can feel, in my bones, that my own purpose is in more empowerment than this service can offer.
Surprise! I have more thoughts on matchmaking! Because this is an activity that takes so much of my time and is a total thought-generator, next week’s post will be a continuation of matchmaking.