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Lanie's Articles  |   Essays From M.H Borden

A Penny for My Thoughts?

Do you know the supposed biggest complaint American men have about American women? I asked that question to one of my clients recently and she guessed, “No interest in spectator sports?”

Not exactly. According to Patti Stanger, the Millionaire Matchmaker, the biggest complaint men have is that women don’t cook. I had no idea. Since even my beloved niece touted her spice rack around with her in college, I was surprised, for like many of my friends, I love to cook. Although I do have one friend who has the sign: “Two Choices, Take it or Leave it” in her kitchen. Luckily for her, it seems, she has been happily married for over 40 years.

Many of my clients have suggested that I should watch Patti Stanger on television. I have up until now resisted, thinking that I would have nothing in common with anyone who calls herself the Millionaire Matchmaker. For one thing, my round the clock efforts don’t produce much income because I refuse to charge those exorbitant fees and most of my clients, even if very successful, don’t often tout it. This is Western MA after all.

But I finally succumbed and read her book: “Become Your Own Matchmaker” and was quite pleasantly intrigued. Like many of the best dating books, I agree with just about everything she says. She makes so much practical sense, in fact, that my poor husband is now trying to find the darn show on television for me. Doesn’t seem to be listed in that search for the show you want option.

I suppose because dating really is a lot common sense, someone who charges the big bucks better have even more common sense than the rest of us when she is advising her clients.

One of my favorite lines in Stanger’s book is: “I don’t care if he is a three-eyed…….if he calls when he says he will and takes you out regularly, nab him. He is going to make a great husband.” She is driving home the point that what everyone should be looking for is a person of integrity and kindness, ie a mensch, whether male or female. Stuck on looking for the wrong things and a diet of chic flicks and chick lit, many women, if you ask me, are missing the proverbial boat. Many men too.

I love her suggestions and mine, that a woman be appreciative, prompt and polite and that one only have sex when in a committed relationship. She too emphasizes compatibility, communication and chemistry but take time to see if these things are developing. Interestingly she suggests that the prospective beloved should meet 51 percent of your needs. Why so many people think someone is going to be the answer to 100 percent of their prayers and dreams is beyond me. That’s what the movies are for, if you ask me: to fill in the gaps. That ‘s what your friends are for. That’s what being happy with yourself is all about.

Besides being polite and appreciative and waiting for sex, she has some other “commandments”. “Return calls promptly.” As I tell women, men can easily get discouraged or just move on. Why would you want to be rude to someone? “Don’t drink too much.” Guess that is obvious or should be. “Leave the past in the past.” Again and again I also try to tell my clients that out of context too much info is dangerous. Go slowly with sharing too much too soon, although being able to eventually do so comfortably is ultimately important. “Be engaging.” That simply means that smiling and laughter and warmth are what attracts. You don’t have to be beauty queen but you do have to be pleasant and upbeat on dates. Why wouldn’t you want to be?

Women need to know that talking about health issues, diet, kids, sex, business, religion, health and topics or issues that depress you are not going to be interesting to someone right off the bat. Why would they be? Unless, I suppose, you were first in your charm school class and can recite the phone book with pizzazz. Stick to neutral and fun topics. Small talk needn’t be dull. Again and again and to repeat myself, I ask why wouldn’t you?

I was intrigued when Stanger tells women not to call men but to return their calls ASAP. Although I advise that in the beginning of a relationship men should take the lead because of the yin/yang thing, it never occurred to me that another reason is that men use the phone differently than women. Chatting to bond might not be a man’s idea of a good time. Men typically use the phone for information or business so if you call unsolicited (this is before you are in a secure relationship) then you may catch him at a time when he is not receptive. Wouldn’t have thought of that but that’s why she is the millionaire.

More next issue. This woman has a lot worth paying attention to.

Maybe by then we can figure out how to find her on TV.

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