Married to a Matchmaker
“What’s it like to be married to someone like Lanie…someone who is a matchmaker?” I’m asked that question a lot, and I wish I had a good, stock answer, but I don’t. What I can say is that she cares. Wow, does she care!
Each client she meets gets special attention and is thought of as a unique and singular person. “Hon,” she’ll say at the end of most days, “I met some of the most wonderful and amazing people today.” And she means it. She loves interacting with and helping bring together wonderful and amazing men and women, women and women, men and men. And there is no particular criterion for being thought of this way. A client can be older in her fifties, or younger in his thirties; she can be a highly successful businesswoman, or he an aspiring artist. It makes little difference because Lanie sees the best in people, empathizes with them, and knows that many of them can be insecure and vulnerable when finding themselves alone or seeking new and meaningful relationships. And she knows that part of her matchmaking role is to help them to more clearly understand what kind of person might be a good match, to be as open as possible, and to support and challenge them when needed.
She often is most pleased when she gets thanked by someone for advice which helped open his or her mind to different ways of thinking. “Must he really be no more than 175 lbs, over 6’1, square jawed and have salt and pepper hair? Does she really need to be thin, less than 5’7, only blonde, and have freckles? What about their interests, their values, their personalities? Give yourself some options, know that although initial attraction is important, compatibility is the key, she reminds them and attraction can grow and become deeper with time.
Lanie began this business from scratch and one would think that after eight years I’d be used to her enthusiasm, but I’m still regularly caught off guard by her enthusiasm. I’ll be in my chair, working hard, diligently watching a football game, and suddenly I’ll hear a loud blood-curdling shriek from her upstairs office. Knocking over my cup of coffee and tripping over the hassock, I’ll dash upstairs rubbing a bruised knee only to learn – again – that someone has called or emailed her to request to be taken off the client list because she and Bob, or he and Nancy are getting married or are now an official couple. What joy she gets from these successes and my knees have the many bruises to prove it. And several of those couples are parents of what Lanie proudly calls Mass Match babies.
Her caring and concern for her clients also have a deeper dimension, one that my “pragmatic business” approach finds to be, every now and then, a bit bold. Lanie has a deep sense of integrity, a very real moral center, and a firm belief in social justice. She expects to treat people fairly and with common decency and respectfulness, and she expects that her clients will treat each other similarly. She gets upset if that doesn’t happen and will challenge clients when she thinks it appropriate and necessary. If you say you are going to call, then call. If you say you are the only person I’m dating, she or he should be the only one you are dating. Be truthful, be caring, and treat others –yes, you’ve heard it before - the way you would like to be treated.
Matchmaking is not simple or arbitrary. For Lanie, matchmaking is a calling and serious, and when I occasionally forget, she reminds me that she won’t simply match Beth with Mary or Bob with Joan unless Lanie truly believes that they have a real chance to like and enjoy being with each other. This isn’t about being a starry-eyed romantic and it isn’t about seeing someone across a crowded room. This is about making smart and healthy choices. For Lanie the Matchmaker how we treat each other, and ourselves, is what is most important and not meaningless matches, higher prices or more income. For my matchmaker wife, who I met through a dating service, how we treat each other is paramount, whether on the first date, or in the fiftieth year of marriage, whether in private or in a public place, whether in an email or face to face.
What’s it like to be married to this matchmaker? It can be humorous or sad; it can be confusing or clear as it can be. But always, it reinforces my awareness of how important it is that each of us – regardless of who we are or who we are with - treat each other well. And that we care!
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