As a matchmaker, I am often asked what I have learned in my six years doing this business. Well, I've certainly learned a lot about human nature.
I have found that most of us are quite judgmental when it comes to folks we have never met, no matter how open we think we are. After all, we have nothing to go on but our own personal perceptions and projections and it is so easy to misunderstand . Try not to judge the macrocosm from the microcosm. Just because your last girlfriend who had blonde hair disliked your piano playing doesn't mean your future beloved can't have golden tresses, right?
We often don't seem to give each other a break but instead let our minds run ahead, analyzing every breath and word and misspelled word -- quick to rule each other out and I think Internet Dating has helped create a culture of dismissal and superficiality.
Many of us are actually quite curt when communicating on email or the phone -- that is our style or how we are used to conducting ourselves in business.
I've spoken to lots of clients on the phone or email who seem quite abrupt and intimidating and yet when I meet them in person they are sprawled all over their chair, as relaxed and friendly as can be. This was not the picture I had in my mind before I met them.
Might we have ruled out Will Smith or Julia Roberts if we had chatted beforehand? Or Nelson Mandela or Toni Morrison? You betcha. So take it from me, give people a chance. You will often be so pleasantly surprised.
But here's the rub---- and here is where it becomes complicated: when we do get in relationships, we can be too forgiving and not judgmental enough. I have heard stories of betrayal of affection, of physical and emotional abuse and money disappearing....and yet we stay in relationship, giving second chances and third... often because we see the good in the other person as well, and very often because of good old human inertia. The devil you know seems so much better than the devil you don't.
So here's the lesson I've learned form observation : give people a break and let them in the door if they seem upbeat, positive and see if chemistry is growing over 3-5 dates. But paradoxically, go slowly and use your head. Once you get in a relationship, it will be much harder to get out of it. Trust me. Serial monogamy is the modus operandi today----and that is because we tend to rush so we don't have to date anymore. Not too many of us love dating, but it is actually more efficient to go slowly so you don't have to do it again in 3 years.
New Year's Resolutions
Did you know that according to a recent issue of Health Magazine, only sixteen percent of those who are single are looking for a relationship? That's why striking up a conversation with someone appealing at the supermarket may not work for the long term. They might have no interest in a real relationship. Signing up with your local dating service, doing personal ads or even Internet Dating instead might be a great idea. These are folks who are saying they are ready to meet someone. Timing, as they say, is everything. Proactive people take charge of their lives and our culture provides very few good ways for people to meet on their own.
Remember you have to feel good about yourself to attract someone else. Might be time to join the gym, to work through your "stuff" in more ways than one. Read Manifest your Destiny by Wayne Dyer or the Secret by Byrne. Believe the universe will provide and then nudge it a bit.
Look for the person of integrity and kindness, who shares your values and some interests, who communicates when things go wrong and who has dealt proactively with any addiction or other negative personal issues.
Try not to sabotage yourself re their height, hair color, profession...and remember, a big bank account does not mean a generous heart and does not necessarily mean they are a person of integrity. All you have to do is read the newspapers to figure that one out.
I hope 2009 brings you your heart's desire. And lots of your own insights re your own human nature.