Why Love Made Me Quit Matchmaking

Being a matchmaker is an emotionally taxing business. We get a bad wrap. There are negative online reviews and a constant stream of calls from clients that berate you for not making their dreams come true.  It is an intangible business, yet, the weight of your client’s romantic world lays on your shoulders. Like the Atlas of love lives.

I have been in the industry for eight years. The thing is, when people pay over a thousand dollars to find their match, their standards spiral out of control. I have always said “If you want the perfect partner, you must be a mirror of that person” Unfortunately, this is not a concept that most clients of matchmakers can wrap their heads around. Case in point, I received an email today that read:

I am  looking for a marriage as
soon as possible for the life time. I am not a casual hooker. I am
real person who want to marry with those girl/lady who will be ages in
between 18 to 35 years old. She must be belong from the Europe, North
America, Australia, New Zealand, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Iceland and
Bermuda. She should be financially well settle. I shall relocate to her country

WELL, at least he is willing to relocate. However, his grammar sucks.

That’s just an application, but this is what happens after you set up a date:

Manners: 10 mins late, didn’t text, didn’t call, didn’t apologize (works 4-5 blocks away!). Table manners really so so. I would NOT take her to a client dinner. Personality: shy at the beginning, definitely not an extrovert. Embarrassed about her super short marriage, which she brought up herself, could have opened up a little, trying to show a minimum of ability to communicate emotions and depth, she just brushed over it. As a guy, I hear her bringing it up – which was not necessary – and it’s a red flag. When she doesn’t explain why it was so short, then it becomes a bigger red flag. Sleepy, yawning since the moment she sat down (so it wasn’t me) Intellect: bright and educated, but not genuinely humble about it. She was a bit boastful about her position and education, was a bit taken by surprise when she realized I am in financial services like her, which means I know exactly what she does and where she stands (practically, a glorified admin, nothing to boast about at her age) Travel: lots of talking about travel, but really not much travel done. Now that I remember, I had “smelled this” in her profile. Looks: piece of red pepper in her lower teeth, fake eye lashes going in all directions, her hair was ½ held up by a clasp and, 1/2 falling off on the sides (not planned), she could use a manicure, overall appearance and preparation to meet me was shameful. Old and cheap long sleeve sweater, my junior staff dresses better at the office. On date 1, I was hoping she would make much more effort. Seriously, not presentable in my circle of friends, “too Berkeley”, unclassy, unsophisticated, not put together, disastrous. Good luck.

 Body is average/below average, the little that could be seen of her knees / thighs showed she’s hairy and not taken care of. Significant skin damage, I don’t remember her age but she’s at least 36 and shows more. Deal breaker: lack of kindness.

 Asked me if I like dogs, I responded I do and had a dog, she asked what happened, I told her it was stolen by one of my ex-es, she couldn’t’ stop chuckling, I can see she tried to contain it, but her smile wouldn’t stop. Unacceptable. Dealbreaker: She was running me through the “Asian gold digger” interview, a process to ask questions / make comments to elicit answers to assess financial means. Good luck with her in the future. Deal breaker: “I can never travel more than 2 weeks, I would miss my dog too much”

This was the nail in the coffin for me. I can no longer deal with the judgment, objectification, and down-right hatred and blame that is inflicted on matchmakers who genuinely want to help people. How can people be so hard on one another? After all, we’re all people putting forth the effort to find someone to love!

I have enjoyed many successes, and seeing the beaming faces of my many married couples, their growing lives, their children-It makes it all worthwhile. I know that my work as a matchmaker has brought many people happiness, hope, and lives they thought could not possibly exist. The happiness and pride I feel in that is immeasurable-but it came at a cost. It takes so much out of you emotionally. There are nights that you can’t sleep because you know someone is reeling from a bad date, or the fact that, maybe, they are probably never find love because they are too damaged to open their heart to it.

My point is this: Love is not perfect. It is gritty. You have to be willing to shed your skin, and accept the fact that life as you know it will change when you bring another person into it. You have to be so vulnerable that getting hurt is less of a cost than falling truly in love. That the pain of being broken hearted can teach you things about yourself you never realized and can make you a better person. Love is inspiring. Heartbreak is inspiring. You will feel both sides whether or not you stay together or not. Falling in love is facing your fears, facing your past, and knowing what you need to do right this time. For you. For your partner. A matchmaker cannot do that for you.

Now, I am not saying that I have been the best at following my own advice. I have my share of relationships that did not work out in the end. But I DID learn more about myself and about how relationships work in the process. I don’t hate my exes, hell, I had my part in every failed relationship I have under my belt. Now, you can have a matchmaker, and we are great at searching high and low for someone we think will be a goof fit for you. Sort of like the room mate that finds your car keys on the coffee table after you have been searching for hours.

Just like I have my part in failed relationships, single people also have their individual responsibilities in finding a happy relationship…

Be kind to yourself. Be kind to your partner and look after their needs as well as your own. Remember that fun and physical intimacy are as vitally important to your relationship as financial security, work obligations, the way the house is kept, what you can agree on for dinner. Trust, reliability, and a responsibility to one another’s needs is paramount. You cannot expect perfection, or that there is one person who will come into your life ready-made to fit into your life as you currently experience it. Look forward to the excitement of change. Anticipate the love of someone who appreciates that you make room in your life for them. Embrace the fact that sometimes things will be uncomfortable, uncertain, and that sometimes your partner will fall short. Remember though, if you let the right one in, you will have support, love, and passion to come home to.


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