This past weekend I filled in some friends on the personal goings on of my dumpster fire of a love life, with a number of them requesting I blog about the disasters. Until now, I’ve been keeping relatively mum on this subject, wanting to keep my personal life personal. But dating is one of those universally understood crapfests of doom, and if you can’t laugh about it, better jump from a plane, sans parachute.
The byline of my blog after all is “life is a (mis)adventure.” May as well go all in, right? So here we are. Part one: I hired professional matchmakers.
But before I give you the scuttlebutt, I must run through a number of disclaimers. Why? Because I don’t want your advice. If that offends you, here’s a little advice of my own:
No unsolicited advice-EVER
Often when I tell people a story about dating or being single I get “advice.” Having received this “advice” for going on 10 plus years, I can promise you I’ve heard it all. 99% is horse crap. Do not count yourself among the 1 percent.
I know you have the best of intentions, but I really do not want your false hope, your platitudes, and I don’t want your personal, successful love stories.
Many people use my (or other single people’s) singleness as an excuse/segue to talk about their own stories. Sorry, but I don’t care. Don’t misunderstand, I’m glad you found someone. Truly. But I don’t care how you and your someone met as it relates to my situation. I don’t care to hear about your past relationships. I don’t care to hear about your “advice” as to how I should deal, what I should do, how my attitude should change, or if you believe my expectations should shift. If you want to start a sentence with “Have you…” or “What about…” or “Maybe you should…” Don’t. That’s the crappy advice to which I’m referring. I want none of it.
This blog series is about my misadventures in mostly blind dating. I’m writing it as a coping mechanism, to share the experience with other men and women who are slogging through the vomit swamp with me. Hopefully it provides some laughs. If you’re one of the blessed people who has found your partner, hopefully these posts will inspire you to hold that person close.
And I’m super serious about that unsolicited advice. I really have heard it all.
Not their real names
The men I’ve dated are real. I’m not making any of them up. But for their privacy, I’m keeping their names and professions secret. I’ll use aliases for each. Their aliases will be in no way related to their real name or identity.
My matchmakers are also real. Their names, like the men, will also remain anonymous. If after reading all this you feel qualified to be an unprofessional matchmaker (I’ve had a few of those) to me or someone else, let these posts serve as guidelines, yes, but also take solace in knowing I’ll never reveal your true identity. Even if you set me up with a bridge troll.
If I’ve been single for awhile, why hire professionals now? Excellent question. Allow me to be specific while being as vague as humanly possible. Sometime this year I met a man who I found both attractive and witty. Which has never happened before. I initially resisted being set up (an unprofessional matchmaker tried getting me to bite twice), as there were obvious differences I was unsure of. But after being approached by the for the third time, I caved.
We did go out for a little. It wasn’t long enough for it to be considered a “relationship” but it was just long enough for me to realize I was done being single. Turns out having similar personalities matters. Repartee matters. Being attracted to someone matters.
Meaning the unsolicited, poopy advice people offered, like “All that matters is if he’s nice” or “Once you get to know someone you’ll find him attractive.”
Attraction, chemistry, and similar personalities are far more important than all the crap advice I’d received (and followed). But you know what else matters? Wanting the same things in life. Sharing a similar value system. Being in the same “place.”
It didn’t last long for Jack and me. There were too many irreconcilable differences despite what was working for us. But the greater takeaway? Learning to listen to myself, to my gut, my brain, and my heart rather than other people’s terrible advice.
Enter the professionals
I figured if there was one person who I got on with, who I found attractive and witty (yes, I keep mentioning this. I can’t emphasis how important BOTH traits are to me), there would be one more, who was in the same place, who wanted the same things as I did. We would certainly have differences, yes, but they wouldn’t be irreconcilable.
Therefore, the day after Jack and I were donezo, I reached out to a former coworker and asked about a matchmaking agency she’d used shortly after her divorce. I had done online dating, and didn’t want to return (read Online dating makes me want to die alone). I was willing to hire professionals who would help me find someone compatible, a man who had the same life goals as I did, who shared my personal values. She referred me to an agency she was looking into. I found them, read the reviews, and made an appointment…
Yep, I closed the comment section. For you advice-givers who can’t help themselves, and would’ve left a “I know you don’t want advice, but…” comment. Heading you off at the pass.