Thursday, November 21, 2013

Never Judge a Book by its Cover Alone

Being a matchmaker has tremendous rewards…and challenges. Everybody has a story and I always feel honored when people share their intimate details and difficulties with me. All I want to do is help and inspire them. Then there are those who seem to have it all figured out. They’re the “I’ve got it covered” clientele. They seem to know a lot about their strengths and very little about their challenges or blind spots. They “don’t need any advice and know how to date”; they just need a little more “access” to the right people according to them. Which is partly true, I’m sure. However the part that amazes me the most is that they’re not interested in modifying anything about themselves or their approach to dating even though they’re striking out left and right. “I’m just fine the way I am – it’s them” essentially is what they’re expressing. This is when I quote Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over (and over!) again and expecting a different result.
Oftentimes this type of client is very focused and attached to their check list:
Does he have a PhD? Does she have less than 20% body fat? Does he make over $200k? Is she a ‘10’? Does he own his place? Is she 15-20 years younger? While there’s nothing wrong with these requests – after all, people like what they like – there is something wrong with focusing more on what looks ‘good on paper’ and less on how the person makes you feel. These type of people like to be dazzled by status, superficiality and security. The sad thing is, those are all qualities that can be ‘here today, gone tomorrow’. Many times I see people going after the same types and making the same mistakes each time. At the end of the day, does the man and all his toys make you feel loved, cherished and adored? Is your model-worthy girlfriend supportive? Is she there for you when you hit a bump in the road and lose your status? The pomp and flash are seductive in the beginning but they’re not always sustainable qualities.
Why not start re-evaluating your ‘type’ and ask yourself if it’s time to update what’s important to you. What’s the missing link? What’s the thing that keeps coming up in all of your relationships? Why are your relationships ending? There’s nothing wrong with looking for a man or woman that makes you proud because of their accomplishments or beauty; I’m simply suggesting to keep it balanced. Look at the other side of the coin, too. Beauty fades, status wanes, money comes and goes, so make sure your partner has the goods in other areas like compassion, kindness, supportiveness and generosity of spirit. Because when the going gets tough (and it will), there’s nothing more delicious than knowing when you walk through the door that somebody has your back.

For the Ladies: The Power of Waiting

I grew up in an Italian Catholic family where the rules were strict but the food was amazing. My mother, who was born and raised outside of Venice, Italy always taught me the importance of having traditional values, strong morals, to respect my body and “never chase the boys”. As I got older, I began to think that her viewpoints were a bit antiquated and stale. But now that I’m in the business of matchmaking and working with singles, I realize how incredibly important the implications of her words were.
Dating should be a delicate dance of getting to know each other slowly but surely. It’s a beautiful time that’s packed with intrigue, anticipation and flirting. When two people feel the same way about each other, it’s intoxicating. However, instead of enjoying the experience of watching the story unfold, many people just want to race to the finish line before they’ve decided if it’s even a game they want to play.

Lately, I’ve heard a lot of stories of regret from the ladies: “If I knew he was______ (married / such a jacka** / a player / so selfish, etc...), I never would have gone to bed with him”. At the risk of sounding old fashioned, I believe that giving ourselves completely to a man should be considered a precious gift. Not just for our sake, but also for the man. When women make men wait, their value automatically increases. A man may be disappointed at first, but deep down inside, he’s incredibly respectful and intrigued by the woman. “WOW, she’s different than most women I’ve been out with”, he notes. Different = special. Differentiating yourself from the masses is essential in dating. Men fall in love with women who respect themselves and demand respect from them. They consider it a turn-on and a challenge.

But it’s not about manipulating a man or merely protecting your gifts. It’s about taking things slow for the sake of understanding different layers of the man before you get jiggy together. Sex can decrease your ability to objectively measure someone (particularly if the sex is good), especially if it’s too early in the relationship.
There’s no right or wrong amount of time to make him wait. If your focus is finding The One, your future husband, the father of your children then those stakes are pretty high and it behooves you to take your time, doesn’t it?

Wait as long as it takes to learn about each other, find compatibility points, assess his character and intentions and allow deeper feelings to evolve. Flirting and laughter are the best foreplay in the world. Besides, if a man really wants to be with you, nothing can keep him away. But don't make him wait just to see how committed he is. Do it to see if he is right for you.