I love to share my stories and point of view with you, but what I love even more is hearing from you! So when I heard from Alane, a reader of my blog, asking if she could tell her story, I said “Absolutely!!”
Here is a story from her, in her words:
Matchmaker Made No Match For Me!
I chose to go to a matchmaker after seeing a couple on TV (Steve Ward of Tough Love on VH1 and Lori Zaslow of Love Broker on Bravo) and decided that I needed help and maybe I should turn to someone who can guide me through this dating game.
I used to live in New York then LA, and yes, dating is a numbers game. I now live in Austin, TX where it has been listed as one of the best places for singles. Yes it is a great city for singles, but the numbers are much smaller and the odds are clearly not in my favor as a woman over 40.
A while back, I saw this woman on the local TV noon show talking about dating in Austin. It turned out she is an “Exclusive” matchmaker in Austin providing not only matchmaking services but dating coaching and image consulting. After seeing her segment on TV, I decided to look her up online. I quickly filled out the online information form and waited patiently for a call to schedule an appointment. I received a call within a couple of days from the matchmaker’s assistant, who did a little preliminary phone interview and scheduled an appointment for me to meet. She also forwarded a pretty lengthy questionnaire for me to fill out and send over before my appointment.
The questionnaire made me think about exactly what I wanted and what I was looking for. I never had a check off list for the perfect mate because I know there is no such thing and I always thought a list like that would limit my possibilities. Now the questionnaire forces me to make a list and develop expectations.
I was very specific about the fact that I like tall men. I have dated short men before and I am not saying shorter men are not an option but I prefer a tall man. Seeing as I am 5’4 – 5’5 on a good day, just about everyone is taller than me. But I can be deceptively tall as I often wear some sort of heel of 3-4 inches especially when I am “dressed up.” The matchmaker had to point out that only 11% of the male population is over 6 feet tall. That should have been a red flag, but much like I have ignored red flags in the men I have chosen before, I ignored the comment.
I really had to dig deep when filling out the questionnaire. I had to think about past relationships, what sparked it, how long it lasted how it ended, how I handled the breakup, and how I moved on. This brought up a lot of feelings that I thought I had gotten past, but I get it, it’s all a part of the moving on process and moving toward the right person for me. So after a few drinks and some tears, I answered everything honestly sent off to the matchmaker and waited to hear back from her.
A couple of days later I received a phone call from the matchmaker’s assistant to schedule a meeting and also meet their in house Image consultant. A couple of days later I arrived at their office a little nervous and was hoping I wouldn’t get too much criticism from the Image consultant about my “Look”.
I met with the matchmaker and the first thing out of her mouth was “I have a great match for you, a doctor who is about your age who is looking to settle down and have kids.” I am thinking to myself, did she not read my questionnaire? I specifically stated that I have reached the age where having kids biologically is not an option. If he has kids great, if adoption comes up then we would discuss, but I am not having kids. This was another red flag I chose to ignore. After getting settled in her office I mentioned that it may be a deal breaker for me if the guy she sets me up with wants me to pop out kids. She then says “Don’t worry, I know a great fertility doctor I can refer you to.” I then had to explain that I don’t think a relationship based on the disparate need to have kids would be one that I would be interested in. So let’s take that off the table. She agreed and we moved on. She was quite the saleswoman, telling me I am a good candidate for her members because I am a shorter woman. Most of the women in the service were tall and the men were looking for a more petite girl. This should have been another red flag but once again I chose to ignore it.
I then met with the image consultant who had some constructive criticism that I thought she might point out. It wasn’t anything vicious, just basics of keeping my gray roots covered, stay on top of a healthy diet and exercise program (she wasn’t saying I was fat, she said I could be if I didn’t watch it.) She gave me some tips on wearing more makeup and adding accessories to my wardrobe. My friends could have told me that, but okay she’s the expert. (Maybe not so much of a red flag, but something wasn’t right.) I asked her to email her suggestions on what I needed to improve upon. She never did, even after I followed up with her about four times. She sent a onesheet title page with my name on it and nothing else. Yes, major red flag that I brought up to the matchmaker but nothing was done about it.
I am not going to even tell you how much the service cost because first, I am embarrassed to admit how much I spent. That money was basically wasted and could have been better spent on a vacation where I more than likely would have met a better prospect than what I met in her service. The service included a six month contract where I would be entitled to a minimum of six introductions along with dating coaching. About a week later, I received my first introduction.
Bachelor #1 as described by the matchmaker – tall, 41 year old never married and had no children, family oriented ,loves to travel, likes hiking and being outdoors ,likes to cook, listens to all kinds of music, laid back and easygoing and is an all-round nice guy. What she forgot to mention was he was a bit socially inept, way underweight and very hard to talk to. I was willing to see him again, maybe he had a bad day or wasn’t in a talkative mood. He wasn’t willing to give me a second chance. I was not his type as he likes a smaller girl.
Bachelor #2 – 40 and has a 3 year old, works in IT , has his MBA, is close to his family, spiritual, is very outdoorsy, likes fishing is very active, likes to travel, likes to cook, is a big sports fan. I am 5’4 with heels I can be 5’8. I was able to look down at him in heels, but after a couple of drinks and appetizers we actually had good conversation and got along really well but something wasn’t right and I was willing to ignore that. He unfortunately thought I was overweight and I wasn’t enough of a girly girl for him.
Bachelor #3 – 50, never married, no kids, is a doctor, grew up on the East Coast, family is important to him, runs and does yoga, is a big movie buff, likes the theater, also enjoys music, and can be outdoorsy. He was late to the date letting us know ahead of time that day so I was thinking there some medical scheduling that would make him late. Later when he arrived he mistakenly mentioned that he came directly to the restaurant from Yoga. Most Yoga studios don’t have showers and he did say he did the “hot” yoga. Eeewww! But more importantly he didn’t value my time and set the expectation that I should wait on him. Yeah no thanks. He actually wanted to go out with me again because he said I looked a lot younger than my age and he really liked that. But I passed on Mr. Sweaty. McSteamy he wasn’t!
Bachelor #4 – 38, never married no kids, works in Law, not a lawyer but works within the Legal system (not really sure what that means and really didn’t get a clear explanation), he is close to his family, loves to travel, likes to cook, likes sports. We met up at a Sports Bar, he showed up in a suit, it was a Saturday late afternoon date, and he didn’t come from work. Yeah I get the whole “Suit Up” thing and if we were in NYC it would be common but in Austin TX, with 100 degree summer heat, that is just weird. Then he proceeded to interview me for the next hour to see if I was good enough to meet his momma. Apparently I wasn’t because he said I was bitter and overweight.
Bachelor #5 – 48 co-owns a restaurant and is the head chef, close to his family, loves to travel, listens to all kinds of music, he’s laid back and easygoing. Apparently he was not a client, he was a friend of the matchmaker, she set me up with him because she thought he was “more my speed.” I still have no idea what she meant by that. From the time we sat at the bar to when we left, this guy’s arrogance was just too much for me. I guess I didn’t fit the image of a woman he should be seen with. During our date, he answered his phone and sent texts then proceeded to tell me stories about his VIP access to music events. Luckily the date was over within an hour. He told the matchmaker I was overweight and I didn’t have much to offer. I might have been upset if he wasn’t a 5’6, 250 lb ass.
The matchmaker then calls me to have a serious conversation about the fact that these guys think I am overweight. She tells me maybe we should put my contract on hold while I lose about 10lbs. Seriously, this is the dating coaching you provide? What happens when I lose the 10lbs and you say it’s not enough and I need to lose more? I am by no means a skinny girl but I am also not fat, I work out about 4-6 days a week doing Krav Maga and Crossfit. If I was fat I wouldn’t be able to handle the workouts. I am in such shock I don’t know what to do. A couple of days later, in last ditch effort, the matchmaker has me come into her office to give me a mini makeover before my next date. Her image consultant basically did my hair and makeup and made me look like a drag queen. A friend saw my “after” picture and said my eyes looked like I got the shit beat out of me. So this is the look the matchmaker wanted me to portray in order for me to catch a man, Raccoon Eye Drag queen.
Bachelor #6 -40 retired but is still an entrepreneur, is a big movie buff, tall, loves dogs has visible tattoos, free spirited, loves to cook. He was as round as he was tall so obviously the matchmaker thinks I am fat even though I was not much bigger than her. I can look past appearances but he didn’t like the fact that I had a fulltime job and I also contract on the side. He thought I was unethical because he has run so many companies and would fire any employee of his that was doing what I was doing. He should just say that I’m not his type. He doesn’t have to go after my character. Besides, had he listened to me at all, he would know that I said my fulltime company knows I contract on the side and my contracts know I work fulltime.
The idea of a matchmaker makes sense when you find that you are done with trying to find a guy on your own, and it has worked for some people. But it sure didn’t work for me. I found the whole thing a huge waste of time and money. And a bit degrading. Unless the service is free, save your money. You will know better than anyone what you want and how you want to portray yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to change to sell an ideal. Be yourself even if you are an overweight, non girly, unethical woman.
Please leave a comment and tell Alane what you think of her story. I know she would love to hear from you! I will chime in with my own two cents later.
Have a VERY pink day!