A Jewish Matchmaker’s Rant on Expecting Too Much
This month’s blog topic stems from my own personal pent-up frustration of years of witnessing clients read the profile of a potential match and over-analyze it to come up with justification of why a relationship with this person just won’t work.
Talk about putting the cart before the horse! And what exactly does it say about a person whose attention immediately focuses on all the possible pitfalls instead of all the ways that a relationship COULD work? If one can find so much potential conflict in a paragraph or two- imagine how critical and destructive this person would be in an actual relationship- always focused on what he/she isn’t getting as opposed to all the positive and loving things the partner is doing….
I remember, in particular, one client who after reading the profile and seeing the photo of a potential match, made the determination that it probably wouldn’t work out because “it looks like he prefers blondes”. How did she arrive at this conclusion? She got hung up on the fact that the man in the photo was standing beside a blonde woman. Did she know who the woman was? No. Could the woman in the photo have been a friend, family member, or co-worker? Yes. Did the potential match agree to be in contact with her even though she is a brunette? Yes. Yet….she wasn’t convinced.
I have come to understand that when clients jump to personality or situational conclusions after reading a profile, it is a strong indicator that there is something holding the client back from a relationship. It may be subconscious, but the person is definitely holding back and may ultimately not be happy with any profile with which they are presented. The only thing that might get a “yes” is if I presented a profile that fit their fantasy in every way: looks, career, likes, dislikes, finances, etc. And I have to be honest here, that scenario just isn’t going to happen. Not in the real world full of real people who are not perfect and who make mistakes and who age and who get set in their ways…
So, what can be done to make us more open and receptive to someone new? What advice can I offer to curb this tendency to over-analyze a profile?
Be self-aware. That’s all it takes. Pay attention to the dialog that runs through your mind as you read a profile. The minute you catch yourself judging negatively or arriving at a conclusion about the person in the profile – stop and ask yourself if your judgment is based on fact or fear.
The best self-test I’ve found to determine whether any thought or judgment of mine is worth re-examining is this follow-up question, “Could I be wrong?” If the answer is yes, as it most usually is – then give the person and the profile the benefit of the doubt.