Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Matchmaker, Matchmaker Make Me a Match

Matchmaker, Matchmaker Make Me a Match
One of my many side interests is to play match maker.  The ironic thing about this is if you look at my statistics, I’m not very good at it.  Over the past few years I estimate that I have set up about 500 people on dates.  These dates have resulted in 5 relationships and 0 marriages.  With such a dismal track record, you are probably wondering why I waste my time?  The truth is, the purpose of me setting people up on dates is not with the expectation that they will fall in love and get married.  Actually, if people start dating, I’m more surprised than anyone.
Let me explain the reason behind my thinking, help you understand what goes into the process, some tips on it and some things that drive me crazy.
Why Do I Do It?
I am one of the few people who truly enjoys being set up.  I took the mindset a long time ago to try just about anything once, and this includes blind dates.  I actually think they’re fun.  There is something exciting about getting to meet someone I wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to be with.  I don’t go into it thinking I will be married to this person.  I just go with an open mind and a determination to have fun.  This is something I wish more people did, it could change their lives.
It’s Just A Freaking Date People –
I’m always surprised at how many people are so adamantly against getting set up on a date.  This is something that drives me crazy, especially the people who constantly complain that they never go on dates.  The majority of the time when I approach people about setting them up, they come up with every reason to not try it.  The main reason I hear is “If I’m not interested, I don’t want to lead them on”.  I am confused as to why so many people think that if you go on one date, it means you are now in a committed relationship.  A first date is exactly that, one date.  It’s a chance to get to know someone and see if there is a spark.  If you don’t feel anything, move on.  If the other person pursues, let them know you aren’t interested.  It’s pretty simple.
I Can’t Seem To Turn Off Match Making In My Head –
Literally every time I meet someone new, man or woman, I tend to think if they would be a good match for someone I already know.  Sadly, this even happens when I’m on dates.  As soon as I know they aren’t going to be the one for me, I start thinking of other people for them.  I am aware this is weird, and I’m trying to be better about it, it just seems to be a part of my brain I can’t shut off.
Sometimes Dating Is All About Networking –
This is the reason I don’t worry myself too much if the couple I set up is going to fall for each other.  By going on a date with someone, maybe you will fall in love.  But if not, maybe you will make a new friend.  And maybe that new friend will introduce you to their friend who ends up being the one for you.  You never know what can happen, and it never hurts to have a new friend.
Some People Refuse To Go Unless They Have Seen A Photo Of Them First -
I get it, you need to be physically attracted to someone in order to fall in love.  It’s just basic nature.  But if I come to you and say I have someone for you to meet, and you will only even consider it if you see a photo first to make sure they are up to your standards, you come off like a tool.  Trust me in the fact that I will not set you up with someone you find grotesque.  Remember that whole “it’s just one date” thing?  Besides, what if I showed them a picture of you and they said how ugly you were?  It sucks to be judged on basic looks alone, so stop doing it and trust me. 
When I was heavier, the only thing about getting set up that would bother me was when people would say “I have the perfect guy for you!”.  Then during the date, it would become painfully obvious that the only thing we had in common was that we were both overweight.  I’m not sure what the people who fixed us up expected us to connect on?  Our fear of abandonment and tendency to overeat to hide deeper issues?  Oh yea, there’s a match made in heaven.
Sometimes Bad Dates Are Better Than Good Dates, They Make the Best Stories -
Clearly since I am still single, I do not have some amazing tale about how I went on a date, fell madly in love and lived happily ever after.  What I do have is a huge collection of bad date stories, and I think they are hilarious.  Bad experiences help us realize the good ones when they come along.  And anyone who hasn’t heard about my date with the guy I’m pretty sure was a polygamist, I’d be happy to tell you about it sometime  J
It Can Be Ridiculously Time Consuming -
Let me give you a breakdown of the process I do for my online dating service Double Dutch Dating;
First I create a Facebook event asking anyone interested in getting signed up.  I try to make it clear that it isn’t an actually event, just a deadline for when you can sign up.  I then spend the next week answering a minimum of 20 questions asking me where they meet and other questions that are clearly answered on the invite.  Sigh, please just read the description people.
Next, once the deadline is up, I get a list of the people who signed up on the website and email them a list of basic questions;
I ask if they would be willing to date someone younger/older than them, and the age limit for each.
I ask them to list at least 3 hobbies they have.
I ask them if they would be willing to date someone who is overweight.  My definition of overweight is more than 40 pounds above a healthy range.  I do not put “chubby” in this category.  The reason I ask this is because I don’t want to set you up with someone you would not be remotely attracted to.  I also don’t want that person to have their feelings hurt.
Once I get their responses back, I try to make my matches.  Most of the time I have twice as many women than men sign up, so I have to reach out to the guys to see if they will be willing to go on two dates.
I match my couples by age, and hobbies.  I try to match people as best I can, but it’s not an exact science.  Plus, it’s a free service.  If you want me to go out there and hunt down your perfect eternal companion, you are going to have to pay me  J
I check the FB page of the matches to make sure they aren’t already friends.  My goal with the service is to introduce you to people you don’t already know.  This is becoming more and more challenging, so it doesn’t always work out this way.
Once the matches are made, I send an email to both people with their contact information and a list of date ideas.  From there, I leave it in their hands.
So that’s the basic process.  It is very, very time consuming, but fun.  So if you want to give it a try, I would love it!  Just go to find my picture on the right and sign up! 
By opening up yourself to new experiences, you never know the people or happiness you can find  J