The argument for postmodern matchmaking
There are many different methods for making love connections and I offer no value judgments – except to say that being fixed up by someone you know is the best way to meet your mate. Having a comrade, coworker, or cousin you love set you up for free is the oldest, cheapest, fastest, safest and nicest route to landing a different kind of love. You get to bypass the usual complex weeding-out process and sidestep the awkward ways that singles usually intersect.
These are often so uncomfortable and agonizing that there's a cottage industry of magazine, books, sitcoms, movies and reality shows chronicling the annals of disastrous dates.
Secrets of a fix-up fanatic
By choosing and using a matchmaker you know, you can:
1. Avoid bars, concerts, clubs and other meat markets – the most obvious places to connect with drunks and creeps who could be trying to seduce, drug, manipulate, rob, molest, date-rape, or take advantage of you.
2. Never again have to approach a stranger of the opposite sex whom you've never met with a pickup line (like "Come here often?") or silly ploy (like "Can you tell me what time it is?"). Instead, the person you meet for coffee has already agreed in advance to give you a shot. Your date knows all about you; you know all about your date. You have an intrusive matchmaker in common to comfortably gossip about, which will break the ice.
3. Steer clear of the Internet, which can sometimes offer the quickest, most impatient path to unwittingly picking up pedophiles, ex-cons, losers and liars from different states and countries who post ten-year-old pictures of themselves with all kinds of other deceptive information.
Page 1 of 2 – Think all help in finding love is the same? Learn why turning to a matchmaker is better for you than placing a personal ad on page 2.
4. Remember how liberating it feels to detach from your laptop, cell phones, video games, PVR, and all your other high-tech gadgets, take a shower and get dressed up to socialize with warm people you already like and whomever they choose for your ready-made date.
5. Save yourself the agony of placing personal ads, the easiest approach to becoming a confused and insecure liar yourself. Has anyone in history ever offered a resume or recent photo that honestly reflects true appearance, age, height, weight, profession, salary, original hair colour or reason for past breakups?
6. Give up trying to brand, market, sell, package and repackage yourself – as if you were a product like cream cheese, or a movie that could be summed up in cute sound bites (rather than a whole, complicated, interesting, real person worthy of an entire conversation).
7. Stop wasting your time and throwing away your hard-earned cash on expensive matchmaking services, the clearest gateway to lose your savings to businessmen and women (who are usually miserably single) to do the superficial sorting for you. I only recommend amateur setter-uppers like me, where no money changes hands.
8. Skip attending all generic singles events you have to pay for that are given by fly-by-night organizations you've never heard of before. Thus you can cease the painful practice that erodes the confidence, spunk and great energy you'll need to connect with nice, normal, fun suitors in your own social realm.
Many people still harbor old-fashioned and negative notions of matchmaking. But nobody is suggesting that you allow family members to force you down the aisle with somebody of your faith, ethnic background, or social strata, for purposes of parent pleasing, political diplomacy, or procreation.
I'm a huge advocate of staying single for as long as that makes you happy, and dating around until you feel good and ready to settle down. I'm also a champion of feminism, gay rights, and every kind of mixed-marriage there is – as long as your mate mixes in love and kindness.
Excerpted from Secrets of a Fix-Up Fanatic: How to Meet and Marry Your Match by Susan Shapiro. Copyright 2007 by Susan Shapiro. Excerpted with permission from Bantam Dell, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.
Page 2 of 2