by Eve Goodwin
Imagine walking through a crowded room full of people, looking for love. As you approach each person, you grab them by the head, look at them for 5 seconds, and then shove their heads to the right if they’re “hot’, and to the left if they’re “not”. Then, you elbow your way through the rest of the room, and wait for someone to shove your head in the right direction too. Welcome to Tinder. For Match.com, it’s much the same, except before you place a large CHECK or X on peoples’ foreheads, you ask them what they do for a living, and how often they work out. Is this really how we’re choosing our life partners these days?
Sadly, it often is. Dating today is rife with immediate gratification and endless options, based on selfies and close proximity. Nobody wants to be judged on a five second physical assessment, and yet, that is what most people are doing, thereby limiting themselves, and sabotaging their chances of actually finding love. People are often thinking about great relationships as something that you find, instead of something that you build and maintain. After a few months, if this relationship isn’t easy, there are thousands of other singles out there, looking for you!
As a matchmaker, I set people up based on what they say they’re looking for, which is usually honesty, kindness, sense of humour, and common interests. But on first dates, which are usually coffee dates lasting less than an hour, the one thing that most people are actually looking for is physical chemistry. I think we’ve been conditioned to do this by browsing hundreds and thousands of thumbnails, looking for the most attractive ones. And because there appears to be endless singles out there, searching for you, nobody seems to want to invest any time into getting to know someone unless their loins are immediately tingling after one coffee date. I cannot tell you how many times people have not wanted to go on a second date with a “great” person, because there was no “spark”. People want immediate sparks, like in a Ryan Gosling movie. Anything less is settling. Physical attraction is important, for sure, but I think that people expect it at first sight, which is not always how it works. Personally, I prefer to find my own unique weirdo, who understands and appreciates my oddities as well, and as we unwrap each other’s onion layers of nerdiness gradually, and get to know and adore each other over time, we become irresistibly sexy to each other. To me, that’s hot. But, as I mentioned, I’m a weirdo. I’ll forego initial sparks for a long term, slow burning fire.
If you ask a happily married couple what they love the most about each other after 50 years together, the answers you are likely to get are: they support me through good times and bad, or they do little things every day to make me feel loved, or they understand me and accept for who I truly am. I would be very surprised to hear a sweet little 80 year old lady say, “Hubert has six pack abs, and he always waits three days before calling me back, and keeps me guessing, which I LOVE.”
Most people who have been in a long-term relationship realize that chemistry and “sparks” come from intimacy and trust, and is not something that can be established in one hour. We KNOW this, but somehow, it gets lost and forgotten in the Game of Dating, which is like Game of Thrones, but even more bizarre and vicious.
Because we are passionate about helping people find that romantic connection that they’re looking for, a large part of our job has been trying to convince people to broaden their search parameters for potential dates, instead of sticking to a “type”, which has not served them in the past.
It’s difficult to be open minded, but when people really are, we have seen amazing and beautiful things happen. Like love. And we live for love.
Eve Goodwin is a Maritimer with an incurable case of wanderlust, who has now put down roots in Calgary with her three lovely daughters. An avid writer from the time she could hold a pencil, she is an enthusiast enthusiast, and enjoys bringing people together as a Matchmaker/Love Ninja at ModernBlindDates.com.