One day I opened an e-mail and saw a message from a matchmaker organization in Northeast Ohio. The company was formed for persons like myself — who are often too busy to meet quality dating partners or who’ve grown increasingly frustrated with the dating scene.
At this point I figured, what the heck? What did I have to lose? It’s not like I had a date Saturday night with Angelina Jolie.
So I interviewed with a staff member and explained what I was looking for in a dating partner. Even here, I learned you have to be careful. What you think you want in a person isn’t always what you want. Certainly, I wanted someone educated, responsible, easy to talk to and open to various activities. So far, the company has arranged dinner dates or meetings for me with five women — three have been in their mid-50s and the other two were 45 and 48.
I went on my first “arranged” date with Laurie, 54, a school teacher. We met for a drink and then spent an evening at the Akron Art Museum. The conversation was good, but the date lasted only an hour. She said she had to get up early. I looked at my watch. It was only 7:15…
The next day, I went out with 45-year-old Stephanie. She was a cute blond, and the conversation was lively. We had drinks and dinner. The next thing I knew, we’d spent two hours together. I had a good feeling about this one! So good in fact, I was ready to spin the wheel. Stephanie lived an hour away, but I wouldn’t mind making the drive. But when I asked for her number as we left the restaurant, she turned and replied, “I need to think about it.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but I believe if somebody has to “think about it” after you just spent two enjoyable hours together, it’s probably not a good omen. Look, I’m in advertising sales, and if a potential client tells me he needs to “think about it” before buying, the chance of success is less than two percent.
It’s been more than a month now since my date with Stephanie. I haven’t heard a word from her. Wonder if she’s still “thinking about it”?
The next woman I met up with was Debbie, 56. Debbie is president of her own company, and again, we had no problem conversing. But it felt more like a sales call. We exchanged business cards, and it’s possible that Debbie’s company may become a client of mine. But there wasn’t any romantic connection.
As with all the dates they arrange, the matchmaker organization wants to know the outcome. I was honest in my evaluation. I told a representative that all the women were kind, and we enjoyed our time together — but there wasn’t a connection. That spark, or “wow” factor, just wasn’t there. And I’m not sure an organization can strategize or know when two people are going to have that spark. It’s either there, or it’s not.
I’m also wondering a few things about the matchmaker organization itself. The staff wants my feedback about each date, yet they haven’t provided me with feedback on what the ladies thought about me. So what are they doing with all this feedback we’re giving them? I wouldn’t need to know all the details. But, just as a hypothetical, if someone is consistently making the same dating mistakes, or sending negative, non-verbal cues without realizing it, then how can that person correct the behavior on the next date if he’s never made aware of it? Before you can right an action, you have to first know what’s wrong. Right?
Secondly, as one date pointed out to me recently, she suspects the organization is matching people based more on geographical proximity, and less on similar traits or interests. I have no way of knowing if that’s true, but I can see two sides to that coin. If I met someone and we were a spot-on match but she lived five states away, it’s going to take some hard work and compromising to make things work. Conversely, if I met someone who lived two doors down, but we had nothing in common and there was no connection, I’d be sure to check and see who lives three doors down.
Still, I continue to forge ahead. I might be one person away from that elusive connection. Maybe it’s two meetings away. Who knows?
So next I met with Pat, 48. Of all the women to this point, Pat was the most outgoing and engaging. We spent about an hour together and exchanged phone numbers. We’ll probably spend another evening together. But that romantic spark, that special feeling of attraction, remains elusive. And not just from my end. It’s possible the women I’ve met feel the same about me.
Nobody said this was going to be easy.
/ Writer Ben DiCola is an account representative at Baker Media Group and a freelance writer.
Coming next month: Ben asks a woman out the old-fashioned way, no matchmaking required. Good news: He already knows they have chemistry. Bad news: Speaking of chemistry, there are lots of good meds out there that, perhaps, could help regulate her insane mood swings.
E-mail them to editor Georgina K. Carson at firstname.lastname@example.org.