December 29, 2022
Jewish Matchmaker Journal: Love is Outside the Box
I’m prompted to write this month’s blog following some happy news that I received recently. Very happy news, in fact. I’m a Jewish matchmaker and I received word that two of my former clients got married. Not to each other - they were not matches for each other. They married people they met after our contract together had ended.
I am thrilled for both of them. They are attractive, successful, intelligent, and kind people who deserve all the happiness that comes with finding someone you want to share your life with. I would have loved to have been the one to connect them with their soulmate - and I used all resources at my disposal to make that happen, but the universe sometimes trumps all efforts and takes things into her own hands and in her own time.
I must admit, however, that along their happy news came of bit of frustration for me. Why frustration? Because both of them got married to someone who was outside of the parameters that they insisted I stick to. Parameters that were deal-breakers; parameters they wouldn’t budge on no matter the other qualities of the match.
“Nili” had just hit 30yrs old when she hired me as her matchmaker. A beautiful, shapely, intelligent woman seeking an outgoing and confident Jewish man who loves animals. Seemed like certain success - what man wouldn’t want to meet this lovely lady? Her make-or-break was that she wanted only matches who were at least 6’ tall. On this she wouldn’t budge (she is 5’1”). Of course there were other parameters that had to be met but the height was the most challenging. Though she received matches that fit her height preference, she declined most of them and those she met, she did not feel a connection with. Our contract ended without the happily-ever-after we were seeking.
Fast forward two years and I reach out to her because someone has crossed my path that I feel might be a good fit for her. I wanted to know if she was still single and interested. Her joyful response arrived in the form of photos. One was a wedding photo and the other was of the couple with their baby. I was so happy to receive these photos! What a beautiful family! I couldn’t ignore the obvious, however - her husband is nowhere close to 6’ tall. He is a few inches taller than she, at the most.
“David” reached out to me when he was 49. A handsome, active, fit, successful, charming, and charitable man who built a thriving practice and was ready to focus on marriage and children. No surprise that he wanted a fit and attractive partner by his side - someone who shared his focus on health as well as his family-oriented nature. Again, seemed almost guaranteed that we would be successful at our search.
His make-or-break was that he was only willing to meet women 35yrs old or younger. He didn’t want a divorcee or someone who already had children. I understand - he wanted a family of his own and didn’t want to take a chance on a woman he felt would have a difficult time conceiving. He couldn’t relocate but was open to women who would relocate to him so we had a broad field to search in.
There were many, many beautiful women who fit his other criteria - but as appealing as he is on so many levels, women in their early 30’s want to start a family with someone who closer to their own age. No match in his preferred age range wanted to have children with a man who would be a grandfather’s age when their kids graduated high school. I encouraged him to be more open and focus on finding love first, but he was insistent. When our contract ended, he was as alone as when we started.
I reached out recently to wish him a happy birthday. I hadn’t spoken to him in a while and I hadn’t been following his FB posts. Turns out that on his 50th birthday while out with his buddies, he met a woman celebrating her 40th birthday in the same bar. The chemistry was immediate and the connection was undeniable. When she told him that she was divorced with a 7yr old daughter, he didn’t bat an eye. Instead, he stepped out of his comfort zone and began getting to know both of them. He said it’s challenging to take on the role of step-father but it’s also incredibly rewarding and he hopes they will also be able to have a child of their own. Regardless, he is committed to being the best step-father and husband in the world.
It often happens that singles date and marry people that they would have declined from a matchmaker or dating site. When you meet someone in person and you “click”, nothing else matters. He may not be as tall as you like, but he really makes you laugh. She may not be petite and model-thin, but wow - what a smile. All that truly matters is how someone makes you feel, and there is not a profile or photo in the world that you can look at and accurately know how being around that person will make you feel.
Matchmakers strive to make matches based on the qualities that our clients are looking for, but many of them are unrealistic with their demands. And more often, we have a great match but because something is not exactly to the preference, the client will never even see that profile. And it might have been the love of their life - if they had met.
They say there is a lid for every pot and I believe it’s true, but we’ve got to stop trying to fit love into these little boxes. Love cannot be roped in or boxed in. Love doesn’t work that way. As my two former clients learned, love is outside that box. That’s where you should be looking.