October 27, 2021
Your Crystal Ball
I miss the days when a blind date was a blind date, and a matchmaker could call and say, “I have a great guy for you; meet him”. The couple would speak on the phone, meet, ask each other questions, and if there was some chemisry, begin dating - getting to know each other face-to-face, in-person, close-up.
Singles today are too clever, wise and discerning for a phone call. Today’s singles prefer to skip right to the elimination round and bypass that all-too-crucual preliminary step. The preliminary step where you decide whether or not there is enough chemistry to meet. What happened to that crucial step? When did we get too lazy for a phone call? Instead, we trust the profile to contain all we need to know, as if a few paragraphs and a photo are a crystal ball that can spot everything that is “right” or “wrong” about a match.
I often have the feeling that people read a profile to find what is wrong, instead of focusing on all the things that are right.
Rona, my 57 year old, divorced client said this to me during our interview, “I would love to meet a man who enjoys sports as much as I do”. I sent Dave’s profile, an attractive, successful, fellow sports-lover. A week went by and I still hadn’t received a response from Rona. Usually, the responses come quickly. I reached out to be sure she’d received his information. She apologized for not getting back to me sooner, explaining “there was a hurricane warning in my area recently”…and after a pause added…”besides, I have doubts about Dave and wanted to think about it more. He wrote that he is ‘happy with his work’ and that ‘he loves going skiing and scuba diving’, but he didn’t write about anything else. He’s clearly obsessed”.
My client looked into her crystal ball and decided that because Dave didn’t write about any other interests, he is “obsessed” with work and sports to the exclusion of everything else, and she didn’t want this trait either.
She reached this dramatic conclusion without speaking with Dave.
“While I think we would have our passion for sports in common”, she continued, “he didn’t mention anything but skiiing, scuba diving, and work. I don’t get a sense that he has any other interests; I would like you to keep looking.”
Dinah was single and 37 when she revealed to me that she had been a member of a well-known dating site for years, and in spite of receiving hundreds of messages from single men, she’d only gone out on a couple of dates after all this time. She summed up her crystal ball insight like this, “The ones who are attractive are not romantic. The ones who are attractive and romantic won’t relocate. Those who will relocate and are attractive and romantic, don’t like cats.”
She scrutinized profiles with her mental checklist - if she liked his photos, check mark for “attractive”; not mentioning cats, means he doesn’t like them; left the “relocation” box blank? - he isn’t open to it. In short, if a trait wasn’t pointedly mentioned in the profile, he didn’t possess it (or he did - depending on which side of the coin she wanted things to fall out on that day). Whatever she decided, the decision was made without the benefit of a preliminary phone call.
And what about being romantic? Well, she was never able to tell me how she could accurately make this determination without going on a date with the guy…oh right, that crystal ball.
It happened again recently; one of my clients refused to meet lawyers or men with finance-based careers. She believes it means they aren’t passionate or romantic because “those professions are for men who are hyper-focused on work”.
When you can’t even make time for a preliminary phone call, it looks more like fear rather than intuition or time conservation that is holding you back. I’m not suggesting you block a four-hour window to shower, dress and bring your energy to a face-to-face meetup. But if you can’t conjure up enough adventurous spirit to make it through a a 30 minute zoom call where you only have to dress your top half (ha, ha)..well, maybe you’re too busy for a relationship.
Is it such a leap of faith to pick up the phone and talk to someone? To have a conversation and learn what makes this person tick? To ask your questions and listen to the answers with an open mind and curious heart. Be receptive! This is all that is required of love! Be receptive! Ask questions, answer questions, and show flexibility.
Don’t make assumptions about anyone from a brief paragraph or a few photos. That crystal ball is critically flawed. Trade in your skepticism for spunk, initiative, and a willingness to take a chance that you might actually connect with another person on a very intimate level.
Ahhh, but maybe this is what you are afraid of?