Matchmaking – its existence is connected to the existence of the human being. It’s been there forever, just changing its shapes through the millennia. What is actually the definition of matchmaking: “the arranging of marriage or initiation of romantic relationships between others.” But it isn’t just a process of matching two people, “the word is also used in the context of sporting events such as boxing, in business, in online video games and in pairing organ donors.” Let’s stick to the first notion of this definition!
In this modern-day age, the matchmaking process has advanced quite a bit. We have various dating apps; some even consist of forms with multiple questions that need to be filled to find your match easier, with just the suitable characteristics you seek in your ‘other half.’ TV shows are made, imagining the near future where certain genetic evaluation methods can determine “The one” for 100 percent.
As the inventor of the series says in one of her speeches: “We all deserve the fairytale.”
Besides the many apps and methods of finding your soul mate, which by the way, involve YOUR PERSONAL active engagement, there’s this ancient method where you are a passive actor being pulled into a process without your consent or will. In other words, the matchmaking community knows what’s best. What’s best for you, for others, what type of person you should marry and so on. Oftentimes they take it as their own right to intrude on your privacy, to scorn you for your behavior or choices or even blame you for being single, i.e. being picky, arrogant, not tolerant enough, asking for too much, and the list goes on. They don’t hesitate to put the blame on you as if there is something to be guilty of for staying single. The pretense of caring about your well-being, your old age and your mental health. God forbid if you disapprove of their choice for you – they get insulted.
This is my friend’s story about different sides of the matchmaking process.
“In my life, many people have tried to find me a match,” my friend started her story. “Spoiler alert – all of them failed, but what I have left from those attempts are anecdotes. Besides the stories where I’ve been deeply hurt, there are stories that are left in the oral tradition of our girl gang as fun moments.”
While she was working in a flower shop, one of their regular customers, a mid-age gentleman, thought she was a ‘good catch’ and that it’s a shame she doesn’t have anyone. His main motto was that women want to feel secure, and the men are those who should have a steady job, good income and provide for the family. He introduced her with his suggestions, and one day she yielded and agreed to meet one of his acquaintances. He mentioned his friend was a doctor, a nice person and that he was older than her, not revealing how much older, which will later prove to be the crucial element of the story. She said he could come by in the shop and they’ll see each other. Maybe not the best option for meeting people, you might say, but somehow, she felt it was the safest. After a few days, a middle-aged man came into her shop looking around the arrangements they had, and in one moment, he just turned to her, saying, “I’m looking for Julia.” She said, “I am Julia.” “Well, I’m the doctor. They told me I could find you here and meet you in person”. “To say I was surprised would be an understatement; I was flabbergasted. He was more than 20 years older than me,” my friend told me. “Well, I didn’t expect you to be this young either; I am surprised myself,” the doctor said, obviously a little bit uncomfortable. They both agreed that their matchmaker, at least, had no eye for such a ‘detail’ as a serious age gap.
Not all matches become amusing stories. On one occasion, she got truly hurt. This older lady, living in the building next to her, was trying to get her to meet her son. “She seemed like a nice, sweet person with good intentions, and she really liked me, but she was a little bit pushy, I must admit,” my friend continued her story. “After a while, I agreed to exchange contacts with her son and see what happens, maybe another funny story, who knows. She explicitly said she won’t interfere and ask any questions after we exchange communication. It was a fair deal. What happened next wasn’t fair at all. Allegedly, when she gave her son my number, he asked how old I was, and she told him I was 41. His comment was that he, being 45, doesn’t date women in perimenopause. My neighbor forgot to censure her words and her son’s opinions and told me straight away what he thought about me. I was shocked, to say the least, once again. I couldn’t believe how someone could be so rude, insensitive, and conceited. She ended up apologizing and was very kind afterwards, but the damage was done.”
My friend found herself in funny, embarrassing or hurtful situations.
Dear matchmakers, “you can’t hurry love,” as the song says. At times matchmaking succeeds, and more often, it doesn’t. The road to hell is often paved with good intentions, so maybe sometimes it would be better to keep our thoughts about someone else’s love life to ourselves.