The Best of Intentions

I’ve been pretty open with my friends and family about working with a matchmaker.  I’ve also been open about where I’ve drawn my lines and what I’ve decided is important to me.

Because I’m lucky, I have a lot of people who love me and want what’s best for me, and many times this shows up in the form of advice.  Despite my know-it-all tendencies, I try to take advice seriously.  My friends and family are smart, and they have experience that I don’t have, and I’d be a fool not to take advantage of that.

The thing is — I get a lot of advice.  A lot.  Sometimes solicited, sometimes not.  All of it comes from a place of love, all of it comes from a place of love, allofitcomesfromaplaceoflove, placeofloveplaceofloveplaceoflove.  Here is a list of some of the advice I’ve gotten over the years.  When you read it, I hope you’ll get a sense for why I’m frustrated:

  • Just do the things you love to do.
  • Do the things you love to do but make sure you do the versions that appeal to men.
  • Do things that you don’t like to do — you don’t have to share all of your partner’s interests.
  • I don’t know — laughter?  What if he’s a funny serial killer?  You can get this itch scratched with your friends.  Your mate doesn’t have to make you laugh.
  • I don’t know — fun?  Relationships aren’t fun, they’re work, and if you only expect fun, it will fall apart.
  • I don’t know — no beer cans in profile pictures?  What if he’s THE ONE, and he happens to like beer?  I know lots of people who like beer, and they are all great people.
  • I don’t know — educational requirements?  What if he’s just not into school, and he’s an amazing entrepreneur?  Steve Jobs and Bill Gates don’t have degrees.
  • I don’t know — no educational requirements?  I think a man who doesn’t have at least a college degree is going to have a problem with you having a law degree.
  • I don’t know — travel?  Not everyone has had the same opportunities as you — you’re being pretty snobby/judgmental/elitist/unfair in some other way.
  • I don’t know — you’re not including travel?  It’s your favorite thing to do!  What are you going to do, go on fun trips with the Viking and leave him behind?
  • I don’t know — respect for his female relatives?  Maybe his mom and sisters are terrible people, and you could change his mind or show him how to have better relationships with them.
  • I don’t know —  It’s just for hookups.
  • I don’t know —  It’s free, so that’s going to influence the quality of the guys who are on there.
  • I don’t know — eHarmony?  They’re so churchy, and they don’t allow gay people to use their site.  Everyone you meet will be a homophobe.
  • I don’t know — a male matchmaker?  What do men know about what women are looking for?
  • I don’t know — a female matchmaker?  If she’s not already married, she might be keeping the really great guys for herself.
  • Don’t express your opinions up front — introduce them gradually, after he’s sure he likes you.
  • Express your opinions up front — there’s no point in him getting to know you gradually, only to find out he has a lot of trouble with opinionated women.
  • Wear extra makeup — you have to catch his eye.
  • Don’t wear extra makeup — false advertising is uncool.
  • I don’t know — crossword puzzles?  It seems like a great Sunday morning activity, but what if he’s better at them than you are?  What if he’s worse?

It’s all good advice, and all of it has made me think, which I appreciate.  What I don’t appreciate is that sometimes, I find myself having to justify an interest I have or a position I’ve taken.  It’s exhausting, because from my perspective, it feels like the people I love and who love me have decided that I don’t know what I’m doing.  I think that given the sheer awesomeness of this group, I should be given the benefit of the doubt.  I do amazingly well picking and finding friends.  I have faith that with a bigger pool of candidates, I’ll do ok picking and finding a romantic relationship.

So here’s another line in the sand.  Please keep offering advice — it makes me think, which is always welcome.  But I’m done justifying what I’ve decided is best for me, because in this equation, I am the only person who matters.  (And if I’ve forced you to justify a relationship decision to me, I am SO SORRY.  I watched Beginners over the weekend, and Christopher Plummer had a line that hit too close to home:  “For someone with so much relationship advice, you seem awfully alone.”  Thank you for still being friends with me.  I will do better in the future.)

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5 Responses to The Best of Intentions

  1. Meg says:

    You deserve to be happy, and to find someone who shares in that happiness. I’m rooting for you!!!

  2. Adriano says:

    CC, I really enjoy reading your blogs. Do I get that correctly: you have those advice from your friends constantly flying around in your head? Well, if yes, your brain is fabulous! If no, GREAT! I think, those well-meant tips are good for explaining a decision afterwards, but are not helpful at all in the moment. I am sure, your gut-feel is very well developed and that is very helpful in the moment! Do I make sense to you? *laugh*

    • It’s not flying around constantly, but I definitely think about it when I’m evaluating whether some criterion I have is actually important to my happiness. And yes, the conclusion I’ve come to is that my instincts are great, and I’m sticking with them. No explanations, no justifications, no more arguments about why I didn’t like someone.

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