Posts Tagged With: matchmaking

What Are You Looking For?

About 10 years ago, the concept of listing out what I wanted in a future spouse was introduced to me and like an obedient girl, I started my list.

A few years later when sifting through my life in therapy, I was told that I didn’t know what I was looking for in a spouse. Au contraire! I had my list! I showed it to my mentor/friend Katharine.

“Laura, you wrote the Proverbs 31 for men! This is completely unrealistic. And it says nothing about real things you want in a husband.”**

Me: “I did?”Gold pen with signature

Yet, not to leave me hanging, Katharine helped me pare down my page-long list to 3 columns. She guided me through selecting traits (physical, character, spiritual, personality, even how he spends his leisure time) into three categories:

  • Non-negotiable
  • Really want
  • Bonus!

One thing that has contributed to “success” is that my list is short; I think I have less than 15 items between all three categories. I’m also guided in my conversation on first dates by having “The List” in the back of my head. For example, I hate doing taxes due to a traumatic experience with them in college. Thus, I want my husband to be financially sound. On dates, I’m not shy to ask questions related to money and saving – while I don’t ask about his debt, savings, or salary, I am able to guide the conversation in order to ascertain his attitude towards retirement savings, budgeting, and financial management which let me know if I even want to keep considering spending time with him.

Depending on how long you’re in dating land, the list might need tweaking as years pass.  A small part of me dies when I look at “4 kids” in one column. It’s good to think about the number of kids you want (even if the number is zero), but being 30 with few prospects makes me less optimistic towards that original number as I’ve lost those years of childbearing/child-rearing. Also, “ministry group” had a specific meaning in my Protestant days; not so much in Ortho-world.

Here’s my suggestion, Ladies and Gents: write down what you want in a spouse. Be specific, even painfully and stupidly specific. Hair color. Ethnicity. Quirks. Height. Interests. This is your list. It might be longer than my 12-15 items, but if that’s what you need, do it. Then go through the list and pick out the “Absolutely, 100% MUST HAVE” for column A. Go through and pick the “I would REALLY WANT” items. Everything else is in “BONUS” – column C. You must have at least one criterion in each column, and it’s best to do this when you don’t have a specific object-of-your-affection in mind.

It’s frustrating to be in The Land of Few Prospects or The Land of Not-Right-Now and even The Land of Everyone-Else-Is-Married. The last 6 to 7 years of my dating adventures have been a little easier thanks to my list – if something doesn’t feel right on a date or in a relationship, generally one of the criterion in my first column isn’t present. And knowing what you’re looking for helps you not be distracted with Mr. Not-for-you-but-definitely-single no matter how great his personality.

**It has come to my attention that cradles or non-Protestant converts in the Ortho-world have not heard of the Proverbs 31 standard for choosing a wife. Proverbs 31:10-31 is an Old Testament passage describing a virtuous woman/wife. Some women, especially Protestants, feel it an unattainable standard held over their heads while wife-seeking men can never find their “P-31 woman”. It was only recently that it was brought to my attention that Proverbs 31 is an allegory for the Church and Christ. Yay, Protestant literalism!

Categories: Articles, Words of wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

How to meddle

Tall Ray of Sunshine’s hilarious post about meddling matushkas (and the creation of – when is that launching?) got me thinking about what married people can do to help their single friends get married. Basically, matchmaking has two components: a) Introducing eligible singles to each other and b) getting out of the way. To break it down further, here’s a list of how meddlers can help their friends get married:

1. Pray that God’s will for them will be done.

2. Before going about matchmaking, make sure you know your friends and understand what will make them happy. Example: Do not attempt to set up a devout Orthodox Christian with an atheist. Do set up devout Orthodox Christians of differing jurisdictions with each other, e.g., OCA gal with GOA guy.

3. Host parties where various people are invited. Do not make it explicitly a “singles” event. Do invite eligible multiples of each gender.

4. Even better, have a hospitable home where people are often coming in and out or spending a weekend here and there. Don’t limit your social life to other married couples. The positive influence and stability of a happily married couple on a single person and all their mutual friends cannot be overstated.

5. Never give your single female friends a hard time about being single. Assume that the right person hasn’t come into their lives yet. Do not give them advice unless explicitly asked. Compliment them on their best qualities. N.b: If you’re a married man, best to leave this to your wife.

6. If you think of two people that might be good for each other and want to set them up, do not ask the single gal if she wants the single guy’s number. Great scott, no. Tell the single gal about him and ask her if it’s okay if he is given her contact info.

7. If a singleton isn’t interested in someone you suggested, do not get upset with them.

8. If one of your matches does hit it off, refrain from nosiness. Do not try to direct the relationship. Do not ask them when the wedding is.

9. If you have two people in mind for each other and one of them starts dating a 3rd party, do not attempt to sabotage the relationship. What are you, psycho?

10. Anything missing? Leave your suggestion in the comments!

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Words of Wisdom

I was talking with Alana Juliana of Morning Coffee and Potentiana fame, and she reminded me of a very important truth:

Here’s an idea…whether or not us old marrieds can match you up with anyone…we CAN PRAY! I will certainly start doing that, and for anyone else on your singles list. And don’t forget that St. Xenia of Petersburg is a good patroness for singles needing spouses, matchmaking etc.

And remember that there’s nothing inherently wrong or bad about being single, whether for a while or a lifetime. There are countless unmarried saints, monastic and otherwise. It may not be what you want, but since when has the path to theosis involved you getting everything you want?

Love in Christ,

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