Springing For A Matchmaking Service

One of my best friends is my sister’s ex and he is a pretty nice guy. We went to school together and I was a few years behind him. He happens to be a top chef in one of the nicest hotels around here and he has done quite well for himself.

Still, despite his success he hasn’t met the right woman. He tried dating online like me for a while but he has had nothing but bad luck with that as well (just like me.) The last woman he dated claimed to be a wealthy widow and then he caught her stealing subway fare out of his restaurant till. He also dated a woman who said she was an artist and instead turned out to be this whacked out manic-depressive who did not leave him alone for months. He had to eventually get a restraining order because she pitched a tent outside his restaurant.

Anyhow, Richard (not his real name) decided to leave the trenches of online dating for good. Instead he just paid an online mating service fifteen thousand dollars to match him up with ten quality women. I am just aghast that he would put up that kind of cash to meet a woman but he says it is worth it if he can find the right partner – “a soul mate that will be the last face I see when I die.”

The idea is that these people do all the sleuthing and matching up for you. People have to pass rigorous tests before they can join and rigorous background checks are performed. Ricardo hired them specifically because of the background check because he is sick of women telling him they have degrees when they don’t, that they are divorced when they are not and lying about what they do for a living. Of course I tell him they are lying to impress him because he is a bit of a celebrity around here but being the honest, straightforward and talented person that he is he is not impressed by this.

I on the other hand am not that impressed by how much this type of service costs. And only ten dates for fifteen thousand dollars. These women better be wealthy! Can’t they lower the price a bit and get you the same kind of quality person. Or is searching for a Heart of Gold actually worth its weight in gold when it comes to matchmaker prices?

Whether the meeting happened on the Internet or the corner cafe, one fact remains: In the search for happily ever after, we’ve all had a date with disaster. What remains to be seen if is this matchmaking company will succeed in helping Richard find the partner he needs. I will be sure to keep you posted in this space about what happens to Richard and whether or not this type of service is worth it. By the way just so you don’t lose all hope if you are a woman sometimes you can join these services for free.


Guys – Leave Your Entourage At Home!

One of the worst dates I ever had in my life was with a guy who refused to go anywhere without his entourage. This guy was a rock star wannabe who I found out later, lived rent-free in his parent’s basement. That’s how he managed to afford what he referred to as his “gear’ (a bunch of cables and an amp that looked like it was bought from Sears) and his pseudo-glam rock clothes.

Anyhow, after weeks of exchanging smoky glances with this guy in bars, he finally asked me if I wanted to go to the movies. He showed up at my door, a half an hour late, with a posse of friends, who to me looked like overgrown muppets, with one sporting a blue mop of hair, the other an orange mop and so on through the rainbow. I knew I was in trouble, when all six of them insisted on coming in and then started helping themselves to the contents of my cupboards.

While they sat around, draining the dregs of a dusty bottle of cranberry flavored vodka, my date asked if he could borrow my phone. While his posse made snide comments about my taste in home decor, I overheard him talking to another woman.

My Knight in Shining Armor, wearing his seventies velveteens, then announced that some person named “Pinkie” was about to join us …”OOH joy!” I thought. I should have bowed out then and there but a part of me just has to know how things turn out.

I took the object of desire aside, and asked him whether or not our date was going to happen, and he gave me a very sombre speech about how I had to understand, if I was going to go out with him, that he was public property.

We left, with me foolishly thinking that we were now on our way to the movies. Much to my surprise, we ended up in a cafe, where Pinkie (his ex girlfriend and yes she looked like the singer Pink) showed up with her new boyfriend. We then, at Pinkie’s demand, ended up going to a bar, where I paid lots of money, in the hopes of getting my date’s attention. The entire time, his entourage treated me like an outsider, and I had the feeling like they were snickering at me behind my back.

Every time my date went to the washroom to empty his bladder of the beers I was

buying him, one of the members of his posse would sit down beside me and give me advice, saying things like “You can’t handle him!” or “It takes a very special person to handle him … and “Even Pinkie couldn’t handle him and they were soul mates.”

At the end of the night, he said he was going to the washroom and just disappeared. I disappeared before his entourage could stick me with the tab!

When I got home I found out that someone had stolen all the condoms out of my bed side table. Hope he and his entourage had a happy orgy.


Online Dating – Some Are Luckier Than Others

I have this friend Shari. Like my friend Darlene she is also twenty-six and she has also fell in love online. Sure there is a six year age difference (he is twenty) but at least it is working this time. (He is a very mature twenty years old and is not sitting around watching Star Trek or dropping E all day.)

As I mentioned in the last blog Darlene seemed to find her true love online right away. Shari is a much different story. The more she tries the trickier the men she meets get. In the past Shari has had some pretty bad luck when it comes to men (until this last one but we will see!)

Before Shari met Christopher, she did have a couple of bad experiences that would have soured me on the whole Internet thing. Not catastrophic or truly horrible, but kind of so-so. Depressing enough to send you down to the local meet market bar.

For instance, she was thrilled when one guy she wrote to finally sent her his picture. They agreed to meet in person at a local restaurant. Imagine her surprise when her date rolled up to the table in a wheelchair. I considered seeing him, but

Then I realized …this is not fair. He omitted this information in his email and I couldn’t tell this from the photo he sent me. So I had to tell him, gently, nicely, that this kind of dishonesty was not for me.

Shari also had a one-night stand with an out of work actor that she met on the net as well.

“First I met in him in a cafe. He was also quite a bit younger than me. The whole thing was quite fast and furious…he came over that night and made love. The next day when he tried to come over again, I had to tell him that it was just for sex. He wanted a relationship and I didn’t, so he had to go. It just didn’t click. He was heartbroken.”

Even though it is possible to find sex and even a husband on the Internet, cyber-dating is still a risky business — especially for women. According WHOA (Women Halting Online Harassment) “while men are certainly harassed online, 87% of our reported cases our female. Also 54% of the victims were in the 18 to 30 range. 53% of the victims who came to us had no previous contact with the correspondents. Email is the most common forum where harassment beings –39.5% were stalked or harassed by email and 15.5% began getting harassed after

meeting someone in a chat room.

So from what I am gathering so far, online romance is the most dangerous option for dating if you are single, white, female and under thirty but it might also be your best shot at meeting someone for real. The irony is that whether you end up having a stalker or a genuine soul mate showing up at your door you are probably still going to get that declaration of love you were longing to hear.