Enduring Love

Successful Matchmaking - Pickleball Players

When Ellie, an attractive and interesting widow in her seventies first consulted me for my services, she told me that she had read my book:  Catch Me a Catch: Chronicles of a Modern Day Matchmaker.

She was convinced that I was the person she wanted to help her find love again after experiencing many lonely years since she had lost her husband.  She was now retired and focused on her personal life after having had a successful career as a head hunter.  I met with Ellie and found her to be authentic, forthcoming, and a powerhouse of sorts.  After learning more about her background and goals in a partner, I became excited about the idea of working together and recommended that she hire me at the Executive Search level to recruit on her behalf, given the scarcity of quality men in her age range.  She eagerly enrolled in my program.

Chris was widowed himself and had been referred to me by one of my strategic partners in the community who knew of my work and loved the idea of helping seniors find love again after divorce or death of a partner or spouse.  Chris had owned an accounting firm and  had done very well in his career, being he sole breadwinner in his prior marriage to the mother of his children.  At seventy seven, he was handsome, smart and had a magnetic personality.  Despite their religious differences, I decided that they had enough common ground to warrant introducing them.

They were both pickleball players, so decided that meeting for a game would be a fun first date.  To their relief, they discovered that they were evenly matched on the court and could enjoy the game without being too competitive with each other.  When he won, he was humble and funny, suggesting that he could make it up to her by treating her lunch at his club.

They lingered for hours as they unexpectedly shared some very personal information with each other and by the end of that date, they both felt invested in getting to know each other better.

Chris was attracted to Ellie from the start, but it took Ellie longer to put her guard down and actually flirt with him, a skill she hadn’t practiced in many years.  Their friendship evolved into a deep love over the next eleven months.  I was thrilled to consider them among my best successes.

However, six months later, Ellie called to say that she had decided to break up with him.  I was distressed to hear this, but listened carefully as she reported that once Chris was secure in their relationship, he began taking her for granted.  He stopped trying to please her as he had done in the beginning and became increasingly demanding of her time.  Ellie felt that the relationship had become one sided and she could no longer tolerate that, after making repeated attempts to rectify the problem.  I empathized with her and agreed that given what she had shared with me, her ending the relationship, painful as it was, was probably much healthier for her.

Ellie asked me to reactive her membership and to introduce her to other men.  I did so, however, she didn’t find the same spark that she had had with Chris with anyone else and decided to take a break from men altogether and to spend her time focusing more on family and friends whom she had regretfully neglected to some extent during her time with Chris.

A year went by.  Ellie and I kept in touch during that time.  She called to tell me that she ran into Chris recently, which felt like a setback for her. She realized that she was far from over him.  Not long afterwards, Chris reached out to her to talk further and asked if she would consider seeing a couples’ therapist to try and work on the issues that caused the break-up.  Ellie reluctantly agreed and after several months of working with an experienced practitioner, they decided to give their relationship another try.  It was obvious that they had both missed each other very much. Chris also came to realize how and why he had pushed Ellie away, promising to be mindful of his own issues, rather than projecting them onto to her.  She recommitted to the relationship, and resolved not to subvert her own needs in order to please Chris, as she had done.

They are still together.  Their story exemplifies how sometimes it takes losing something very precious to recognize what people mean to each other. 

It became clear that the foundation of love that they had established still remained, despite their problems and subsequent separation. I am in awe of their ability to have faced their obstacles and salvaged their love.