Bruce was a handsome and wealthy 46 year old entrepreneur.
He joined as an Executive Search member, which entitled him to my active recruitment efforts on his behalf.
During my initial consultation with him, he expressed his desire to meet a woman who possessed the following qualities:
- Drop-dead gorgeous looks (an “11” on a scale of “1-10”, as he put it)
- Age 32-38, a sweet disposition
- A nurturing and generous nature,
- And an interesting career.
My reaction to his expressed criteria was to caution him to be realistic.
In my experience, as I explained to him, women who were in that league physically did not usually tend to also be the most nurturing types, as they were accustomed to the world catering to them as a consequence of their extreme beauty.
I validated his desire to meet a kind and generous woman, explaining that those qualities were more important in cultivating a loving relationship.
I recommended that he aim for a more reasonably attractive woman, rather than one on the “supermodel” level. He rejected my counsel and insisted that I find him a woman at the physical standard he expressed, stating he would deal with the rest. I agreed to try.
Serendipitously, I met a woman of that caliber at a networking event. Alana was a 37 year old European lingerie model who had recently moved to the DC area and was looking for the right man.
She liked the idea of working with a matchmaker who could screen potential prospects on her behalf, since she was usually inundated with suitors, which only confused and overwhelmed her. I told her all about Bruce and she agreed to meet him.
I was thrilled to have made this contact and eagerly awaited the feedback from their date.
On the evening they were planning to meet, I received a call from Bruce letting me know that a family emergency had arisen and that he had to cancel his date with Alana at the last minute.
In an effort to placate her, he sent her two dozen roses, along with a two page handwritten letter of apology wherein he explained the circumstances that had forced him to cancel their date.
The following morning, Alana called to report what happened and stated that she refused to consider rescheduling the date.
When I asked her whether she had read his letter, she told me she couldn’t have cared less why he cancelled and had thrown it in the trash without even reading it. She stated that her evening had been ruined and that it had been too late to make alternate plans, which in her world was unforgivable.
Bruce learned the hard way that all that glitters isn’t always gold.
He had a hard time comprehending why Alana had rejected him offhand, after all, in his mind, he was dealing with circumstances beyond his control and had behaved like a perfect gentleman.
I explained to him that Alana was a perfect example of the prototype he had requested: A beautiful, yet self-absorbed woman who expected a man to cater to her, rather than having the capacity to demonstrate an understanding of his needs.
He agreed that in the long run, it would be in his best interest to find someone a little less stunning, less shallow and more substantive.
It took this disappointing experience for him to integrate my advice into our work and for him to move forward with a more realistic vision of his optimal match.