The Friendship vs. Romance Cliché

Leora Hoffman Associates - exclusive matchmaking for baby boomers in the Baltimore / DC Metro area

One reason why it can be hard to say what we want is that sometimes we want more than one thing. This can be true whether we’re looking at a take-out menu, or meeting someone on a first date.

Leora Hoffman Associates - exclusive matchmaking for baby boomers in the Baltimore / DC Metro areaAlice is a beautiful and talented 46-year-old lobbyist. She’s naturally outgoing, fun and charming and has many men interested in her.

She hired me to help sift through prospects for her, since she found the entire process to be overwhelming on her own.

Her first referral was to Dan, and attractive and friendly man, who was interested in Alice. Due to scheduling issues on both their parts, it became too challenging to try to arrange a second date. Alice became discouraged that Dan wouldn’t have the time for her and decided not to try and work it out.

Since then, I’ve introduced Alice to other interesting men in the past year, but she hasn’t ‘clicked’ with anyone yet. Recently, she asked me if Dan was still ‘on the market’, and expressed an interested in seeing him again ‘as a friend.’ I cautioned her that if he were still available, he wouldn’t be interested in seeing her merely on a platonic basis, and that it didn’t make any sense to revisit that situation unless she was open to dating him. She decided not to contact him again.

I explored the reasons for Alice’s insistence that he could only be a friend. She explained that he was like several of male friends, and didn’t inspire the ‘spark’ she was looking for. That ‘spark’, however, had led her astray in many prior relationships, as she’d chosen men who were exciting to her, but wither had major character flaws or weren’t in her league professionally or financially.

I will continue to encourage Alice to consider men who are more like Dan, who can offer her substance and who have long-term potential. Women often make the mistake of equating stability with lack of excitement, and overlook men who could become more exciting to them, if they gave them a chance. We all know couples whose romance grew slowly and gradually, but who have stood the test of time.

As a matchmaker, I can’t impose chemistry on my clients, but I do them a disservice if I allow their pre-existing biases to cut off possibilities. I hope that Alice can get beyond her comfort zone to consider the kind of man who’s less troubled and more likely to be the kind of partner she really needs.

We all crave friendship and romance in our lives. If we demand that any prospective partner immediately supply a full dose of both, we’re bound to end up disappointed. If you’d like to untangle whatever romantic knot you’re in, contact me.

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