The Risks and Rewards of Renewal

The Risks and Rewards of Renewal

Doug, a recent transplant to the DC area, recently reached out to me for my matchmaking services.

He explained that, at 66, he had just retired from a teaching career, and was searching for a mate, not necessarily a wife.

He stated that he did not want to be alone, but confided that he didn’t know whether he was appropriate for my network, given that he had been married and divorced four times.

Upon further questioning, I learned that he had a grown son from his first marriage, whom he was very close to, and that his relationship with his son’s mother was amicable, as it was with all his ex’s. He stated that he was never unfaithful in any of his marriages, was never abusive, nor did he have any addictions which led to the demise of those relationships.

He owned that he had perhaps chosen unwisely or used poor judgment when picking his previous wives, but that in two of his marriages, they simply grew apart and mutually decided to divorce.

I decided to meet with Doug for a consultation to learn more, and heard the relief in his voice when I said that I did not necessarily consider his situation to be a ‘deal breaker’, as far as my services were concerned.

When I met Doug, I was impressed with his good looks, warmth and intelligence. He spoke openly about his past, including the fact that he had sought individual therapy so that he could move forward more effectively and find a healthy and lasting love relationship.

I liked Doug and felt compassion for his situation, and thus agreed to represent him in his search for a partner. I appreciated his honesty, level of self awareness and his wry sense of humor, which I believed would go a long way towards endearing him to the right woman.

Ellen is an attractive, divorced, 63 year old professor whose husband left her three years ago for a younger woman.

She hired me to find her a partner with good character and an upbeat personality, who could help her move beyond the loss and trauma she experienced in her divorce.

I recommended that she meet Doug, but felt it important to provide full disclosure of his situation, as I do with all my clients. I explained his circumstances and suggested that she keep an open mind and meet him first before drawing any conclusions.

She reluctantly agreed, then called me several hours later and reversed her position.

Meanwhile, however, I had called Doug and given him the good news that I had a great referral for him and told him all about Ellen. He was delighted and encouraged by my efforts, and enthusiastically took down her contact information.

Faced with the decision of calling Doug back to explain that the date wouldn’t happen, or trying to reason with Ellen, I decided to speak to Ellen first. She began the conversation by saying that she preferred that I looked elsewhere for someone without so much baggage.

I reminded her that we all have baggage and that she had hired me to find her a good man.

I told her that I had a good feeling about Doug, that he was kind, compassionate and funny and that those qualities were not so easy to find.

I also impressed upon her the importance of following through on her commitments and since she had already agreed to meet him, I asked her to honor her word.

I also told her that I thought he would be great company, something she admittedly lacked. There was no reason, I argued, that she shouldn’t go out and have a nice dinner with a desirable guy and decide from there.

Ellen agreed to go out with him as a result of our conversation.

Doug later called to inform me that they are planning to have dinner this weekend. I was pleased to have persuaded Ellen to follow through with the date.

I sincerely hope that Doug’s warmth and charm will win her over, or at the very least, provide her with a nice experience, helping heal her wounds. My hope for Doug is that he takes heart that there are opportunities out there for him to rebuild his life and finally find a loving partner to grow old with.

My practice not only consists of matching clients, but also giving them context and perspective before and after each referral.

We don’t know what will ultimately happen between Doug and Ellen, but having a trusted matchmaker/confidante puts them in a much better position to succeed.


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