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New matchmaking show alert! Here’s the basic gist of NBC’s Ready for Love: Three top-notch matchmakers pick groups of fabulous women for three eligible bachelors. Both the ladies and the men are coached through a series of arranged dates until the eventual love matches are made. It’s like The Bachelor without the most dramatic rose ceremonies in the history of time and, sadly, without Tierra’s sparkle.

Matt HusseyAfter watching only the first episode, the jury’s still out on how I feel about this show. But I must admit I was lured in by the sole male matchmaker, Matt Hussey. I find myself completely intrigued by everything he says. Perhaps it’s his sexy British accent or his sheer I-know-everything-about-women confidence, but it’s definitely Hitch meets He’s Just Not That Into You, and I’ve fallen deep.

After Bachelor Number One (who happens to be the ever-so-sweet Tim Lopez of the band, Plain White T’s) finished his first-round dating extravaganza, the matchmakers sat down to review the dates with the ladies. What did they do right? What did they do wrong? I’m embarrassed to say I found this portion of this reality show enlightening, particularly when Matt reviewed Hailey’s date. He made an observation that really stuck with me:

In the date there was a moment when you called yourself an old maid. Now I can guarantee you, he wasn’t even thinking it. But here’s the problem: As soon as you put an insecurity on their radar, you just planted that seed. It’s like if I say to all of you, “Don’t think of a pink elephant.” What do you think of now? Pink elephant. That’s there forever. He thinks you’re a goddess. Don’t mess that up.

As I heard these words, I felt huge, red, cartoon arrows drop from the sky and point at me from one hundred different angles screaming, Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! Wow, have I been there.

Let’s face it: I’m the queen of the self-deprecating one-liner.

Oh, I’m such a moron! (Giggle, giggle.)

Well, for a big girl like me… (Forced smile.)

I’m an idiot. (Look away.)

I mean, when you’re single at my age… (Uncomfortable laugh.)

When conversations get personal or intimate, or I feel even the least bit unsure of myself, I resort to pointing out something about myself that I shouldn’t.

Sometimes they’re complete lies. I know I’m not really an idiot.

And sometimes they’re truths that are placed in a terribly negative light. Yes, I need to lose weight, but why should that even come into the conversation?

I saw a lot of myself in Hailey. I mean, apart from the obvious tall-blonde-leggy-supermodel plight we’ve both been cursed with. (Oh no! Did I just do it again?) Hailey’s funny and can use comedy to cut through awkward tension, making people feel more comfortable and relaxed. She’s real, seems smart, and is an elementary school art teacher — which is something I’d likely enjoy doing. And she often resorts to talking about farts, which according to one female matchmaker is a word that should never come up on a date. (Dear Matchmaker, I take it you didn’t grow up being fart-bombed by a slew of brothers?)

Despite all these great, attractive qualities Hailey and I share, we are both quite insecure about what we have to offer on a date. From the outside, we might seem confident and pulled together. But on the inside, we’re questioning every little thing and, unfortunately, often verbalizing those thoughts.

      • Am I pretty enough? I’m sure he’s thinking he could do better.
      • Am I thin enough? I wonder if this outfit hides all my not-so-great parts.
      • Am I smart enough? I bet I’m not keeping up on all these conversation topics.
      • Am I fun enough? My laugh is starting to sound staged inside my head.

Pink ElephantAnd the insecurities just go round and round in my head like a Ferris wheel. But I seem to forget that I’m already on the date. I seem to forget that this man actually asked me out. He wanted to take me out to dinner or a movie or a stroll around town. And from Matt’s experienced (and male) perspective, he wouldn’t have asked me out if he thought I was an unattractive, boring idiot.

The truth is we’re all insecure about something. Even the hottest supermodels and the smartest Big-Bang-Theory-level physicists and the most successful stand-up comedians and the richest business entrepreneurs are insecure about something. And that goes for both men and women. So no matter how perfect and confident your date may seem, the truth is he’s probably sitting there wondering if he’s hot enough, if he’s smart enough, if he’s successful enough, if he’s cool enough. And he might just be fighting the urge to let out a self-deprecating comment or two.

So for Hailey, me, and all the other singles out there, we might do best to focus on the positive things about ourselves. Don’t plant seeds of insecurities that’ll grow into huge pink elephants, stomping out any chances of relationship success. Like Matt said, “He thinks you’re a goddess. Don’t mess that up.”

Goddess, eh? Now that’s something I could get used to.

~Ruth