It’s been a while. But like the internet itself, I haven’t gone anywhere. I’ve just gotten bigger and more complicated.
In the interim, I interviewed Sherrie Schneider, author of the notorious dating book The Rules, for FOF. Sherrie had a lot of “old-fashioned” advice to give concerning the birds and the bees, and even though I’m the quintessence of the modern man, I basically agreed with everything she said.
I’d like to expand on her teachings, with a few of my own long-held rules on dating in the digital age. These are addressed to women specifically, because I have inside information only on how men think and operate, but I think both genders can appreciate, if not necessarily heed, these nuggets of advice.
And remember, like Facebook, good advice is totally free. And usually worth the price.
1. Be cautious with a guy who asks you out via text. He’s more boy than man.
I think the most honorable, chivalric move is for the guy to ask the girl out on the phone, but I realize that’s just an unrealistic expectation nowadays. Email is fine. Both phone and email speak to a degree of thoughtfulness behind the request.
But texting is like saying. “I’m asking you out, but I’m not emotionally invested enough to do it on a platform that might require more than fifteen words, or, worse yet, inspire you to say too many words in response. If I could ask you out via morse code, while hiding under my sheets in the dark in the middle of the night, I’d do that. And if you could respond by smoke signal, that would be great, too.”
Besides, when people start hammering out plans via text, and they need eighteen different texts just to plan a dinner date, they both look pretty infantile.
2. Don’t change your Facebook status to “In a Relationship” unless you’ve been dating for six months, at least.
This should be self-explanatory for anyone above the age of sixteen.
People who change their statuses too quickly look like they have something to prove, like they’re a little insecure. Like this. Not surprisingly, these (status) trigger-happy relationships tend to crumble with similar alacrity. Then the parties have to deal with changing their statuses back, which is the cherry on top for the rest of us, who suffered through their (supposed) meteoric rise in the first place.
When you are forced to execute the ignominious “Kelly changed her relationship status to ‘single,’” you can bet people will be dancing on your grave.
Nothing to lose by waiting on that status. Really, I don’t think anyone should change it until they’re engaged.
3. Take down Facebook photos of you and your ex after you break up. In fact, go over all your photos to disarm potential landmines.
You don’t have to erase them. But you should at least adjust the privacy settings on those albums, so that the general public – i.e., your next significant other – can’t see them.
If a new guy came to your apartment, you wouldn’t let him rifle through your shoebox of old photos, right? (Or wherever you keep them.)
Make sure he can’t see them online, either.
Sometimes people leave you halfway through the wood.
Others will deceive you; you decide what’s good.
You decide alone.
FOFs, I need your advice…
Recently, a good friend of mine, we’ll call her Klara, has been dating a man–let’s call him Matty. Klara and I go way back, we’re best friends. I haven’t yet spent enough time with Matty to form a solid opinion of him, but from the thin slices I get at parties and the occasional double-date, he seems pretty cool.
Klara and Matty are getting pretty serious, even talking about moving in together. During this time, I’ve also become close with one of Matty’s good friends, Eleanor.
The other day, I was gabbing with Eleanor and she accidentally let it slip that Matty had recently slept with an ex. She begged me not to tell Klara, but capitulated that should I feel the need to, would I please protect his identity as the leak.
“Please protect me, Lance!” she begged, as I have chosen to change my name in this story as well, because I don’t want to feel left out.
I face a quandary. What are my ethical obligations to Klara, my best friend?
Am I supposed to “protect” her, by informing her of Matty’s infidelity, which would no doubt crush her? Or should I let things run their course? Is it possible that, should they move in together, Matty would cease this dirty business with the ex, and be loyal forever more?
Would Klara even believe me, if Matty denied the charges? Should I confront Matty?
(And, as egocentric as anyone, one of my biggest concerns is whether or not I can act normal in front of the two of them anymore. People can read me like a cue card–what if the truth is written all over my face?)
In the end, I think I know what I want to do, but I’m interested in your sage advice…
Have you had your own experience with this? What does a friend owe another friend, in the way of informing him or her about an infidelity?
by Colby Brin
On this here Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share with you what is perhaps my favorite romantic quote of all time. The following scene is from A Place in the Sun, a 1951 film starring Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor.
I first saw this when I was in grade school; it was part of a montage of famous movie scenes. It’s resonated with me ever since. I don’t know too much about the movie itself, which may be just as well; in my mind, this scene can remain perfect, unadulterated.
At 0:53, Clift tells Taylor:
I love you. I loved you since the first moment I saw you. I guess maybe I even loved you before I saw you.
That slays me: I guess maybe I even loved you before I saw you.
It takes the old love at first site trope, and fairly blows it out of the water. It’s one of those things where, anyone who likes to turn a phrase or two wishes they had come up with it. I know I do.
And I’d imagine that also like me, most people wouldn’t mind having it said to them at least once in their lives, or even just feeling that they had to say it to someone.
I do recognize that such manic, hyperbolic love might not make for the best long term relationship, let alone marriage.
Great quote though.
by Colby Brin
While many modern 20-somethings and 30-somethings say, “I don’t,” a child of one FOF’s divorce makes the case for marriage…
Marriage has been around for thousands of years, but unlike other ancient disciplines that have stood the test of time–like religion, language, and finger puppeteering–it hasn’t evolved much.
It’s still, essentially, one man, one woman, one roof, one bed, till death do you part. Or, as I like to call it, the 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = INFINITY corollary.
For most of my life, I didn’t see how this added up. Old-school marriage seemed too simple for modern man (and woman).
But, as Jane Jacobs said, ideas should come from experience, not the other way around.
And in this way, I’ve come to believe in marriage. Because the experience of the human race has proven it a good idea. I mean, if history is an arena in which the fittest customs have survived, very few customs look as fit as marriage. Apparently, it hasn’t been broke enough for anyone to fix it.
And if this implicit endorsement weren’t enough, recent research has shown that a successful marriage is one of the best predictors of a person’s overall happiness.
Chew on that, modern brain.
Still, in the past I’ve criticized many of my married friends. And if I wasn’t finding fault with their decision to marry, it was with whom they were marrying. But I’ve come around on this as well. Because part of believing in marriage is accepting that you don’t partner up with another person so much as you partner up with the institution of marriage. As something that will provide you with the best odds of being happy.
Two wise people try to make a good marriage, and ultimately, this will make them happier than they could make each other, and happier than others could make them, without marriage.
A good marriage is more like two people holding onto the same inner tube than it is them clinging onto each other. It will provide the ballast they need to be able to reach for their other ambitions.
Along these lines, I think my parents are an example of a successful marriage, even though they got divorced. Their union produced two adoring children; it established a lasting bond between them–they’re still close–and on the whole, it benefited them both financially. In short, it did everything anyone could ask from a marriage, aside from them still being in love and living together. Not a long time ago, I would have looked at that last part as canceling out the rest, but that thinking was too simplistic, itself.
The bottom line is, I don’t know when I will get married. But I very much know that I want to.
Image via Millie Motts
by Colby Brin
Is marriage in this country going the way of the CD player? Most of my neighbors have one, but many of my friends under 30 don’t see a need for them.
This past December, The National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia (NMP) released The State of Our Unions, a sort of census of marriage in this country. The results suggest a seismic change in the way Americans are experiencing coupledom.
According to the NMP, the number of adult women aged 35-44 who are married has decreased 23% since 1960–from 87.4% to 67.3%. For men, the numbers are similar, with a decrease of 25%.
But that doesn’t mean people aren’t ‘settling down.’ The report goes on to say:
“The decline in marriage does not mean that people are giving up on living together with a sexual partner. On the contrary, marriage is ceding ground to non-marital unions.”
To wit, the number of cohabitating, unmarried adult couples has increased a whopping 1,414% since 1960! (from .4 million to 6.7 million)
And for those who require transcendent corroboration, through the science of the stars, I offer the following celebrity couples, who seem to enjoy the benefits of married life without actually being married:
Johnny Depp & Vanessa Paradis – 12 years, 2 kids
Naomi Watts & Liev Schreiber – 5 years, 2 kids
Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie – 5 years, 6 kids
Matthew McConaughey & Camila Alves – 3 years, 2 kids
My sister Simone, 29 years young, is firmly in this camp. I asked her why she doesn’t plan on marrying, and this was her response:
“What’s the point? Okay, I know there are some governmental perks, like tax breaks and whatnot, but other than that, I just don’t get it.
To me, marriage is just a piece of paper. It’s not gonna stop a husband or wife from cheating or lying or anything really. I’ve been in a five-year relationship where I live with my boyfriend. I feel more married than a lot of married people I know. Why complicate things by getting married?
All that matters is that you are in a committed, loving relationship where both people trust and care for each other – marriage or not. Plus, if you don’t get married, you’ll definitely never get divorced! Isn’t that reason enough?”
What about you? Do you believe in marriage for yourself? For your kids? Are the youths of this country onto something, or do they not know what they don’t know?
Personally, I definitely want to get married. And I’ll save my explanation for the next post.
Snap out of it! Advice to men and women on how to move on.
by Colby Brin
“Your brain is all f-ckin’ discombobulated man…You’re not comfortable in your Larry shell right now. You’ve got to become another motherf-cker right now, Larry. Grow a moustache, man. Grow a goatee, moustache, grow some sideburns. Become another motherf-cker, man. You feel me?”
-Leon, to Larry, after the latter’s wife leaves him, on “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
Whenever I’m suffering through the lonely slings of a breakup, or the confidence-piercing arrows of a dating rut, I think of the quote above. Really, there are only two things that are scientifically proven to nurse a broken or floundering human heart back to peak performance: time, and straight Kentucky bourbon. But when you’re in pain, the watch hands seem to stop in their tracks, and unless you’re confident we’re going to be able to harvest fresh organs in test tubes in the near future, you probably don’t want to throw your liver under the bus just yet. So while you’re waiting out the clock, take up these arms against the sea of sorrow.
1. Change your look: Like Leon says, you’re not comfortable in your shell right now. I’m not implying that you have low self-esteem – though you might – or that you’re not good enough just as you are – though I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, you might not be. I’m saying if you keep your body and style status quo at a time like this, you’re not giving your eyes the visual cues they need to help you rebound. After all, seeing is believing.
a. Change your hair: If it’s long, cut it short. If it’s short, grow it out. If you’re balding, shave it off. If it’s dark, get some highlights, or even some bleach. If it’s light, dye it black. It’s your hair. It’s meant to be tinkered with. Free your hair, and I predict a trickle-down effect on your mind. Free your mind, and the rest will follow.
b. Change your face: If you’re a chick, buy some new makeup. If you’re a guy, grow some facial hair, shave some facial hair, or buy some new makeup.
c. Change your body: Go to the gym. If you’re already going to the gym, go running or biking outside, or to a yoga class, or at least a new kickboxing class. If you’re a runner or a biker, go to a gym; be a little more social for chrissakes. If you don’t work out at all, do something in the way of moving your ass. You’ll start to look better and feel better simultaneously. The mind body connection is no joke: one hand washes the other (so to speak).
I’m not saying you have to re-invent yourself in the way of rejecting who you are. I’m saying you can embrace – and become more comfortable with – change. If only for now, while you’re hurting, try a different shell on for size, play a different role, see how it feels. You can always go back to your trademark dipsy-do hair, and your soul patch, and your love handles, later.
2. Ratchet down: I can’t stress this enough. When people feel rejected or ignored by the opposite sex (or the same sex; you know what I mean), they ratchet up the intensity of their emotions. You cast yourself as the star of a tragic melodrama that only you can see;, you get to feeling like the sky is falling; you become despondent, because without the constant approbation of a lover, your life is as meaningless as that of a fly on the wall of a McDonald’s bathroom in China. Chill out! Ratchet down! Buddy, you’re no Marc Antony. Honey, you ain’t Anna Karenina. Hell, you’re not even Bella Swan.
This is all to say, of course, that you’ll live. There’s not just one person out there for each of us. We are blessed with abundance on this earth. There really are, like, so many fish in the sea, and you’ll come upon one of them soon enough. But, if you skulk around like the walking dead, you won’t get the next fish when the time comes, cause you’ll look like sh-t. You can’t change what’s happened, but you can control how you react to it. Ratchet down. Take it in stride.
3. Don’t put off happiness: A lot of the time, we put off going after things we want because we’re waiting for something else to fall into place first. Many of us do this with relationships. We say, ‘I want to take a cooking class,’ or ‘I want to learn to play guitar,’ or ‘I want to move to Micronesia to cultivate white truffles’ – ‘but first I have to find a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Because if I waste time on the other thing, I’ll be old and wrinkly when I’m done and no one will want me.’ But this line of reasoning ignores three crucial realities: for one thing, while you’re looking or waiting for something to materialize, it never does (especially love); two, no one wants you right now anyway, so you might as well pick up a skill or two; and three, there are no truffles in Micronesia, of any color!
Joseph Campbell said, ‘Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.’ If you want to learn the guitar, learn the bloody guitar. Don’t put off your own happiness! And don’t wait for some long-haired lad or lass to come along to take music lessons with you, so you can morph into Jack and Meg White together. Become Jack on your own, and your Meg will find you. Ike and Tina didn’t become musicians together; they already were talented musicians when they met.
Wait – maybe strike that last example.
4. Hold a cabinet meeting: I’m the last person to rely on the advice of my friends; God love them, but they’re a gaggle of barely functioning freaks. Yet they do know me. And when I’m in a rut and can’t see the forest for the trees, they can be a big help. In fact, often times people who have trouble managing their own lives give the best advice, because they’re so exquisitely familiar with difficult situations. At the very least, it helps to have a set of ears on which you may unburden your sorrows.
If they’re doing their job, however, once you’ve expunged enough of your saline sorrows, they’ll tell you to Ratchet Down.
5. Tie one on: Ultimately alcohol is a depressant, but in the immediate future, it’s a freaking panacea. Unless you have serious problems with booze, don’t be ashamed to paint the town red and forget your troubles in a birdbath-sized watermelon cosmo or an oak cask of well-aged, premium Kentucky snake poison. Don’t make a habit of it, but if, for one night, you can summon the liquid courage to say, ‘To hell with [Him or Her], I only have one life, and I’m not gonna stop living it!’ then I say go for it.
Just make sure you work it off in the morning.
This article originally appeared on bettyconfidential.com.
by Colby Brin
As Director of Date My Single Kid, I like to say that you may know what you want, but your mother knows what you need. Of course, I would never say it in front of my own mother because she’d be way too satisfied.
But I definitely don’t mind saying it to certain celebrities – in this trying time, with so many of them needlessly and quite publicly suffering through one humiliating heartache after another.
Check out the following hopeless, er, romantics who could use a profile on DMSK to find a love connection.
The star of Platoon and Two and a Half Men is now separated from his third wife, and none of his marriages have lasted longer than four years. His addiction to drugs and hookers are still strong. It’s shocking, but there’s a glimmer of hope here. Everyone knows Charlie’s father is the acclaimed actor Martin Sheen. But few know he’s been quietly married to Charlie’s mother, artist Janet Templeton, for over 48 years. Maintaining the third longest running Hollywood marriage counts for a lot in my eyes. No doubt Charlie could use a little relationship tutelage from his grounded mother. Maybe she can help Charlie find a woman who loves him for Charlie, and not the Benjamins. It’s worth a shot.
I’m not here to pile on the world’s most famous golfer for what has happened in the past. What would be the point; there are no mulligans in life. I’m just suggesting that Tiger try a different course for meeting women – perhaps one his mother suggests. A private person, other than the fact that she was once married to Tiger’s late father Earl, we don’t know much of anything about Kultida’s personal life. But that is exactly the point.
Speaking of Tiger, something tells me it’s not going to be so easy for his ex-wife to meet men for a while, let alone trust one after meeting him. Fortunately, her mom, Barbro Holberg, is clearly a shrewd lady; a seasoned politician, she’s currently Governor of Gävleborg County in Sweden. With her people savvy and prestigious connections, Holberg sounds like the perfect person to help broker a new romance for her daughter.
When I suggested that Daisy Duke could use some romantic help from her mom Tina – who tweeted on August 19th, “Enjoying 32 yrs of being married to my best friend… I love you baby!” about husband Joe – my friend Laura said, “No, she’s in a great relationship right now.”
“With whom?” I said.
“Some tight end.”
Case closed. Turns out, he’s a former NFL star, but wasn’t the singer’s last high-profile boyfriend Dallas Cowboys signal-caller Tony Romo?
Lemme tell you something – if you’ve dated two professional football players, that’s two too many. If you don’t want to be cheated on like a Tim Geithner tax return, don’t date a professional athlete. Everyone’s knows that. Joe’s done a good job of managing his daughter’s career; maybe her mother can help with her love life. Also, we’d like to avoid seeing her with a third athlete, namely…
After divorcing the mother of his two daughters in 2008, the Yankees third baseman has been linked to Madonna, Kate Hudson, and Cameron Diaz. Here’s hoping A-Rod’s mom Lourdes, who worked two jobs to raise him as a teenager, can block the plate before he slides home to his next typecast lady friend, who will last maybe an inning.
Kim suffers from the same hyper footballitis as Jessica Simpson. The well-endowed reality star has dated NFL stars Reggie Bush of the New Orleans Saints and Miles Austin of the Dallas Cowboys. But since her divorce from music producer Damon Thomas, she hasn’t brought a relationship over the goal line. Here’s thinking her mom, reality impresaria Kris Jenner, would be a good play caller. Mama’s been married to former Olympian Bruce Jenner for nineteen years, and before those nuptials, she and Bruce worked out a very amicable arrangement with her late ex-husband, celebrity lawyer Robert Kardashian, over how their children would be raised. Clearly Kris knows something about picking reliable men – even if she does have a strictly celeb-lover rule.
Say what you want about Sarah Palin’s politics, but the Grizzly Mama has maintained a 22-year, five-kid marriage. You need to say only two words about her Dancing with the Stars daughter: Levi Johnston.
Look, I just want her to be happy. It’s clear she wants to nest. She’s a classic serial monogamist; she’s always with someone, be he a Greek shipping heir, a model, a pop star, a reality TV star, or a nightclub impresario. But what do these gentleman callers have in common? Their “professions” indicate they’re not the settling down types! Her heart is in the right place, but her eyes deceive her. Mom Kathy, who’s been married to dad Richard for over 30 years, surely knows how to spot a reliable, breadwinning family man.
Nicole Polizzi has said many times that all she wants in a man is for him to be large, tan, muscle-bound and on steroids, or as she charmingly refers to such a fellow, a “Gorilla Juicehead.” My concern is that Snooki will fall for a silverback gorilla in her tanning mist, and as any primatologist will tell you, this dominant troop leader may be a good provider, but he’s also kind of a player. Perhaps Snooki’s mom Helena can steer her to a younger, needier blackback.
Sadly, the reigning Best Actress’s mother passed away in 2000. But someone should be helping her out, because left to her own devices, she just spent five years married to a royal douchebag. Betty White should step up to the plate and monitor her next love affair.
You know how I know that Heidi’s mom Darlene Egelhoff would be better at picking someone for her daughter than Heidi is? Because she famously loathes Heidi’s mental patient husband Spencer Pratt. Ordinarily I would say mothers shouldn’t meddle in their kids’ love lives, but Heidi and Spencer are frightening together. In this case, meddling is loving.
Even the Octomom is somebody’s daughter. In this case, that somebody is Angela Doud. Don’t misunderstand me; I don’t think the burden for finding those fourteen kids a step-dad should fall on a 69-year-old retired high school teacher’s tired shoulders. Still, this is one of those all-hands-on-deck situations. I fully support single parents, as long as they’re working with a 13:1 ratio or lower.
This article originally appeared on bettyconfidential.com.
Chandni Rathod is your “typical” 24-year-old American woman. She was born and raised in Orlando, double-majored in journalism and political science at the University of Central Florida, and lives with her husband on the lower east side of New York City, where she works as a journalist. One other thing: she and her man, Sameer, had an arranged marriage. As our interview with her shows, this last part is not as “extraordinary” as most Americans would think. Chandni’s story should give added heart to all our Date My Single Kid mothers – and no small bit of confidence to their Kids. Love and Marriage may go together like a horse and carriage, but as Chandni tells us, putting the cart before the horse, in this case, can be more productive than most would think.
DMSK: Where is your family from?
Chandni: My family is originally from the state of Gujarat in India. My grandparents on both sides were born there, however both sides immigrated. My dad was born in Zambia and my mum was born in England.
How long did you know you were going to have an arranged marriage?
As long as I can remember.
Why were you set to have one?
It is tradition in our culture. However, over the years, arranged marriages have evolved. It is not as strict as it used to be and today, most people have a lot of say in the matter and most couples spend a little time getting to know one another. When my grandparents got married, they didn’t have the choice. My parents met each other once and had a choice whether they wanted to get married or not.
Was there a specific age by which your marriage “had” to happen?
Not really; whenever I felt I found the right person. I think there’s an ideal time, preferably after you are finished with your education and before you develop too many opinions and a closed mindset. By that I mean, the longer you wait, in my opinion the more set in your ways you become and the harder it is to find the right person. Plus, most people get married at the right time and if you wait too long, as my younger sister always tells everyone, “all the good ones will be gone.”
How did you first feel about the concept?
I think when I was younger, I liked the fairytale idea of a “love marriage.” But as you get older, you realize that the perfection of Prince Charming doesn’t really exist. No one is perfect and I am not perfect, so we shouldn’t go into a relationship expecting perfection or perfect love.
Did you ever date on your own?
How does arranged marriage differ here compared to how it would be in India?
I think perhaps in rural villages people may have less say in their marriage, but in the cities, it is the same as here. I think parents ultimately want their kids to be happy and if they want a little more time get to know each other, parents usually understand. I think dating and “love marriages” are becoming more common there too.
Did your parents take out classified ads on your behalf? Use websites? How did they go about searching?
They talked to a few relatives and asked them if they knew anyone.
Were there caste, regional, religious or other such restrictions or requirements?
Definitely, regional – Gujarati; caste – Kshatriya; and religion – Hindu. And within our community of people (origins in our small village in Gujarat). It’s better to marry in the community because we share similar traditions, values and upbringing. However, today it is becoming more acceptable to marry outside as well.
What kind of man were your parents looking for?
Someone dependable, reliable, good character. Someone that worked hard and had goals in life.
Did your parents set you up with anyone prior to your husband?
I was really lucky. The first person I met, I really liked. I had a list of requirements and for the most part he was everything I was looking for.
How was your husband found?
My mum’s sister, my aunt, had gone to a wedding and met my husband’s parents and they said they were looking for someone for their son, Sameer, but she had to be vegetarian. My aunt told them about me and how I was vegetarian. Then they exchanged numbers and emails and she told my parents about him.
How old is Sameer? What does he do?
He is 28 and VP of Research for Macquarie Group (a financial services company).
How did your relationship with him develop?
It started with emails and chatting online. (Sameer graduated from Carnegie Mellon, in Pittsburgh. He lived in New York City and worked in finance by this time.) Then we met in person, a few months later. He came to Orlando for a weekend. We went to a theme park together and a Christmas play the next day. We spent the weekend, just getting to know each other a little better in person. The first meeting felt a little awkward.
Then we started to skype on the weekends. I think as more time passed, the more I knew he was the right person for me.
How long did you know him before you wedded?
We started talking at the end of September 2008 and we met that December for the first time. Then we became engaged in March 2009, then we got legally married in May 2009, and then the formal Indian wedding was in February, 2010.
What did your friends who weren’t going to have arranged marriages think?
Some of them liked the idea and some were skeptical about it. I’ve actually had one of my Indian friends who dated tell me that after she saw our experience, she was much more open to the idea of arranged marriage again.
I’ve read that some Indians say: “It’s not that there isn’t love. It’s just that it comes after the marriage.” Would you agree?
Definitely. It’s important to accept the person for who they are and not expect he or she to be perfect. I think that has a lot to do with it. You’ll never be happy if you are looking for the “perfect” person. That person just doesn’t exist. Do I feel like I have found the one? Yes, but that doesn’t mean that we agree on everything and see eye-to-eye on every issue. We both have flaws, strengths and weaknesses, but we make it work. I think compromise, understanding, and being a good listener are very important values in a relationship.
What would you say are the biggest advantages to arranged marriages?
There aren’t any silly games people play, like in dating. Both people have to be serious about making a commitment, otherwise it will not work out.
What are the biggest misconceptions?
I think a lot of people think we are forced and pressured into marriage. In the majority of couples, that is not the case.
Are you happy you had one?
Will you do the same for your children?
Not sure. I think arranged marriages like the one my parents or grandparents had will no longer exist, but introductions like Date My Single Kid or like my setup are a possibility.
Is there anything else that might surprise or enlighten Americans about arranged marriages, based on your experience?
It’s really not as bad as people think and its better than dating and having the drama, history and emotional baggage that goes along with dating. I would recommend it to anyone that wants to settle down and is ready for commitment.
Geri and Colby in simpler times.
The premise of Date My Single Kid is moms helping their “kids” find mates. But do moms and kids always see eye to eye? Here’s where Geri and Colby stand.
The first thing I “look for” in a woman is different than the first thing that “catches my eye.” Really, when I think about it, I most want someone who is intelligent and has a good sense of humor. Physical attraction, though, always seems to take a priority. Intellectually, I know chemistry can develop over time, especially after getting to know someone. Emotionally, I’m like many young men: Impatient about letting romance develop. While I think it would be nice to have a whiz-bang connection out of the gate, that type of instant gratification doesn’t necessarily portend a successful relationship.
So, I have started thinking more about long-term compatibility. That means finding a woman who has a good heart and is generous. I also need someone who is patient – I’m not kidding myself, she’s got to be willing to put up with my quirks and foibles. She would have her own view of the world, and a philosophy of life that’s distinctly hers. She would make a kind and nurturing mother– but also be strict, when necessary. And she would get along with my family. I’m not necessarily looking for a Jewish woman, but since my family does have a blunt, candid and jocular collective personality, it would be great if a woman understood that mentality.
The bottom line: I want someone who would make a good long-term “mate.” But since I tend to have more of a short-term outlook, I trust my mom will help focus my attention on women I might otherwise overlook.
The qualities I want in a woman: smart, compassionate, good sense of humor, attractive.
Bottom line: I’m looking for someone…I still feel I’ll know it when I see it. Despite what I said above.
I’ve completely revised my image of the kind of girl who I think would make a wonderful partner for Colby. I used to think she should be super smart and as quick as he is and ready to challenge and debate. Now I think she should admire his intelligence, and be stimulated by his, but not feel the need to compete. I’d love her to be an emotionally generous and extraordinarily secure person, not all wrapped up in herself and needy. I hope she’ll be passionate about her career, but want to make Colby happy in equal measure.
It would be terrific if she came from a warm and supportive family, got pleasure in creating a beautiful home for herself and Colby and wanted to have new experiences. Maybe she’d be a small-town girl who is excited about being in a big city. Or a big-city girl who is looking for new adventures living in a smaller town.
She’s got to have a sense of humor. She shouldn’t be sarcastic but should be able to tolerate it when Colby is. She should stand up to him when he irritates her, and be mature enough to know which battles are not worth fighting.
She should look like Colby wants her to look but think there’s no one better looking than he.
If she wants a mother-in-law to hang out with once in a while, that would be a bonus!
The qualities I want in a woman for Colby: secure, giving, passionate, funny.
Bottom line: I’m looking for someone for Colby who is warm, funny and giving.
“I don’t think of it as meddling at all. I think we’re helping to cast a wider net for our kids. We can be agents for them, help them figure out who’s right for them.” –Geri
Geri, founder of Date My Single Kid, and her son, Colby, share how to be a successful “agent,” for your sons and daughters on Date My Single Kid without meddling in their love lives.
FOF: Do I have to ask my kid before I put him on the site?
Colby: I’d ask him first. If the kid doesn’t want to be on it, don’t force it. To be successful, ultimately the kid has to be on board with the idea. You could tell your son or daughter that they have nothing to lose. After all, it’s about who the person is that they meet, not how they meet them.
FOF: How do you identify a good potential match for your son or daughter?
Geri: You have to take the whole package together. The first thing I look at is the write-up, what the mom says, to see if her daughter shares the same values as my son. Then I look at the picture… but the write-up is more important.
FOF: Should you ask your son or daughter before reaching out to another mom?
Geri: Yes, I always ask Colby before I reach out to another mom.
Colby: The reason you have to do that is consideration for the other person’s feelings. If a mom reaches out to another mom when her kid’s not interested, then you are leading someone on.
FOF: What is the best approach for reaching out to a mom about her son or daughter?
Geri: I e-mail her and make sure to use her name .“I’d love to introduce Colby to your daughter, so-and-so, because they seem to have a number of common interests.” I might add a little bit more about Colby. A mom-to-mom dialogue usually begins.
FOF: If someone reaches out to you about your son or daughter, how do you respond if your son or daughter isn’t interested?
Geri: You really have to do what makes you feel most comfortable. You don’t have to respond. Or you can respond and say you don’t think your children would be good matches for each other. Whatever you do, always remember to be sensitive to the feelings of other moms and kids.
Colby: Also, having your mom as your agent makes it less personal – you don’t have to directly turn someone down. That’s the best part.
FOF: Let’s say the setup works out. The kids touch base. Is it hands off from there?
Geri: ABSOLUTELY. That’s the difference between meddling and matchmaking. But if you’ve become friends with the mom, it’s okay to continue conversation about other topics. The mom is a separate person from her kid.
FOF: The kids go on a date. Do you ask your son or daughter how it went? Do you follow up with the other Mom?
Geri: No. You shouldn’t follow up with the other mom about the date, but you can certainly continue a friendship with her. I always ask Colby how his dates went though, because I can’t help myself.
FOF: What if it doesn’t work out? How do you deal with disappointment (your own and your kids’)?
Geri: It’s like anything else. You move on.
Colby: If it doesn’t work out, you get back on the site and look for other people.
FOF: Success! Your kids like each other! Do you reach out to the other mom to say ‘Good work!’ Or let everything move along in it’s own time?
Geri: If the date went well and you like the other mom, just be happy… and then ask her what she’s wearing to the wedding. Ha-ha… just kidding.
Image via Flickr