Hail the Match-Makers of This World!

February 5, 2012 § 60 Comments

Lunch with a friend today who told me that she had a friend in her forties who had been match-made.  This friend of hers had met the match-maker’s candidate and they had fallen madly in love with each other and married a year later.  So grateful was the match-made new wife that she immediately set about doing the generous thing for a single girlfriend of hers.

So it was, in turn, the single girlfriend fell madly in love and has since got married to the man with whom she was sent on a blind date by the original match-made wife who said to her, “Someone did it for me, I have done it for you, and now you have to do it for somebody else.”

I don’t know this visionary woman from Adam but I know that I like her.  So grateful was she to have been match-made successfully that she felt it was her duty to make the effort for someone else.  I don’t know if the someone else has taken up her challenge, but the spirit, though rare – perhaps because it is so rare – is absolutely spot on.

I know I have gone on about match-making – or the total lack of it – before.  Almost no one goes in for it because they are married and all right, Jack, and can’t think beyond their own [sic] be-matrimoaned noses; because – fair enough – they’d love to but they don’t know a single single man anywhere but for a nutter or a SFAR; because they haven’t got the energy or imagination to think how life might be for a plankton, save for an inward, There but for the grace of God; because they say they will match-make you with so-and-so and genuinely intend to but somehow never get round to it before it’s too late (ie. he’s hooked up in a flash with somebody else more seasoned who got in there double-quick); or because they are scared that the two candidates will hate each other on sight.  I hadn’t thought of this last one before.  This is what my friend at lunch suggested may be a reason people are so slow to bring two friends together.  I am sure she is right but I say to that general notion, Piffle!

I don’t care if I do hate someone on sight – not that I have ever hated anyone and am unlikely to start doing so now – but the chance to meet anyone would be a fine thing indeed.  It is extremely unusual for me to dislike someone, let alone hate them, and even less so a friend of a friend.  That doesn’t mean I love everyone I ever meet, but the chances are that friends of friends are nice, on the whole.  There are of course exceptions, but it is improbable that I would take against a friend’s friend so much that I couldn’t endure a single dinner with him.

No, quite the opposite.  I’d be DELIGHTED to be sent on a blind date, or to be introduced to some nice man at kitchen supper, or whatever type of meeting the match-maker might be inspired to arrange.  Anything!  And if we didn’t fall madly in love with each other on sight, so what?  Someone would have made the effort on our behalf (warm, fuzzy feeling from that fact alone); this friend of a friend and I probably would almost certainly pass a perfectly pleasant evening or at least one that wasn’t excruciating.  And even if in the most unlilkely event that it was truly awful – then it could be put down to experience and when a better blind date happened in the future (hey ho!), one might appreciate it’s success all the more!  I mean, how bad can a meeting with a friend of a friend be?

I’d just love it if my friends could bring it on, the match-making, even if it never worked.  The thought that someone out there was gunning for me would be good enough for me.  The feeling that one is not all alone in the quest (and the internet quest, not that I am knocking it, can be a very lonely one indeed; even its greatest champions would have to concede I am right about that).

Hooray for those rarities, the match-makers of this world!  Those people in our lives who really care and are on our side not just lip-service-ably, but properly pro-actively.

My lunch friend’s friend sounds like a paragon; almost as wonderful as Janey herself.

Plankton need more of the likes of Janey and the match-making paragon of whom I heard today because, in this deep, dark, watery world of ours, the light so rarely shines.

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§ 60 Responses to Hail the Match-Makers of This World!

  • lorraine says:

    Tried internet dating and the calibre has completely deteriorated – no professional intelligent men on there anymore! Where have all the divorced intelligent men gone?

    • The Plankton says:

      Hi Lorraine, thank you for this. After a little dabbling with online dating, I am of much the same opinion though I will continue to dabble, if reluctantly, because so many commentators on here insist to the contrary. Px

      • ToneDeafSinger says:

        I have now met the two men I “found” through dating websites. One last Thursday evening, the other one yesterday for lunch.
        Saturday man I will have to gently let down, which I must admit I feel bad about doing, but he gave me the same feeling that my ex gave me – a sort of intellectual superiority, unable to connect, trying to argue me into thinking that was I feel is wrong and I should really listen to him telling me what to feel.
        Thursday man was not not physically attractive (nor was the other one for that matter), but I found him easy to talk to and we spent about three hours chatting, and had a bite to eat, so I am happy to see him again. I am not exactly going to rush into anything, I would want to get to know him first, and if anything develops, that is a bonus.

      • The Plankton says:

        And if anything develops, please do let us know… I hope it goes well for you. Px

      • ToneDeafSinger says:

        I have done it – I have e-mailed one of them saying that I do not feel our personalities are sufficiently compatible for us to continue seeing each other, wishing him all the best etc.
        I know this will be a crushing blow for this man and I really wish I had not had to tell him that, but I could not be with someone just because they need someone, could I?

      • Jo says:

        TDS. Absolutely right. That’s no reason to be with anybody.

    • MissM says:

      I have no idea as to where all the divorced intelligent men might have gone, since the internet has only ever offered up those who cannot even spell or construct a simple sentence for me. I figure the demographics of where a person lives affects the calibre of what is available.

      Logic would have it that for every divorced woman there should be the corresponding divorced man about, but perhaps the reason for many divorces is his bit on the side which the man has moved on to. Of the plankton in my street, two were left when the husband met another woman, two are widowed, and one’s husband was an abusive alcoholic whom she sensibly left. Therefore none of the men from these pairings went on to be available as potential partners for other single women. A possible answer to where all the men have gone, perhaps they went to the other woman, went to God, or went to Hell.

  • MissBates says:

    YES. YES. YES. Once again, spot-on, Plankton.

    Too damn tired to make a more intelligent comment, I’m afraid — utterly spent from a weekend at the office doing witness prep for a divorce case going to trial on — [insert hollow laughter here] — Valentine’s Day.

  • Charlotte says:

    Well, your Immediate did it for me — matched me up with the Builder (and actually, there was one other candidate she tried, but it was obvious to all of us but her that he only had eyes for your darling Immediate). First time someone ever set me up, and it turned to be a good match — BUT — that’s in part because she could see that we had certain traits in common. The chemistry part, well, no one can ever quite match for that, but I do agree with you, merely the idea that my friends thought I wasn’t too far gone for hope, and made the effort — well I think the Builder and I both came into it with a certain amount of residual good will just from the fact that someone cared enough to try.

  • June says:

    Ah dear P as another lonely weekends glides off into the mists of time, i have to say i really dont think anyone i know knows anyone suitable for me to meet. A friend of mine said same to me other week, sadly she knows of no-on. Do you know who this friend of friend is P, seems an option for you, perhaps you should get an introduction,it seems a more likely prospect than internet dating!

    My fellow plankton friend who has been on the internet dating route for about 6 years is now rapidly coming to conclusion will never happen either. Unilke me she is much more proactive and sporty, belongs to walking groups, plays babminton, but she is as manless as me, has never met anyone doing that. One to consider to all those on here, who say they are excellent ways of meeting eligible males. Seems not in our area, anyway..

    • Jo says:

      June. I have never said that the internet is ‘an excellent way of meeting eligible males’. I don’t think anyone else has either. That would be totally disingenuous and rather ridiculous actually.
      The only thing that I have said – the only thing – is that in the absence of anything else, that it is maybe worth a try? That the reality is, it is more unsuccessful than successful. But that there have been some successes. No more. No less. That’s it really.
      Why I often get strung up for saying this. Or accused by some of only having this one narrow viewpoint,(!) or any other misinterpretation I shall never know.

      • fi says:

        Hi Jo (thanks for your nice note by the way – I’d decided to leave as it had stopped being fun but am giving it another shot now). I agree with you but what folk forget is that the internet only allows you to make contact with people. Like going into a pub and finding there are other people there. It can’t provide a relationship. And of course what you look like, and what your personality is like, has a huge bearing on whether anyone wants a relationship with you.

  • Jo says:

    I also don’t believe that anyone has advocated the activities you mention as ‘an excellent way’ etc etc.
    I think people have sometimes simply made suggestions such as these as a maybe, a maybe, a maybe. God knows. Nothing is certain.
    People are just trying to think of things to try. Perhaps. Possibly. Who knows?
    None of us do. People are only posing these as a suggestion. Not as a guarantee.

  • June says:

    Well Jo people say if you dont get out you wont meet anyone so i suppose thats where the excellent way to meet people comes from. I am just saying that seems to me it rarely works if you are an older female and possibly not that often if younger. Its all chance isnt it, so yes Fi i suppose the internet is chance too, but if you rarely get contacts and i and my fellow plankton friend rarely do, ok we are over 60 but neither of us are hideous or little old ladies, you are not going to get much chance of a relationship are you.

    • fi says:

      Just tried putting “dating for older people” into google and a number of sites came up. Have you tried looking there rather than on POF? Seems to me that you’d increase your chances of being successful and find attractive older men if you narrowed where you look? Maybe they’re all there.

  • Jo says:

    Glad you’re back Fi.

  • Jo says:

    June. Forgive me. But just to clarify.
    You say ‘I really don’t think anyone I know knows anyone suitable for me to meet’.
    You really don’t think they do. But have you asked them?

    • MissM says:

      I have asked mine, most of whom are in the same single boat as me, and even the married ones simply don’t know any single males. I am ever so grateful to have my friends, I cannot complain that they are being lax or not batting for me or any such thing, when all they have is nothing to work with.

    • June says:

      Jo my friends know me well enough to know i would love to meet someone, i really dont have to ask them,if they knew someone they would definitely introduce them to me, that i know, it common knowledge. , But like Miss M i think where you live does affect if any spare men available and not many spare ones available here.

  • Jo says:

    In the past I asked mine too. Not much joy there either. Though, bless them they did try to give it some thought.
    Still always better to actually ask though.

  • Lydia says:

    Oh come on dating web sites are full of intelligent men. Look harder. Surely I don’t have such low standards I think lots are suitable where you lot don’t. If anything given my income, education, view of my own looks etc I would be likely to have higher standards.

    There are some lovely lovely men on line. Thousands of them. I had a dinner last week.

    Internet dating gives you the equivalent of the friend match making but much more efficiently and more privately than if you’re set up with a friend. You also get more privacy than when friends do it but take up all options. Have fun.

    I wouldn’t dream of talking about my private life to a girl friend and ask to be set up. It must make people look at bit desperate which is not attractive to anyone.

    • fi says:

      LydiA – did you mean you wouldn’t talk to a friend about your private life or just that you wouldn’t ask to be set up? You also said previously that you wouldn’t talk to your sister. But if you aren’t talking about your private life with people, what are you talking about and do you talk about it to anyone? Surely that’s how you build relationships with people instead of keeping them as acquaintances?

      • Jo says:

        Just about to turn in, then saw this. Yes. I agree Fi. If you can’t talk to your girlfriends about your private life, then that’s a pretty poor pass. (Obviously, some intensely intensely intensely extremely personal things about yourself and/or significant other – if you have one – you may consider to be off limits. But this isn’t one of them I feel.).
        I said a while back that I was no longer going to respond to ‘Lydia’. As I am now convinced she’s not real. But I have made an exception here.
        Whatever Lydia’s answer to your question ( ‘though interestingly, she rarely answers a question ), I always think ‘thank god for my girlfriends’. We can pretty much discuss anything. Thank goodness. If you can’t/wouldn’t then…..they’re not true, close friends. Imo.
        Goodnight all.

      • Lydia says:

        Not everyone has close girl friends. Also some people are more private than others. I think people need to be careful in whom they confide. I don’t feel I have a problem because I don’t sit down with other women and tell them my innermost thoughts. I just wouldn’t want to do it. I have a few close old friends (male) with whom I can and do discuss things but I would not ask a friend to set me up.

        I think if people act rather than moan they tend to find they make more progress in life. Plankton is out all the time at social things so I am not suggesting she is just a moaner not an action person but in general it is good to get on with things.

        Most people are moaners and not doers. They will complain about men, pay, jobs, all sorts and if they put the effor they put into the moan into righting the thing that is wrong they would get a lot further.

    • Jo says:

      One last thing ‘Lydia’.
      Of course you wouldn’t ask your friends to ‘set you up’ (as you put it).
      You have so many many men swimming around you. As you relentlessly inform us. AD INFINITUM. Yawn…Again.
      Not that any of us believe it. So d’you know what? You don’t really need to mention it. Again and again and again and again and again and a…….. Oh goodness. I’ve dropped off.

      • MissM says:

        I think the important thing here is that we all need to know about Lydia’s plentiful supply of men, and that is why it must be mentioned all the time. Take owning a desert island, it is of no use at all unless you think you can impress people by telling them you own a desert island. In the same way she is not interested in any of these men as much as she is in telling us about how she has them. Along with how she is so very slim and attractive and of course very rich with a very important job etc etc etc. No point in inventing this internet persona if you can’t milk it for all it’s worth.

    • Jane says:

      Lydia – you MUST be a man, this smacks of the way guys carry on, ie: they’d rather stick pins in their eyes than admit that they might be having a tough time with something. Can you not see, that the strength of women is that they empathise with each other, for all the bitchin’, the back biting and scrapping, that goes on (in real life as well as here) when the chips are down, your female friends will roll up their sleeves and – come round with wine/a shoulder/babysitting services/food and just about whatever else you may (not even know) you need. Men generally just can’t bebothered withh their mates when the going gets rough, though I accept there may be some exceptions to that I say that as someone who has seen a fai rbit of that!and been shocked by it.

      • Jane says:

        Does anyone else have trouble with the end of their post disappearing under the address boxes, very annoying, means I can’t see what is going on at the end of the sentence, hence the shocking punctuation and joining up of words in that last post.

      • MissM says:

        Good point there Jane, I agree wholeheartedly on the value of empathy, that what we do is not moaning, but sharing our lows and weaknesses with others as a means of creating social bonds. By describing our areas of vulnerability we are indicating that we are non-threatening and willing to be friends. Men generally do seem more inclined to avoid showing weakness and prefer to metaphorically compare muscles and beat their chests in a very competitive way, since the aim is to see who qualifies as the most dominant. Most women generally prefer to discuss the fears we share or the things we are troubled by or have difficulties with, in order to indicate our willingness to be supportive rather than domineering.

        Some women are like Lydia however, and do choose to show-off rather than share, even if it is more of a male trait. That type of woman is indicating that she has no wish to part of the group, but would instead prefer to be seen as a superior, more dominant person. While she may succeed at that, this tendency also leads to alienating other women and risks a loss of support should she ever be in real need of it. But because of her inherent sense of being above everyone else, this is not seen as any sort of a loss from her point of view.

        As for your text disappearing under the address boxes, I have no idea how that happened since my window just expands to fit what I type. Lord knows I’d hate to be typing and not see the results. I can assure you it would be far less legible than you could possibly ever imagine, so I think you did well there with your post.

  • Jo says:

    Well each to their own Lydia. I suspect most of our girlfriends only want the best for us and for us to be happy and wouldn’t dream of thinking anything else. maybe that says more about you and your friends..
    As for the rest of it? Yawn……………

    • fi says:

      I think Lydia ia quite an interesting character. At first I thought she was a bloke as she behaves/thinks/relates to people like one. Now though I think she is a woman but one who has no women friends because she is quite contemptuous of women and doesn’t know how to be friends with them. And she pretty much values all men. Which is why her posts here are quite contemptuous of us, and she values things that men do and she’s quite competitive. We have all met women like her before though. What I’d love to know though is why she’s like that.

      • Lydia says:

        I think it’s terribly sexist if people think that women who are ambitious or earn a lot or don’t go round hugging their obese women friends saying their bottom doesn’t look big in the awful dress must be men. Men and women differ within their genders from each other.

        Secondly I can’t remember how I came to mention the island but I certainly don’t go on about it and nor do I expect most women or men for that matter to understand why I enjoy it. They cost less than a flat in Spain. You don’t need to be rich to have one. We all have different hobbies. if I like to mess around in jungles with fire making kits (which incidentally is not unattractive to men as a hobby compared say with shoes) that’s fine.

        I have always said I am as single as Plankton and probably don’t look as good but I seem to be happy in my state. I do think whatever your gender if you go round say oh woe is me how miserable I am you are not likely to be attractive to anyone and I think that’s a very gender neutral point.

      • fi says:

        Lydia. Your first para re hugging and big bottoms is quite funny! Nope I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being ambitious, and I totally agree with your attitude to problem solving. What I think interesting is the way you disparage housewives say, or dependent women, and you don’t give the impression of liking women or thinking they have anything to contribute as women, and in order to be valued should behave more like men in the sense that those characteristics are considered traditional male values and attitudes. You obviously prefer men to women and seem quite competitive. Nothing wrong with that, its just interesting. Sorry if I gave the impression that you should be more girly as I didn’t mean to. I have always supported myself too, without maintenance for my children as well, and can’t be bothered with women as victims, and like men and spend a lot of time in their company which is probably why I see it in you. I’m sure like me you’d be supportive but only to people who would want to help themselves, and your advice would be of a practical nature. And you’d probably allow someone a few minutes for a cry then tell them to pull themselves together. And the world needs people like you to get anything done. I just wondered why you’re like that that’s all.

    • fi says:

      Cos actually Lydia, you aren’t gender neutral, you’re pro male and anti female. And as you come from a long line of psychologists, you should really see that and be able to make a stab at why.

  • Barry says:

    Yet you turned my match making offer down flat….not too long ago I recall…ho hum, makes for good blogging tho’

    • MissM says:

      I’m going to suggest there might be a difference in matchmaking done by friends and matchmaking done by virtual strangers on the internet.

      • Jo says:

        MissM. We’ve had this one before.
        Look. I’m not cheerleading the internet. Putting it forward as some sort of temple of good fortune. (Far far from it.). Suggesting it is the only thing that counts. Not true. Or ‘championing’ it. Or any of the other stuff I’ve been accused of here. HONESTLY I’m not.
        I just want to say. MissM. It’s a different way of trying to meet someone. Yes. But two strangers (or one) do not ‘matchmake you’ on the internet. You make your own decision to meet someone for a date. If you have some interest. If you want to. After a while. After getting to ‘know’ more about them. By corresponding. Later, speaking etc.
        (With the proviso – always – that intitially finding someone is less successful than successful of course.).
        It is merely an introduction.
        It is up to to you and/or he if you feel you’d like to extend it further. If you hit it off.
        This is the same as an introduction by friends.
        Plus this ‘stranger’ thing. Strangers. Aargh. Strangers. This is always heavily cited as one reason why the internet is a place of damnation.
        A stranger is not confined to the dreaded internet.
        If you meet someone at a party, an event, gallery, art exhibition, writing group, skiing, at a party and – yes – even through friends, they’re a stranger.
        Your friends may ‘know’ him. But no-one knows what a person is like when in a relationship with them. No-one. However nice they may seem to your friends. As many a person who later finds that their partner turns out to be emotionally and/or physically abusive, undermining, cold, withdrawn, a depressive, a bully, mean-spirited, controlling – oh any number of ghastly things – can attest.
        The man who Mel met in a bar – that elicited much cheering and ‘way to go’s’ here – was a stranger.
        I would suggest that LS is a stranger. Who knows what either of these men is really like. Until you get to know them.
        However the introduction. Strangers all.
        As indeed are we to them.

      • MissM says:

        Sorry to get you all worked up for nothing there Jo, but I was only responding to Barry who sounded a tiny bit miffed that Plankton did not take up his offer of matchmaking. All I’m saying is if some virtual stranger on a blog site offers to set you up on a date with someone he knows, it is not being outrageous to not take up that offer.

        As for internet dating, I’m all for it, it isn’t perfect but it is pretty much the only option we have.

      • Jo says:

        Hi MissM. Thanks. Quite agree!
        Still worth saying as these things have often been put forward in the past. Especially the ‘stranger’ stuff.
        (Wasn’t worked up btw.).

      • The Plankton says:

        My thoughts, precisely, MissM. I am afraid, Barry, that MissM has answered your question for me. Px

      • Jo says:

        MissM. By chance I looked at this again and saw EXACTLY what you were trying to say. I got it completely wrong!! So sorry. Many apologies.
        Blimey I DID get unduly worked up didn’t I?!! In view of what you actually meant. I see that now. Doh…
        Though I must say they’re still valid points in their own right I think.

  • AnonW says:

    I must be the only person, who did his own match-making.

    At Liverpool University in about 1967, there were lots of people, who wanted to go to one of the University balls, but didn’t have a partner. The ball was being organised by one Mike Davidson, who had a flat upstairs and he knew that every extra couple who went, was more profit for the Guild of Undergraduates. So he said that if anybody wanted to go and didn’t have a partner, would they please put their name and details into his cubby hole in guild. When I heard of this, I asked if I could have first pick. And that is what I did and we were together for forty years.

    As if things could be so simple today!

    But thanks very much, Mike!

    • The Plankton says:

      Where is Mike now? Px

      • AnonW says:

        No idea! I think he went to work for the robert Stigwood Organisation in 1969. He would be in his seventies by now. But i haven’t seen him since that flat in Liverpool 8. It’s all been gentrified now, but then it had more rodents, than people living in it. And those in their thirties and forties think that The Young Ones was actually made up! I must write up the story of how I shared a bedroom with a well-known female newsreader. I should say we were in different beds and she had her own entertainment.

      • Lydia says:

        Certanily sex did not start in the 60s.
        I recommend all the Plankton readers to buy the History of Sex. I just started it. It was reviewed in the Times last week. Discuss it with potential boyfriends and men or women for that matter. It might help with relationships with people too.

  • My mother tried to matchmake with one of her (younger than her!) friends… Nice guy, but so not my type.

    None of my friends knew any ‘suitable’ single men, and the only other person who tried to matchmake for me was an Irish guy I met on the internet who thought I might like a friend of his who was a bit weird but lived not too far away…

    In the end, I got found (as it were) on Meetic.

  • Dawn says:

    There is a knack to match-making, however, and it is this: Once you have introduced the two people, you must let go and let the situation pan out as it will. You must not keep rabbitting on for years after the fact, saying things like, “I have GOT to figure out how to get you two together. I think you’d be the perfect couple!” when the two people have met and the only thing they have in common is what they think of being a couple with the other person and that thought is, “Meh.”

    I have only encountered one person who was interested in acting as a matchmaker for me and unfortunately, she was a one-trick pony (detailed above). Everyone else claims they know no one they would wish to inflict on me. I can’t help thinking perhaps I am the one they do not wish to inflict on anyone else, as surely SOMEONE must know a suitable, age-appropriate man for me to make miserable.

  • EmGee says:

    I think it is a lot to expect friends to play match-maker – if everyone is in the same social circle as good friends tend to be, and I don’t know any single men, I don’t expect my friends to, either. At least not anyone they know well enough to feel comfortable setting me up with. Not that it couldn’t happen, but it’s a ‘long shot’.

    I also doubt I would have a natural match maker as a friend, because that implies that she/he is the type of person who enjoys interfering in many aspects of their friends’ lives.

    • Dawn says:

      I think you could matchmake without being too interfering, but you do have to let go of any personal investment in the outcome, otherwise you risk the fate of my erstwhile matchmaker and slide right over from helpful to interfering, which no one enjoys having inflicted upon them.

      • EmGee says:

        Rosie, that is sort of my point. A friend who knows a potential SO and makes an introduction, I don’t consider a matchmaker (imo). However, a ‘friend’ that makes it her business to ‘set you up’, probably has an interfering personality in general. Granted, it may be hard to tell the difference sometimes betweeen the well meaning and meaning well.

  • Carolyn Drew says:

    Never read a more accurate account of those wonderful friends who-know-someone-you’d like but never rememberr to actually introduce you!

  • Carolyn Drew says:

    I wanted to add that for me, internet dating sites are just rubbish! subtle I know! But there is something disheartening about being passed or fobbed off or rejected based on a bio and a photo. Too many ordinary looking guys have decided that ‘no sorry Im not interested’ is a decent response after I send a photo to them … Frankly I dont know how that is good for anyones self esteem and Id rather be single, proud and planktonesque than be told Im not good enough to even exchange emails!!! I

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