Finding Love is Not a Gameby Tammy Shaklee, Relationship Expert and H4M FounderApr 26, 2013
Finding love is not a game. Not a game show even. And it's especially NOT a pageant!
In the age of accidental overdosing on online dating, I strive to start a movement to revert back to more traditional introductions, courting and dating. But the fact that I’m only focused on this movement for professional gay men seeking a long-term relationship means that it’s not reverting at all. It’s definitely moving forward. By leaps and bounds.
That’s why I aim to stay motivated with any type of relationship-related reinforcement. Some even on the airwaves.
While I try to review all of the matchmaking viewing options out there, I am told of new ones all of the time by hopeful clients. To stay current, I record and speed-watch as many as I can possibly stomach – from sitcoms, to made-for-TV movies, to unreal reality shows. So when mainstream networks starting promoting yet another matchmaking-focused show, I thought, “Finally, some professional matchmakers actually participating to instill a little common sense into today’s unrealistic expectations.” Instead, I find contradiction all over the place.
First of all, actress Eva Longoria is hitting every daytime talk show. She’s promoting both new flavors of Lay’s potato chips AND the new reality show Ready for Love, as its executive producer. (Picture the set of the ‘70’s game show $10,000 Pyramid and today’s reality show The Bachelor, oh, AND Miss Universe, all rolled into one.)
The single women Eva’s matchmakers have selected to participate in this alleged “matchmaking” experience haven’t allowed themselves a real fried potato chip since childhood I’m guessing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
But what a disappointment, in seeing that what I thought to be traditional, offline matchmakers allowing our industry to present itself as a line up of beauties. I ask, “How is that any different than online dating, when so much of it begins and quickly ends with a snapshot in seconds?”
Matchmaking is about learning a person’s dreams, goals, desires, while taking into consideration their present day reality, and the family, personal, career, and relationship history that helped guide them to this point, and make them who they are. It’s about key qualities, values, and even deal breakers.
Until today, I had only coached my clients (and prospective clients) to “close the laptop” and take dating efforts offline. But now I add, “Turn off the television.”
As contradictions go, I must remind myself not to get caught in the trap. Since launching the gay matchmaking business, I have graciously declined two very generous offers from media friends to pitch a reality show of gay matchmaking. “No thank you. For now, I want to find the fabulous men I know their one person, just like I found mine.”
And it could be that I’m soon to be part of a collaboration to highlight the most eligible gay bachelors in town. But please know that having competed in pageants, and having been on the air in broadcasting, what you get can be so much more than what you see.
I’m about the person, the heart, and the hope for the right one. I’m looking on the inside, not just the outside. And there’s no confusing that. It’s my pledge to you.