Photo by Mr. S1
NOTE: ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED APRIL 9th, 2010
Today I enjoyed a delightful lunch with Houston’s premiere Matchmaker, Nina Friedman (better known as Yenta Girl). With over 20 years experience, and 9 successful marriages under her belt, Nina is a no-nonsense, live out loud, cut to the heart of the matter kind of gal. Having never met a real live matchmaker, I had no idea what to expect. Nina quickly put me at ease, and within moments I felt like I was talking to one of my oldest, dearest friends.
“So, what are you looking for in a man? Let’s start with appearance.”
“Appearances don’t really matter to me. What I’m looking for is something deeper. I’m looking for a soul connection. I want someone who’s first and foremost intelligent. But even more important – I want someone who’s honest. I never want to be lied to again. I want someone who will tell me the absolute truth, even if he knows it might hurt me.”
“So what are your non-negotiables?”
“I’d like someone who shares the same values as me. Who’s ambitious. Who can make decisions and take charge. Who’s curious about life. No liars, cheaters, or men who don’t know what they want.”
As we continued to talk, questions turned to me. “What do I do for a living?”, “What do I enjoy to do in my spare time?”, “What’s my religious background”, “What did I love/hate about past relationships?” and on and on. As I was talking, I was surprised to find that I’d never even asked myself some of the questions she posed. It was the ultimate exercise in Self-Discovery.
The day before I met Nina for Lunch, I had dinner with Mr. S. That night over fajitas and “stuffed avocado jiggers”, he looked up at me and asked: “Erica, are you happy?” I smiled my genuine smile (you know that one you can’t fake), and answered him “Yes”. He replied: “If you’re truly happy…what are you still searching for?”.
I think I just kept smiling and avoided his question. But here’s the answer I should have given him. “I’m happy. I’m elated. I love having you in my life. I think I’m lucky to have met you. But once years ago, I made the mistake of moving too quickly into Love and Coupledom. I don’t want to make that mistake again.” Now that answer seems to assume that Mr. S has asked to be in a relationship with me, but to be clear, he has not. We are still only casually dating. And as long as we continue to have fun together, I don’t intend to stop seeing him. But I also want to meet and get to know more people. Not because I don’t love what I already have, but because I’m terrified of repeating the past.
One of the last questions Nina asked me was, “What are your faults?” This I thought was easy, “Road Rage, Geek ADD, Indecision, Procrastination, etc”. Later while telling all of this to Mr. S on the phone, I asked him what he thought my faults were?
Him: “You don’t have any faults. Is that the right answer?”
Me: “Don’t tell me what you think I want to hear. I’m serious. I want your feedback.”
Him: “Your Faults? I think you spend too much time searching for something you already have. I think you’re searching for the sake of searching.”
Maybe he’s right? Maybe what I want and need most in the world is already starring me right in the face? I just don’t know. I need more information. I need more time. I’m taking both right now.
And for the record, Mr. S is just as confused as I am. Like me he is also searching, evaluating, exploring. In my mind, there is no rush. Ultimately what will be, will be.
- From Mr. S: Sometimes you’re at the right place (Maui) at the right time (sunset).In a recent poll, your friends overwhelmingly tagged you with the word “searching”. When you told me that, I echoed their choir. But that day, I heard you laugh between a forkful of fajita and a spoonful of charros. You told me stories of inspiration as you gulped a glass of water. Your eyes, which never learned how to lie, told me the forage was over, and you were indulging. I just verbalized their confession; happiness is not a reward or a memory, or some elusive state of mind that beckons a hunt. It is not a black AMEX, or fountains of praise. Happiness is right here, right now, and inside of you. This very moment. Rumi would have agreed with them. ↩