So, here’s the thing about matchmaking. I dislike it in all possible forms. I dislike it in the vanilla space, I dislike it in alternative spaces. I dislike it in social gatherings, in schools, in colleges, in weddings, in when relatives do it, when friends do it, when colleagues, acquaintances (specially acquaintances do it). I do not like being put out there as a showpiece.
For most of the people who care for me, it is very difficult to understand why I wouldn’t be happy with people trying to find me people. Well, I didn’t understand it for some time either. Now I think I kind of understand it.
The thing is, I am an extremely extrovert person and I enjoy meeting new people, knowing them, interacting with them, making friends with them. However, I have realized that whenever I do that with an agenda – the agenda of making them my partners; a relationship goal so to say; I end up making a mess.
So, the way I see it, I would be able to really date someone only when and if we have known and interacted with each other for long enough. I need to know and reveal myself when it comes to a partner, in full, moles and warts and farts and all.
However, when people are trying to be my matchmakers, they are portraying what they think is the most relevant aspect of my personality in terms of the person they are introducing me to. This means there is so much more which was to be stated in terms of my non-negotiables that they didn’t. There was so much in terms of my must-haves which they didn’t reveal. My insecurities, my personality, my smile, my excitement, my whims and fancies do not get revealed in their full glory.
In the meanwhile, those that get matched are another story. Listen to this fun song. Mine aren’t even remotely this hilarious.
Yet, people who are trying to be matchmakers usually will ask me SO MUCH about my life in order to share with a third person (who I yet don’t know about), that I wonder, what’s the point. I mean if all you want to do is make an introduction, well, ask my non-negotiables and introduce us. Period. We will discover and figure out the rest.
Anyone who wants to sit in the centre of the relationships’ web and control, isn’t certainly welcome as a matchmaker in my life. All relatives, most acquaintances, most friends fall under this category. I understand when relatives attempt such things, because they are in my opinion, so used to schemes and machinations of human connect that some of them can’t give up. I also understand when some friends do it, but I totally get pissed off when mere acquaintances try to play games like these.
I recently had an acquaintance, a guy, older, married, looking for a casual (claims non-casual) fling tell me that he needed to know the graphic details of my sexual preferences because he wanted to introduce me to someone. I told him off in polite words and wow, it was a shitstorm! The hidden misogyny, the façade, the mask, all came out shining its shitty glory.
On the other hand, another friend, peer, female, currently dating, almost my age, asked me just tonight if I was dating and if she could set me up. All I had to say to her was – “You know how I look, you know my preferences, you know what I want. If you really think you want to make any introductions, I am open to it”. Her response – “Yay!!”
Now that’s the kind of matchmaking I can happily handle.
The trouble is that conventionally matchmaking worked. It worked because people lived far away, so it only made sense to pay priests, ‘nai’ and other such people to find matches. Then it got delegated to relatives, specially those married in distant cities. However, the troubles existed even then. Mismatched couples, lies, power centres and more.
I think the dating and match making apps do the same but the only reason why I can handle it is because it feels impersonal enough. If they started asking me in so much detail my sexual details over a phone call or in a face to face meeting, am sure I’d tell them to fuck off as well.
That said, I may still be OK with some people asking me all that information, since it would just make sense. Since these people know me well, have taken time to build comfort with me and to know me well enough, I am OK with them knowing about the gory details of my life. Rest? No please!
So, the next time you want to make a match of someone with me, please ask me the basics and let us explore the detailed graphics ourselves. Thank you very much! 😊
© Anupama 2018