A Mea Culpa to the Matchmaking Industry

Last week, I wrote a blog post about matchmakers, and as soon as I did it, I regretted it.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever had that feeling. Your mouth starts moving faster than your brain, and you haven’t fully had time to formulate your thoughts or consider the consequences of what you had to say.

It happens to me a decent amount on this blog – especially in the comments section – and I’ve long had to wrestle with the ramifications of offering my half-baked opinions. Generally the result is that I ruffle people’s feathers unintentionally and then shrug that I was just being true to myself.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever had that feeling. Your mouth starts moving faster than your brain, and you haven’t fully had time to formulate your thoughts or consider the consequences of what you had to say.

Yeah, the exact same thing that I tell people not to do on dates. Duh.

But this time my lack of self-awareness was different because I wasn’t being true to myself. I was being controversial and self-aggrandizing – and doing so at a great cost to my relationship with the matchmaking industry.

To be clear, I’ve wanted to write a piece about matchmakers for a long time. And I do believe the original premise of my blog – that matchmakers  have a far trickier job than dating coaches. I said as much in my speech at the matchmaking conference.

However, what I didn’t consider was that the message of my blog post would be swallowed by my own negative take on the flaws of dating. Despite the fact that I wrote I love matchmakers and believe that they’re good people who are trying to make a difference, what resonated much louder was my skepticism about the process.

And this skepticism doesn’t provide for a more nuanced portrayal of what most matchmakers really do – providing hope, support, coaching, intuition, and a database of singles that is serious about love.

I know dozens of successful matchmaking tales – and I’m sure every matchmaker I know could tell scores more. This fact was not acknowledged in my original blog post – which just took a narrow slice of the process and dissected it for what was wrong, instead of what was right.

The irony here, of course, is that – in playing devil’s advocate, I didn’t even write something that was true to my feelings – I just wrote something that would make me look more valuable.

It was foolish. It was shortsighted. It was wrong. And I’ve undoubtedly hurt a number of people about whom I care deeply. People who share a very similar outlook on life and love. People who felt personally indicted by my words. People who may not be open to my apology.

But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t make a long, heartfelt, public one.

I’ve already apologized privately to Jerome Chasques of Matchmaking Pro, who has never been anything but encouraging to me. I’ve received private emails and calls from other matchmakers who like me personally, but had to wonder what I was smoking when I wrote last week’s piece. And I have no idea how many others felt that I stabbed them in the back after drinking and laughing and bonding over dinner a few nights before.

This is something I have never done before – and something I hope I never have to do again.

If you did feel that way, I am genuinely sorry.

Believe me, I don’t overestimate my importance to the world. Matchmakers will go on, with or without my support. But what didn’t come across last week was how I unconditionally support the matchmaking industry. They’re working with the exact same clients as I am, and making a huge difference in their lives. We have different ways of going about it, but ultimately we have businesses that support, not contradict each other.

Literally every single matchmaker I met at the conference this year was a delightful human being. And if I, in any way, impugned you, your clients, or your businesses, I can only offer a contrite apology and ask for forgiveness when we meet again.

Finally, I have removed the old blog post as well – as it doesn’t accurately represent my feelings and should not continue to live and breathe on the Internet.

This is something I have never done before – and something I hope I never have to do again.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Curly Girl

    Ah, you are a good person, EMK!!!

  2. 2
    Julie Ferman, Cupid's Coach

    Thanks for apologizing, Evan.

    Today I received an email from a client who was ready to give up on women and dating altogether a year ago. He and I worked together closely, lots of coaching, guidance, laughter, and support through the year, and he just shared with me that he and my client, Rhonda, are madly in love and are planning a future together. Theirs will be marriage #1141 in my 19 year career as a relationship enabler.

    Thank you for working to make things right again with the matchmakers.

    Love,

    Julie

  3. 3
    Mr_Right

    Hey, we all make mistakes. The key is to learn from them. :)

  4. 4
    Warm Heart

    Forgiven.

    Sincerity goes a long way. If we didn’t make mistakes, there would be nothing learned. You did the right thing in apologizing, removing the post. Hopefully, those hurt will find some forgiveness to extend. I remain a faithful supporter for your show of humble integrity.

  5. 5
    Heathecliffe

    I often realize after posting stuff on my own blogs that maybe I shouldn’t have. Don’t beat yourself up over it.

    Regarding matchmakers – I stand by my original statement that I was duped by a certain large matchmaking company (formerly ‘Together’, now going by the name of ‘Two of Us’). I caution anyone to take their time and not go into a service such as this while in a vulnerable state or give in to any high pressure sales tactics like I did. Your wallet will thank you! I think it’s cool that there are people out there who still do this for a living. Your previous article actually made me feel a little better about them. I trust that there are a lot more good matchmakers out there than bad – I just wish I’d done my homework before getting involved with one.

  6. 6
    Honey

    I make these sorts of errors in judgment all the time :-( I try to recognize it as soon as possible and apologize sincerely – so I think you’re on the up-and-up!

  7. 7
    Andy

    Well i say kudos to you Evan for apologizing for you remarks. As said before, we all make mistakes and it takes someone of character to say…i’m sorry. That is actually a trait i look for in a partner. If they do not have the ability to say i’m sorry, then they are not for me
    As far as Heathecliffe goes, i do agree that a lot of those “matchmaking” businesses only care about the money and i too, was reeled in to one of those companies. They promised the world, sold me like a used car salesman and all they did was give me access to their data base and said, have fun.
    Every industry has their good and bad companies. It’s our individual job to research them and make the best decisions we can. t’s called “taking responsibility”!!!

  8. 8
    girl-with-glasses

    Truth tend to be more controversial as opposed to a more general mea culpa. Of course matchmakers offer a valuable service, because they’re sure charging you for it. What’s wrong with taking a closer look at exactly what services they’re really capable of offering, and the success rates they offer? They’re not Cupid in disguise you know. From my point of view, it’s only the client’s personal inclinations that reallyaffect whether they are more predisposed to choosing online dating (DIY types) versus the financially more comfortable types that tend to like outsourcing stuff. It’s just a business. People like Evan obviously have good intentions, as I’m sure as do most matchmakers. But let’s not fool ourselves that it’s a silver bullet any normal human being can just take to find a loving relationship. Yes it may help, but here’s where cost / benefit analysis would come in. Evan you shared an valuable opinion in the previous post, apparently you said it in anger or muddle-headness. If you’re friends with matchmakers and can otherwise vouch for their services, then yes, an appology isn’t inappropriate.
    But for your readership, a controversial view isn’t necessarilya bad thing.

  9. 9
    BeenThruTheWars

    I didn’t read the original post, but I concur with Heathecliffe @2 – not all such services are scrupulous. I was swindled out of $3500 by “The Right One” in 2004. High pressure tactics, neglecting to tell me they had no men locally who were anywhere near what I was looking for; they set me up on two dates (one of the men had NINE children and wasn’t even divorced yet), then their office went out of business. I wrote to my State’s Attorney General’s office and complained, which they duly noted, but basically I was out of luck and out of thousands of dollars. My advice would be to go in without your wallet, listen to their pitch, then leave and say you want to sleep on it. You can always go back in and sign up. But impulsive decisions (in any purchase this large, not just dating-related) can come back to bite you.

  10. 10
    downtowngal

    Evan, no need to apologize to your readers who aren’t matchmakers. I echo BTW#9 in that there many unscrupulous matchmakers out there, unfortunately, and it can be difficult to figure out which are legit. The ones who offer matchmaking in conjunction w coaching I think are the best, because some people really NEED it in order to succeed in dating. Other services just match you up and it’s not much better than meeting a random person online.

    In that regard, Evan, if your point is to help your readers and offer good advice on selecting matchmakers, then you’ll be offering a great service!

  11. 11
    Gracie at be2 matchmaking

    So basically you are Hitch in reality! What I am very curious about is that what really drives you to devote into this career?
    I do believe a love coach can bring very personalized service and provide more indepth service. However, I think online matchmaking service certainly also tries to help users by personality test, and direct partner recommendations. It is standardized service, but you can do any time you want. A combination of these 2 service can very likely be a win-win situation.

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