I just finished watching a six week series on FYI that was actually quite intriguing. The show itself was down right brain stimulation for me. The name of the show is Married at First Sight, and the premise of the show is exactly as the title appears. Four experts including a Professor of sociology, a clinical psychologist, a humanist chaplain (AKA spiritual counselor), and a sexologist take a group of individuals and play matchmaker.
The individuals are advised they have been picked for the social experiment which will track them for six weeks. Week 1 -- a true and legally binding wedding. Week 6 -- they decide if they want to remain married or get a divorce.
So, this brings me to my question: In this "day and age" is the issue in the single world that we have too many options? Too many choices?
I have been on Match.com a few times. About two years ago, I decided I was ready to date. After meeting several new friends, people I hope I never have to have coffee again, and some people that clearly just weren't meant for me, I found a wonderful man. Little did I know everything about him was a lie. I am a woman who got the old "Bait and Switch".
In three months on Match.com, I received over 300 emails. Some from men who just "winked" and never returned, some men who wrote one email and never returned, some turned in to dates, some into dates I wish I had not wasted my makeup on, and one turned into more -- for a short period of time. But again, after a few months he realized he wasn't what he said he was. Turns out even with all of those choices, I got hurt again.
It gets me thinking about all of these experiences and choices vs. what if I had experts who concluded that I was a perfect match for someone. Would I marry someone based on those tests? My answer is easy and a clear shouting: yes.
While I have never been on Tinder, I am aware of the "swipe right" technology and how easy it is to look at a picture and say nope... not the one for me! I also know that as soon as I signed up for Match.com there were literally thousands of profiles of men to choose from. So how do you narrow that down? Which box do you check for "important" keeping in mind the deception factor that always exists on the Internet?
With the technology advancing, the communication ability decreases tenfold. People don't feel comfortable approaching each other because of what society has labeled them. If a woman approaches a man she's desperate or horny. If a man approaches a woman he's just a creeper or someone to fear. No one trusts each other, but yet there is a special section on Craigslist in every city called "missed connections" specifically for people who didn't talk to each other in person but feel okay trying to connect through the internet.
Relationships are never easy. Those who marry end up sacrificed to the divorce gods in upwards of 50 percent of first time marriages and the number of people in subsequent marriages who end up divorced is even higher. Why is that? What happened to vows?
On Married at First Sight, out of the three couples, two decided to stay married. The third couple, the man wasn't who he told the experts he was. He had them believing he was ready for marriage and open to certain things when in actuality they were deal breakers. He just wasn't invested and didn't want to do the work to find out if it could really work. In turn, the woman involved felt as though she had done something wrong and was tremendously hurt.
I almost feel like that last couple encompassed my entire dating/love history in six short weeks. Married to a man that couldn't come home because work was more important. The woman sleeping alone even though she's in a relationship. The woman opening herself up and continually trying to move the relationship forward, while the man is making plans to just stay in his old life, in his old house, with his old familiar job and lets her go instead of doing the work to keep her.
Take away the "grass is always greener" option and instead show me truth. How about these experts find someone who is equally dedicated to a relationship, loyal, kind, independent and self-sufficient, yet wanting to share their life with someone? Someone who is open to both receiving and giving love, who will debate and get passionate over something they truly care about. Then have the experts tell me where to meet him, and yes. I would absolutely do it. Why? Because I am overwhelmed by the choices and clearly no good and making the partner choice for myself; maybe an expert or old fashioned arranged marriage without the option of divorce, is exactly what more people need to teach them the meaning of fix it, don't throw it away.
I think everyone out there currently married or not has been hurt and has been thrown back to the dating wolves. Am I saying arranged marriages need to make a comeback over all? No. But everyone needs to stop and really think about who they are and what they want. What are non-negotiables for you in a partner? Don't get wrapped up in feel good of the butterflies in the stomach moment and let go all of what you think is important.
But also, don't throw away something beautiful that may be ugly today, just for the hopes of finding something better tomorrow. Stay. Fix it. Make it work and don't give up. If you are like me and don't have that partner yet... they're coming. They may just need a better road map with less distractions and fewer choices.