So I Know This Great Person. . . January 28, 2010Posted by Onely in Everyday Happenings.
Tags: office matchmaking, presumptions about singles, single and looking
Why do people try to matchmake? Is there a proper way to matchmake? What are matchmaking faux pas? I’m not decrying matchmakers in general. I myself have introduced at least two couples, one of whom (or one of which?) got married. However, in neither case did I accomplish the setup by saying, “Hey, you’re single–I know this great other single person!” Instead, I saw one friend who had a common interest with another friend, and I introduced them from that angle.
My coworker took a different approach. Talking about needing to “find his friend a woman”, he said to me, “You’re single, right?” I would have preferred, “Hey, I have this friend who likes kittens and yoga, so you two would get along–you’re single, right?” I might have even agreed to the setup, for a fun outing. But instead I flinched inside and said, “Yes, single, and happily so.”
“Happily?” he said, and I swear his eyes got wide.
“I don’t really have time,” I said. This statement, while true, was a strategic blunder.
“Time? You work four days a week!” True, that. But I work four days a week because of health issues. I don’t want to share that fact with the office. As I deal with my body issues, I use up a lot of emotional resources that are therefore not available for a romantic relationship.
I didn’t say this to my coworker. I said, “I have other things I have to take care of.” (Pause while he stares with his round blue eyes and I feel as if he sees my four-hour weekend naps and disapproves.) “I like to concentrate on my writing. My Arabic classes.” True, that, also. But why did I feel the need to defend my choice? Am I not allowed to have unstructured free time unless I’m trying to fill it with a boyfriend?
“If someone stellar came along, I might think about it,” I said. That’s not untrue, but the reason I said it was so I would not sound snotty or abrasive or defensive. But at the same time, I wondered–what’s wrong with taking a firm (or mildly offended) stance against being cornered by someone who assumes that because you’re single, you must be “looking”?
Feeling as if I had somewhat capitulated to matrimania (and feeling the flinches of all our Onderful readers), I tried to redeem myself by saying, with a smile, “Right now I just don’t feel any sort of lack in the relationship area.” His eyes were still big, and I felt I wasn’t doing justice to the whole Onely mission (the conversation having caught me by surprise with no preparation time!), so I bolted away back to my own cube.
The conversation shook me up a little more that it probably should have, because it was sort of a double-whammy: My coworker (totally unintentionally) devalued not only my choice of singlehood, but also my choice to have secret four-hour naps on the weekends.
He was just trying to be nice to his friend, though. And he thought I was enough of a quality person that he would introduce me to someone he cares about. Does that make it all ok?
photo credit: zetson