129 - Why I Don't Play Cupid - I Want More For You

Season #1

You know my parents were matched on a blind date and they had a love affair with one another that lasted for 65 years of marriage. Of course I’m profoundly grateful that my parents had friends that thought they would make a good couple and set them up. There’s a lot of power in matching people with potential partners. It can change lives and lead to very fulfilling relationships. Many people, both with and  without disabilities, are looking to be matched by people they trust. Why not? It can be an easy way to meet people.

But it’s not what I do.

Many people have trouble believing that I don’t match make. A few months ago a follower of mine insisted that I match him up with one of the “dozens people i knew that would be a potential match for him.” Keep in mind I never actually spoke to this person but was supposed to magically know the right person for their most intimate relationship.

More recently, someone was disappointed that the Dating Made Easier membership that I developed and run to offer coaching, resources, and support in dating didn’t have a match making component to it. My approach for the membership is the same as the private facebook group I have run for many years for people with disabilities who want to date. While I don’t intentionally match people or even encourage it, I certainly don’t prevent people from getting to know one another on a personal level.

When there was this most recent confusion about the absence of matching making, I thought once again, how can I effectively explain why I don’t believe match making is the best thing I can do for people.

Then the “feed a person a fish versus teach a person to fish” analogy came to me.

Learning dating skills such as self-esteem, confidence, effective communication, and boundary-setting offers a powerful advantage in the realm of relationships. First, cultivating self-esteem and confidence equips individuals with the inner strength and assurance needed to navigate the complexities of dating. With a solid sense of self-worth, individuals are less likely to settle for less than they deserve and are better positioned to attract partners who value them equally.

Moreover, mastering effective listening and communication skills is essential for conveying one's value and worth in relationships. Being able to express oneself clearly, actively listen to others, and communicate needs and boundaries fosters mutual understanding and respect between partners. This, in turn, lays the foundation for healthy and fulfilling connections built on mutual appreciation and empathy.

Furthermore, the ability to develop healthy boundaries is crucial for maintaining autonomy and self-respect in relationships. By establishing and enforcing boundaries, individuals safeguard their emotional well-being and prevent potential exploitation or manipulation by others. This empowers individuals to engage in relationships from a position of strength rather than vulnerability.

Making good decisions is a cornerstone of successful dating. With sound judgment and discernment, individuals can assess potential partners more effectively, identifying compatibility and foreseeing potential pitfalls before committing. This not only reduces the likelihood of entering into unhealthy relationships but also minimizes the risk of heartache and disappointment.

That’s what it looks like to develop essential skills that can set you up for dating success.

Now let’s talk about being matched by a service or someone else. Relying solely on being matched with someone overlooks the importance of skill development and personal empowerment in dating. While matchmaking may facilitate initial introductions, they do not guarantee compatibility or long-term success. In the event of a failed match, individuals who lack essential dating skills may find themselves at a loss, unsure of how to navigate the dating landscape independently.

Furthermore, investing in personal growth and skill development empowers individuals to take an active role in shaping their romantic lives. Rather than passively waiting for opportunities to arise, they proactively seek out connections and opportunities for growth. This proactive approach not only increases the likelihood of finding compatible partners but also fosters a sense of empowerment and agency in one's dating journey.

Honing dating skills fosters resilience and adaptability in the face of setbacks. Rejection and disappointment are inevitable aspects of dating, but individuals with strong self-esteem and effective coping strategies are better equipped to bounce back and continue their search for love. They view each experience as a learning opportunity, growing stronger and more resilient with each challenge encountered.

Additionally, developing dating skills enhances overall interpersonal competence, benefiting not only romantic relationships but also friendships, family dynamics, and professional interactions. Effective communication, empathy, and boundary-setting are valuable skills that transcend romantic contexts, contributing to more meaningful and harmonious connections across all areas of life.

Furthermore, learning dating skills promotes self-awareness and introspection, encouraging individuals to reflect on their values, goals, and priorities in relationships. This self-reflection enables individuals to make intentional choices aligned with their authentic selves, rather than succumbing to societal pressures or external expectations.

Mastering dating skills such as self-esteem, effective communication, boundary-setting, and decision-making offers a more powerful and sustainable approach to dating than relying solely on matchmaking services. By investing in personal growth and skill development, individuals empower themselves to navigate the complexities of dating with confidence, resilience, and authenticity, ultimately increasing their chances of finding fulfilling and lasting connections.

Resources Mentioned

Episode 49: Do You Really Need a Matchmaker

Episode 118: Your Disability's Superpower (podcast on resilience)

Confidently Dating with a Disability (private Facebook group)

Check out our Dating Memberships

Dating Made Easier (for all people wanting to date) - is a monthly membership for anyone (with or without disabilities) who wants support and guidance in dating skills and getting the RESULTS you want in dating and relationships. Click here to learn more.

Supporting Dating and Relationships membership (for special educators and professionals in disability services) - is for professionals in the disability field who are looking for training and resources to effectively help students/people with disabilities in developing dating and relationship skills. Click here to learn more.

Music by Successful Motivation

Artwork photo by Elevate