Monday, June 18, 2007

This show is a good 'Match' for singles

I caught a couple episodes of an interesting show over the weekend. If you're dating, it wouldn't hurt to give it a look.

The show is A&E's "Confessions of a Matchmaker," (Saturday nights at 10) and it's about a professional matchmaker named Patti Novak (above) who lives and works in Buffalo, N.Y.

There are many things I love about this 30-minute show. For one, it's in Buffalo, not L.A. or New York City, where the people always seem larger than life on TV. Buffalo is just a regular ol' city -- albeit one with brutal winters, which is when this show was taped.

Another is Patti herself. She's a straight-talker who's not afraid to tell people what their biggest obstacles are to finding love. Her job is really more therapist than anything, because the problem is usually people's low self-esteem, and how it manifests itself in their dating lives. Patti's blunt. She cusses. She refuses to take crap from clients. She told one guy, a 41-year-old virgin, that he is "way gay." (And he totally is. You should've seen him flirting with the dude she set him up with ... after she'd sent him out with a sexy divorcee and nothing clicked.) She told another client -- a 22-year-old who looked 35 because of all her tanning -- that she was gonna look like a hag at 50 with that tanning and heavy makeup. And she told yet another client, who was 100 pounds overweight (he used food as a crutch after a bad breakup), that his table manners were disgusting. Watching him eat really did turn my stomach.

The reason I say singles could get something out of this is because you'll see plenty of examples of what not to do on dates. In two episodes these "don'ts" were reinforced:

-- Don't spill your entire relationship history on the first date.
-- Don't quiz your date about his/her sex drive the first time you meet them for dinner.
-- No checking your makeup at the table.
-- For chrissakes, don't chew with your mouth open.
-- No calling your best friend on your cell and having them come check out your date ... and then join you for shots.
-- Don't drink so many shots that you get sloshed.
-- Don't get bad hair extensions (OK, that wasn't an obvious one, but the tanning fanatic really had a jacked-up weave).

I think the big message Patti is trying to get across is that if you want love, sometimes -- OK, most of the time -- if you have a problem sustaining successful relationships, the problem is you. But the good news is once you're aware of that fact, you can fix it ... and end up with the perfect match.


Kevin Decker said...

Haven't seen the show but now I'll look for it. I love the list you compiled of dating "don'ts."

My list of "do's" for first dates include:

Make it something short. You can always extend a date that's going great but it can be hard to cut a long date short if it's not going well.

Understand the concept of "conversational equality." If you're talking you aren't learning about your date and that should be your goal.

Know, and use, basic ettiquette rules and good manners.

Finally, don't pimp and primp yourself up to be someone you're not. If you can't know, be comfortable with, and live your soul, how do you expect to find your soulmate?

Anonymous said...

arent there enuff tv blogs on this website? right about real issues please!

Anonymous said...

I suspect Deirdre doesn't write about real issues because she doesn't have much experience "being" in relationships ("dating" doesn't count). I'm curious how many "boyfriends" she's had (i.e. exclusively involved romantically,had to work through family/intimacy issues-disagreements, lasted more than 5 or 6 months). I've seen a couple of vague references to "there was a man I dated who..." and "I once was with a man who..." I'd bet she's using the one same boyfriend to "pad" her relationship resume.

How 'bout it Deirdre? Want to share your relationship resume with the Charlotte Observer audience? After all, it would be nice to know what serves as the basis for your expert analysis.

adina said...

I prefer Janis Spindel. Actually Janis is more charismatic and would of made a bigger impact. She is not one to be PC correct at time and lets the women know what they are up against. She is the first one to tell people to get a makeover before a date. ;)