I appreciated the discussion produced by “Don’t Shun the Matchmaker.” Someone asked about specific tips for seeking out matchmakers and how to broach the subject. How can single women (and men) expand their networks and seek the assistance and support of others?
1. Engage in intergenerational community.
Crashing the midlife Sunday school class seems a bit extreme. However, if you don’t know many people outside of your own age group, seeking multi-generational community is not a bad idea. Find a mentor. Be intentional about making friends of all ages. Pray that God will bring these people in your life.
2. Be transparent.
We have been vocal about our dislike for set-ups and blind dates. I think many Baby Boomers — including parents — feel like they’ve gotten the “back off” vibe. Making it known that you not only wish to be married but that you’re actively seeking it may inspire those around you to produce possibilities.
I was recently sitting at the closing banquet of a conference. I struck up a conversation with the 50-something man on my left. A little ways into the conversation, he asked, “Are you married? Dating?”
I answered no.
“Well, I would like to be married,” I started hesitantly, “but I just haven’t met the right person.”
“Do you have someone in mind?” the 40-something woman on my right asked the man.
The gentleman nodded toward the young man to his left, “What about Howie?”
True, this was awkward (and a little funny), and nothing came of me and Howie. Nevertheless, my admission that I was wanting to be married produced an immediate possibility!
3. Enlist the help of those you know.
Don’t just alert people to your openness toward marriage; ask them to help you. I have recently asked several married women to pray for me, specifically in this area. While I’m waiting, it is encouraging to know that people are standing with me in prayer. Also, let them know that you are open to entertaining their suggestions. When a matchmaker “matches,” he or she is risking rejection. So let them know you appreciate their interest (if you do) and won’t hold it against them if things don’t work out.
Dating and marriage have become such independent pursuits. Every sitcom makes the joke of a well-meaning mom attempting to set up her little darling with a hideous match. While it’s tricky allowing everyone in your business, connecting with a select few could prove helpful — and, if nothing else, encouraging.