Category Archives: single and loving it

When Marriage Became More Than Paper to Me – Part 1

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The fairy tales that ended with “and they lived happily ever after,” represented some sort of cruel, sick joke to me once I reached my late teenage years.  All around me, and I mean in the tabloids and media, I was seeing people getting divorced for reasons varying from “falling out of love,” financial gain/loss, just not in agreement, and finally infidelity, that I truly didn’t see the point of why two people would even want to commit themselves to each other.

I saw it as a way to further muffle the woman’s voice, who was supposed to be helpless, unassuming, and a domestic demi-goddess to be able to look good and handle the household without complaining.  And since there were always several kids in this kind of family, she was always ready to have sex because she wanted more and more kids. If she was called “self-sacrificing,” that meant she was a martyr that was everything to everyone, whenever and however they needed her.

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I saw it this way until I wanted a relationship.

In the deep abyss of my mind, I, at least, knew the concept of marriage meant a vow to be with the other person for rest of each other’s lives;  to have each other’s backs, and as much as I opposed marriage, I wanted someone to want to vow to be with me for the rest our lives.

As crazy and as wild as my life was, one thing stood true – as I kept chasing after unconditional love in all the wrong places and the wrong people, I really didn’t know how to give the kind of love I wanted, because I didn’t know how to receive it.

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I don’t mean this in other people, because yes, there were some wrong choices there, but there were also some great people out there who cared deeply for me. (That didn’t mean they were “the one”).

In fact, I remember qualifying candidates as “the one” because we got along great and they seemed nice, but until I realized me own pattern, within 3 months, we hit turmoil and usually quickly it was over.

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No, when I say I didn’t know how to receive it, I mean, in a Higher Power kind of way.  (Now before I lose you, let me explain!)

I knew there existed a Higher Power who ‘loved’ me, but in this world, I felt I had to fend for myself.  I had to make a way for myself, provide for myself (even when I was sleeping in my car and eating mayo/sprouts sandwiches), and I definitely had to figure out who can love and accept me with all my imperfections, and many a night I spent in the arms of a new lover trying to find it.  However, I was still quietly suffering from bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts. I was raped several times.  I compromised my own dignity in order to have a relationship, more than once. And although I wanted this ‘imaginary perfect person,’ my own measuring stick of qualifying candidates ranged from making excuses for them (saying things like, ‘who am I to judge?’) to they better love me, warts and all – but be easy for me to love.

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Somewhere in there, in my search, I bypassed all the people who were telling me what I should do and I decided to delve further into my knowledge of God – mind you though, that was by happenstance because really I had just prayed, “Ok, God, I have nothing to show for my life, so you can take it now!” (which, by the way means something totally and wonderfully different to God, I believe!) Without meaning to, after being graced with “cords of human kindness,” who wanted to help me without return of favor but out of sheer joy and even protected my dignity, who extended help without my having to perform or just be “on,” but because it was it was on their hearts, really, it was too much for me during this humbling time.  I even prayed that God stop it because I didn’t know how to handle “so much love,” I prayed.  These were people who first showed a love that was one of respect and integrity.  The romantic love had to be on hold during this time, because honestly, I was a mess and still didn’t understand or recognize a love that meant respect for another being in a selfless way. More than that, I didn’t know why anyone would want to do things for the sheer joy of helping someone else.  I was still doing things for others because 1.) It made me feel good in a way where I was a good person to help someone else, meaning that eventually, I would be thanked or recognized in some way – if even cosmically; 2.) I felt I had to and with everyone being a part of a charity, not only could I get a tax break, but be called a philanthropist and 3.) somewhere in me I felt I should do it.  But more times than not, I never intentionally went out of my way to help or love others. And once I became a Christian, Heaven help those that didn’t ‘agree’ with my understanding of God. Regardless, I had enough problems of my own, and didn’t want to involve myself with others – yet, I still wanted a relationship.

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So, in reflecting how marriage became more to me, I believe it came somewhat in this order:

1.) I had to understand the type of Love I wanted – even more than that, the Source, and who really set the standard of the type of Love I yearned for;

2.) I had to demonstrate that love in a way where I did not expect to have it reciprocal, but because I was willing to do so for the sheer joy of it;

3.) I had to learn about boundaries – mine and others, and learn how to respect those.

4.) I had to be open to the concept of forever be forgiving of others and take responsibility without feeling shame when I asked for forgiveness

5.) I studied again the dictionary definition of the word ‘love’ and what the biblical standard of ‘Love’ if, and than set out to see if I could see it demonstrated on a consistent basis between two people who professed their love for each other.

Let me just add, I DID see it! I saw so many husbands loving their wives, while still being ‘men,’ and fathers to their children. I saw their wives stand majestically beside them, respecting them and encouraging them.  I saw it over and over again. I saw how when they were apart from each other, that wasn’t their time to rip apart their spouse and complain of their spouse’s shortcomings. I saw the mutual respect they had for each other to strengthen each other.  I saw them show respect for the vows they made to each other and before God. I witnessed them growing together in their walks with God to impact and encourage others.  Their children were polite and loving.  Trust me, for a moment I thought I was in a bizarro world, but it was right there in Los Angeles – of all places, and then again in Franklin, Tennessee.  Only because I saw it over and again did I believe it was achievable. So I made up my mind that I was going to have that.

(to be continued) – Forcing My Dreams of Marriage to Match My Vision – Part 2

Hugs, Peace, and truly love,

Arikah, Founder, Two Hearts Offline Matchmaking (www.facebook.com/twoheartsmatchmaking)

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“I’m Ready to Marry, But My “Type” Doesn’t Exist”

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There was a post on Facebook from one of my friends that stated, “Your ‘type’ may be the reason you aren’t with your soulmate.”  While many of the comments agreed, one pointed out that going outside your race as a reason.  Hmm?

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After being matched for the “chemical attraction/first meeting,” I arranged for two people whose questionnaire showed that they valued the same things and held the similar temperament, both agreed that they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  He continued by saying that he was attracted to her and really enjoyed himself.  She mentioned that she had a great time and enjoyed the meeting, “however.”

“However, what?” I asked.

“Well, I don’t know how you determine chemical attraction but I wasn’t,” she said.

In my experience, I have heard more women – married women who are deeply in love with their husbands, start by saying that at first, they were not attracted to the man who would later become their husbands.  They all admit that although they would snub these men, there was something about them that they could see that God was definitely working on their hearts and what they needed, instead of what they wanted, and after the consistency, the stable-mindedness, and decisiveness of their suitors, they were in love and ready to devote their lives in matrimony.

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For my male clients, I help them in the process of letting go of the women who they personally pursued and still cannot let go.  When I ask them to tell me a quality of these women that they believe is marriage-worthy, they stutter and stammer.

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Ughhhh…..please..

My point in addressing the male’s situation, the female’s version of no chemical attraction, and the erroneous picture above is that I truly believe there is a mix up of people’s idea looking for dates and seeking marriage-worthy individuals.

One of the ways I match couples, is to give an extensive and in-depth questionnaire to truly understand what it is the person is looking for.  What they don’t know is that on the other side, there is a match for them.  I don’t tell them anything about the other person because I do not want the intention of the answers to change.  It’s important to screen the health and mindset of the person to be sure they are ready to begin a mutually loving relationship.  The individuals never see the pictures of the other person until the meeting, (but is sometimes within the boundaries of the what the individual is open to.) So, the individual based on the answers they give, will never know that if their potential is within reach.

Am I keeping them from meeting? You better believe it, in regards to my business, as I seek to match healthy-minded people with others; but I am not preventing them from meeting.  My mindset is if it is meant to be, they will find each other. It’s just sad when you can actually witness that it will take time for the person to evolve to place where they can give and receive a respectful, loving relationship.  I can’t stress enough, though, once it’s found, there is no other mutual devotion on earth, stronger and appreciated.

Couple enjoying coffee at Sidewalk Cafe --- Image by © Artiga Photo/Corbis
Couple enjoying coffee at Sidewalk Cafe — Image by © Artiga Photo/Corbis

What I’m saying is that looking for marriage minded individuals is much different than simply looking for attractive people who can hold a conversation.

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Today’s singles are collectively saying that they are single by choice, but that their “type” doesn’t exist – which means they’re looking.  They’re saying that their career comes first, however, says in the same breath that they wish even options or other perspectives, can talk to them.  And soon their pickiness becomes either bitterness or wishy-washiness. And for those who are wanting at marriage for another chance, many times, they haven’t learned the important signals that happen beforehand that create turmoil in their relationship, and so, the cycle begins again – Heaven forbid children are now involved.

It reminds me of a middle school dance, that awkward event (probably not so much today’s middle schooler, but you know what I mean) where although hormones are racing, no one has confidence to go up and ask out someone for the dance – or, is able to be open enough to be approachable to be asked. For the dance, mind you.

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I don’t know how else to illustrate that your “type” is there, I promise. However, if your old methods for finding dates are not working for you, is it that you’re using the wrong methods?  Are you using a superficial checklist that doesn’t even cover questions that prove the person would be loyal to you or has the ability to see you value the same thing?  Is it just based on looks, conversation, job status, or children status?

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Please note, when you are ready to find a spouse, your filter MUST be specific – but in the right ways. It is not based on whether his Bible (which he probably got from his grandma) is highlighted.  It’s not based on if she shares the same political views. It’s not based on definition of his pectoral muscles or whether or not he has facial hair.  It’s not based on whether she has a few extra pounds.

The ONE thing singles miss in their search, in the opinion of this professional dating coach and matchmaker, is the level of integrity they can honestly say they have seen consistently enough to even have a person qualified.  Integrity is what makes the beauty/handsome.  And that is something that is not shown in just words.  It’s not something that is can be determined after a few encounters. That takes time. Time, where neither party is manipulating the outcome, but is respectful, direct, and decisive.

So many, though, do not even know what integrity means.  Integrity is one where a person does what they say they’re going to do.  They respect themselves in a way that spills out for respect for others.  The person doesn’t call out on an appointment, or work, even (there’s a lot of that going on in the workforce) at the last minute because they don’t feel like coming in.  The person doesn’t make promises and breaks them. They respect themselves enough to not get in the situation if they think they can’t do it.  They help others without seeking to please others, or say the popular thing they think others want to hear.  They believe in loyalty and walk in that.  They vibrate on a completely different level – where it seems as though they are eccentric, but it’s only because they are surrounded by people who act entitled;, wanting the same things in a loving relationship, yet believe the other person must come in perfect to fit some unrealistic mold they’ve crafted that goes to serve them and their egos.

So then, I ask you, do you still think you’re type isn’t there?

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