Don’t Disparage the Ex
by Richard Easton—The Matchmaker
Matchmaking isn’t easy. Whether you’re an ambitious amateur or a prudent professional, matchmakers get it wrong sometimes. Yet often enough the stars align and its magical, until that fateful mistake changes everything. Here is her story:
“He was tall, handsome, well-dressed and smelled great, everything you said he would be, Richard, and more,” revealed the beautiful brunette I had matched with my newest client.
“I was running 15 minutes late,” she confessed, “but I text him to say I was held up with a patient and would be there shortly. ‘No worries,’ he wrote back, ‘I’ll order the wine.’ I was so ready for a glass of wine—this blind date was looking good already. He stood as I approached. ‘You look so beautiful,’ he said, ‘I thought Richard was exaggerating but clearly he was understating.’ So charming...”
“Our conversation flowed as easily as the wine,” she went on. “About an hour into the evening we ordered dinner. He ordered for us. I love that. He was kind to the waiter as well, asking his suggestions, asking what I thought, making us laugh. I couldn’t help but smile wondering what our children might look like. Another bottle of wine, lots of eye contact, playful touching, sexual tension, you know, the good kind, so by the time dessert arrived, I was planning the wedding.”
“Then he asked, ‘Why are you single?’ I replied that I had been in a three-year relationship that ended a year ago, needed some time to myself, but now I was ready to try again with an open heart. He then asked if he could tell me about his ex. I said, umm, if you want.”
“Richard, he went on and on about his ex and how horrible she is. It was painful to hear him say such awful things about someone he once loved. Finally, after he’d dug himself into an abyss, he asked if he had said too much. I said no but the truth was written on my face: the spark was gone. I am sorry but I will not be seeing him again.” I tried to convince her otherwise but the damage was done.
Romantic suicide is not unique to men. Women perform this ritual too. We all have—but why? Everyone knows there are three sides to any love story: his, hers, and the truth in the middle. If you try to convince anyone that you were right and the ex was wrong, then you risk appearing bitterly narrow-minded and emotionally unavailable. Who wants rotten fruit in a fresh relationship? No one healthy. So don’t go there. Not on a first date. Not ever.
Think about it: Whether your ex was the romance of the century or a living nightmare, it’s over—so get over it. Live in the present, always looking to the future. Never volunteer information about past relationships, but if anyone asks, keep it simple: “We are friends which is probably all we ever were,” or “We were never meant to be.” Then gracefully change the subject to something lovely about the two of you. Make this rule one to live by not only with your romantic interests but also with friends and family. People around you will think: “Wow—that’s healthy!”
As for the client, his story was pretty much the same as hers including: “Richard, I think I may have blown it with the most wonderful woman I ever met. I knew I was talking, I recognized the sound of my voice, I just couldn’t believe what I was saying. Do you think she’ll give me another chance?” No, I said, but it is not your fault, it is mine.
Like the movie Hitch, my job is to coach men on whatever they need most. I somehow missed that one. Damn! I did make up for it, he never made the same mistake, all’s well that ends well, and as of this writing he is engaged.
Richard Easton is The Matchmaker—the Real Hitch
Visit his website: www.richardeaston.com