Your Love is My Drug

Amy Laurent describes her non-romantic affinity for Tim.

If there’s one thing I know about dating, it’s that you have to give people a chance.

Men are very visual creatures. It’s very rare for a man to meet a woman he’s not attracted to and then to find that she "grows on him." So I know when matching men, attraction is just as important as everything else: personality, values, and character. In fact, I identify with men in this way, as I am fairly particular myself in the looks department—more so than a lot of women. I do admit, however, that on a few occasions I have briefly dated men that you wouldn’t have given a second look had he passed you in a party or a restaurant. Why? Because as most of us women know, there’s no substitute for CONFIDENCE.

A guy who is "meh" in the looks department, suddenly becomes George Clooney when he wins us over with his charm and wit. Whenever I interview potential male clients, I do look for certain physical elements that are appealing to women, yet by no means do you have to be tall and look like Clark Kent. Most beautiful women, I’ve found, aren’t attracted to men who are "too hot" or "too good-looking," because those men often possess personality characteristics that are off-putting. So I look for the total package: that spark in personality, charm, wit, humor, intelligence that makes his conversational skills both amusing and interesting.

Men have potential to make women swoon, despite the fact they may not be stepping out of a GQ magazine (though I don’t complain when I get those kind of clients either!) Tim Sykes is one of those guys.

Yes, my girlfriend was trying to do a favor by setting me up to distract me from the fact Lewis hasn’t called. I did appreciate it, but there’s a reason why I’m a matchmaker and she works in finance! Firstly, Tim is 30 years old. That is simply too young for me—and I’ve already got 28-year-old Lewis on my hands to figure out. Also, my girlfriend knows I am rarely into successful finance guys (though they make great clients, as I have tons of gorgeous single women who love them.)Now this is a blanket statement, of course; it’s a generalization with exceptions to the rule. However, in general, successful finance guys can have an air of being a little too into themselves for my personal taste. My match would be more closer to the entrepreneurial type, someone in a job that requires a creative side. Of course, never say never! As soon as I sit down with Tim, I definitely know he’s too young for me and our personalities are not a match, but despite this, I still enjoy the meeting. During the brief chat with Tim, he really starts to grow on me and I realize he has a gorgeous smile, and a sweetness under all of that "successful finance guy" air about him. Before it’s over, I find myself a bit charmed by his endearing sincerity.

At the same time, I am aware that Tim talks way too much about how great his apartment is, the view of his apartment, how awe-inspiringly great this apartment is.

There’s a moment, right in between my realizing I find him amusing, and also know how I can help him, that I decide I can take him under my wing. That’s how it works with me: more often than not, when I meet a guy, I’m thinking of who I can introduce him to, how I can help him find a match. Yes, even when I’m the one who is supposed to be on a date with him!

First, I think: if Tim and I were to work together, I like him enough that I want to point out that he shouldn’t talk so much about what he does or doesn’t have. The last thing I want as a matchmaker is for someone to go out with Tim because of what he owns. He is way too great a guy to end up being used. I felt like he needed to be cautious of leading with his "material foot." We get how successful he is, but Tim is much more then his career.

Then, immediately, my brain starts thinking through a number of girls who would actually be right up his alley. One of my best friends, Lauren, pops into my head suddenly. I can tell you over the seven years that I’ve worked as a matchmaker that whenever I am interviewing a potential client and a zinger idea like this appears in my mind, it almost always is the person they ultimately end up with. Even if they go out on a dozen matches through me in their first few months, it always goes back to my first gut instinct when I knew them for five minutes.The point is, I went in with an open mind. And though Tim wasn’t right for me, I really ended up liking him. I’m not the type of girl that walks into a date, makes a snap judgment, and then rudely gets on her phone after the first few minutes and tries to skip out on dinner to get out of there. Even after the "I’ll make you breakfast in bed" joke – which doesn’t fly with me on dates, let alone the first date.

I don’t think I was Tim’s type either and we did seem to get along more like silly friends enjoying a nice dinner together. But we stuck it out, I met someone interesting that I’m glad to know, and someone I might be able to help. It wasn’t love, but not a bad night, either.

You never know who you are going to meet and how they will impact your life. I do have to say, I now am very charmed by Tim and have taken a liking to him in that I have made it my personal mission to see him happy with someone who is perfect and good for him. I know plenty of ladies for Tim, and my matchmaker hat is on and I am willing to bet my friend Lauren is right up his alley -- and he for hers. I love my job! Yes, I know I’m supposed to be working on my own personal dating life, but old habits are hard to break. And helping other people find love comes so much more natural and easily to me then it is to be dating myself. I absolutely love what I do, finding people love and seeing them happy. It’s my drug.

When it comes to myself, I’m starting to think that perhaps I need to go to Emily’s brother for an answer! We’ll see. And although I know that Lewis is not a good idea, part of me does like him and hopes he calls. I better throw myself into work and not worry about that right now, because the last thing I want to do is becoming obsessive over liking some guy I just met and catch myself waiting by the phone. I would never let one of my clients do something like that!  Part of me wishes I could clone myself then hire myself. I need an Amy in my life.


Self Sabotage?

Amy Laurent is ready to let her guard down with Kevin.

So things have come full circle for me; I find myself sitting here and thinking about some of the things I’ve gone through and finally trying to understand what has been holding me back with my own personal dating goals.  Not by any stretch of the meaning am I used to focusing so much on my own issues or emotions.  After so many years of ignoring those issues and just focusing on helping my clients, it’s sort of a scary and uncharted territory for me.  Yet, as I’m sitting here I’m recognizing that for the moment I am HAPPY.  Do we all deserve to be happy?  Maybe my answer for myself is finally yes. 

So let’s be honest.  I’m not used to a guy like Kevin -- he’s supportive, complimentary, and overall POSITIVE.  What the hell do I do with that?!  It’s a little bit strange for me to be around someone so nice, but at the same time there is no way I can let this set me back -- I’m sick of having anything good fall to pieces and not making good decisions in the name of self-sabotage.  I would NEVER let a client screw this up for themselves.  So why don’t I recognize that I deserve that very same consideration too? I better not screw this up now only because I’m used to young, condescending a-holes. 

The majority of my day of course has me reverting back to work (sorry, I can’t help it, baby steps!) and the fact that I still get my ultimate joy from seeing my client Tim Sykes and Lauren together.  They are truly ADORABLE; I just knew they were going to hit it off and were a match.  Tim has really started to grow on me since that first day I met him, and nothing would make me happier then to see him happy! I will make sure that happens for all my clients, but yet with Tim I feel I have really taken him under my wing.  He’s finally following ALL of my rules!  I am a proud mama hen, and he and Lauren truly seem happy.  I love it.OK, now back to Kevin and the fact that when I got home from work there was a package waiting for me.  Not only is Kevin super sweet (which I’m trying to embrace), but now he sends me a gift before the second date?  Argh, OK I’m struggling here and keep hovering my thoughts between “this is the most thoughtful thing anyone’s ever done” to “OMG this is weird, maybe I shouldn’t go out with this guy?”  But I stop myself.  Why?  Because I refuse to sabotage myself for once in my life when something good is happening for me.  Isn’t that part of my past insecurity of “I’m not good enough” that got me into a bad relationship with AB and completely being the kind of withering, meek girl in front of Lewis that is not excusable for any woman?

I’m really starting to think that I’ve avoided my own happiness and dating by hiding behind my work and throwing myself full on into my clients for so many years because some twisted part of me WAS worried I wasn’t good enough.  I gave consideration to my clients’ happiness, but why haven’t I given that same consideration to myself?  Have I really been treating myself so poorly and beating myself up? And if so, then for what reason?  Things are going to change, and they’re going to change NOW.  My eyes are wide open, and I probably will never be the same after these past few months. 

So damn it, the pajama pants are cute, and I’m going to own this and accept someone giving me compliments and being really sweet to me. You know what? Because I deserve it. There. I said it. I’m finally allowing myself that, because I am worthy. I finally get it.Seeing Kevin for the second date was probably one of the most special and happy moments that I’ve had in a long while, and I’m really proud of the fact that as frightful as it is for me, I’m staying open.  I’m not running away, doubting myself, feeling like I need to please someone or that I have to change who I am in order to be liked.  Sure, we all have flaws and things we need to work on.  I tell my clients this every day and force them to confront the very obstacles that keep setting them back in getting who they really deserve in a relationship.  Well now Amy is finally good enough and worthy enough to take Amy’s own advice for once.  Thank god, something is finally changing.

After the bumps and bruises, one can start to realize change is good.  I am left with so many thoughts after this date with Kevin and the incredible kiss that felt wonderful. My head is spinning right now, but I feel like I’m alive again.  And it’s OK to be human with these emotions.  In fact, it’s really NICE.  I feel like something that was shut off inside of me (without even knowing it) has suddenly been jump-started and is alive again thanks to Kevin and this whole experience.  My stomach is filled with a warm sensation and I literally feel like someone flipped the on switch.  It’s as if some little part in me I’ve ignored for a while is coming back to life.  It’s a bit emotional for me, and I am thankful.  I’m HAPPY.

Oddly enough, sitting in a silent room right now with all of this feels good.  I have a sense of hope and the realization that good things can happen for me.  I’m finally contemplating what it is that I really want for my future and what it really means to be happy.  I’m excited about the future and what it might hold for me.