As a divorce attorney with offices on Long Island ( www.longislanddivorcelawfirm.com ) and Manhattan (www.manhattandivorcelawfirm.com), I thought I knew all about the ins and outs of relationships. The problem, however, was that I kept avoiding relationships. I think that I convinced myself that marriage did not work. After all, I see the worst of the worst when it comes to marriage. Every day I am in court or meeting with a potential client, and I hear their tales about love gone wrong. Therefore, rather than listen to my heart, I began listening to my mind...rationalizing my single status as "avoiding the inevitable" -- divorce. I figured, if I never got married, I would never go through what my clients go through. However, when I was approached to have Patti find me my match, I took stock of where I was in life, and what I wanted. I realized that, no matter how much business and financial success one can have, it is romantic success that truly brings meaning to your life. So, I said "YES, I'll do it!"
Upon first meeting Patti, she sized me up as a guy always searching for a "bigger, better, deal" or,as Patti puts it, "BBD." According to her, I avoid relationships by believing that someone better will come along. I took her advice to heart, and at the mixer I set out to get to know someone on a deeper level and give them more of a chance than a first or second date allows. The mixer is like a free-for-all, which makes it hard to get to know someone on a genuine level and makes the actual process of choosing your mini-dates quite a Herculean task, not to mention actually choosing the one woman to take out on a "master date." All of the women there were beautiful and had amazing qualities that drew me in to wanting to get to know them each on a deeper level. But, we all must make decisions, and I chose a wonderful woman for my master date. We had a wonderful time but our paths and schedules seemed to zig-zag, and we could never get it together for a second date. I have no regrets about my experience and have taken Patti's advice and now apply it in all situations in life, not just dating.
Now, if you want to get to know me, don't be shy. If you want to say hello, then come up and say hello. If you want to take your shirt off and show me your tattoo -- or anything else -- then just do it. After all, I think that my appearance on "The Millionaire Matchmaker" will forever brand me as a very un-shy guy. Did I come across as self-absorbed? Perhaps, but, I was an overweight child, even into my teens years and college. Once I began working out and eating right, I saw dramatic changes in my body. I am proud to be in the shape I am in after struggling for a lifetime with my body. Do I take myself seriously when I remove my shirt? NO. It is all about having a good time and loving who you are -- fat, skinny, rich, poor, funny, serious. Just be who you are, and others will like you. I hope that came across in my episode, and I hope my story here will inspire others to gain more self-confidence.
Speaking of not being shy, if you would like to discuss my appearance with me or just say hello -- I would very much like to invite you all to become my friends on Facebook (Douglas Kepanis) and follow me on Twitter (@kepanislaw). Also, I write a column on divorce for the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/doug-kepanis) so feel free to read and comment.