For three years, I had been working out to get the right body, hiring fitness trainers, thinking that would get me the ladies.
Then I started a business, thinking that might get me closer.
But it still didn’t.
But now, this conversation with Joanne at Table for Two, feels different. She doesn’t make me feel that I lack in any way. In fact, she celebrates me.
Joanne, the dating practitioner at Table For Two, and I are having a pretty funny conversation about the quality of dates one will find through dating agencies.
I push her.
I think I always thought that the quality of dates that one finds through dating agencies would be pretty bad because they would have to be pretty desperate to pay for a dating agency.
It might mean that they are unable to find dates through dating apps, or through friends.
Joanne pushes back.
No I don’t think that’s true.
With COVID, people lost three years of social life.
If dates can’t find romance in the workplace or through acquaintances, where else can they go?
In my mind, I think the answer might be dating apps.
But I let it go.
Time is also up for the first conversation we have.
The dating curation process at Table for Two
Let’s talk about the money
Joanne was extremely upfront about how the transaction was done at Table for Two, especially after she heard about my experience with Kopi Date.
We don’t take upfront payments because it’s not us who eventually agrees to meet you.
It’s the lady.
And both sides have to agree.
If we took your money, then we might setting ourselves up for failure. We might feel the need to just push you out there, rather than getting you the right date.
For us, it’s quality over quantity.
This makes so much sense!
With Kopi Date, because I had prepaid, there was the expectation that they would get me dates within a certain amount of time. There was also the disappointment that came from having date after date that didn’t match my expectations.
When Joanne asked about why the dates through Kopi Date didn’t work, I told her quite simply that I didn’t feel any physical attraction to them.
She pointed out that at Table for Two, they matched based on how good the dates would look together in a picture.
And when I told her that the people I had met simply didn’t seem so fit, she said that with the qualities I had set, it might be really difficult to find someone who didn’t pay as much attention to their physique.
The last question was around the qualities I was looking for. And when I shared those, Joanne took time to listen.
She also took time to challenge the non-negotiable I had around how the date needed to be Christian.
She shared how I was still young (well, to me I wasn’t young anymore), and how I would be closing myself off to potentially good dates.
For me, I appreciated that.
You might not.
After all, she had done this way longer than I had, and probably knew better than me about the landscape of dates in the market.
Dating as a lifestyle?
One of the things that did make me raise an eyebrow, though I did get the intent behind the question, was her statement around how one needed to see dating as a lifestyle.
It was already such a painful process, why would I want to put myself through it more?
But I did understand that she wanted dates to see it as a way to meet more new people. But in my context, when I was already attending quite a lot of networking events each week, meeting more people wasn’t really my priority.
But it did make me think about how I saw this process of looking for a life partner. To me, it seemed like a checklist exercise, which I simply wanted to get over and done with.
But you would know that this is a bigger project than just getting someone and moving on.
It is actually one of the biggest decisions you can make.
Because whilst you can’t choose the family you are born into, you can choose the person you decide to make a family with.
It’s not something one should take lightly.
That’s why Table for Two might just work
Joanne did suggest that I continue meeting people through other ways like the dating apps, or friend recommendations, but I was quite sold on Table for Two.
For one, I enjoyed their payment process, where they didn’t set themselves up to fail by collecting money, before any match had been facilitated. It did show me, that they were trying their best to make sure that there weren’t any unhealthy expectations on both ends.
Think about it. If you pay for something, and have to wait 2, 3 months for a date to materialise, you might be very, very unhappy.
And the dating agency sets themselves up for failure because they have to meet your ticking deadline.
By not collecting your money, they make sure that they have a good enough date, before pushing you out there.
They also make sure that both parties do want to meet each other and see value in each other’s profile.
Again, I’m against dating apps primarily because I don’t think it’s healthy to live with the dynamic of thinking that there’s always someone better out there. And it’s also because I don’t think it’s worth my time to keep swiping and keeping up false conversations that I’m not particularly interested in.
That’s me though.
You might like texting.
It’s just too distracting for me.
I know my weaknesses, so I’d rather not put myself through that.
But of course, only time will tell about how good the quality of dates are on their platform.
I will tell you when I get intel 😉