What I Wish That I Knew When I Was Single
Confessions of a Married Matchmaker
By Cristina (Conti) Pineda
November 7th, 2018
When I was 16, I wanted to meet my future husband. Or, I should have already met him at my eighth grade dance. I wanted more than anything to ‘fall in love with a beautiful stranger’ across the room who would select me for the coveted last slow song at each homecoming party. Even before high school, I remember coming home to my mom crying if a boy had failed to notice me after so many hours of preparation and expectation.
I wanted to have 'the One' to think about when I heard Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” so much that with each successive year, a man had to do less and less to earn my heart. Now, this confession is not about the necessity of creating a list of 100 deal breakers to avoid heartbreak. However, Ladies, there are certain qualities that men need to possess in order to be good husbands, and, Gentlemen, these qualities are the only ones that will allow you to become the men that you were destined to be.
It also took me a long time to realize that I searched for something that would only leave me empty; people will always fail to complete us. Through years of single-hood, I learned the importance of developing my interior life and spirituality, which would form me into the kind of woman the man who I desired wanted. Before this however, I yearned for the picture perfect prom without the wisdom that photos tell so little of the truth.
Although I experienced a whirlwind of freedom and exhilaration in college, I also went through the pain of "falling on the concrete" that Katy Perry sings about in "Wide Awake." I still dreamed of meeting my Prince Charming at a frat, which my friends joked about, but felt disappointed with the binge-drinking boys who focused more on their nightly conquests than cultivating a relationship with the love of their lives.
I wish that I could have told my 18 year old self that after college, men get better! Let go of any fear of having standards for men to treat you respectfully and like a lady; if they fail in this regard, they clearly fall short of the one whom you will marry. Yes, the hook up culture plagues most colleges, but meaningless hookups only take you further away from your marriage goal.
As I moved on from college and grad school, I slowly learned the truth about how a man should treat a woman and how a man’s reliability and character mean the most. In college, I was completely unaware that men like my future husband existed. A true gentleman, my husband Dan had the right intentions and courted, respected, and honored me with his behavior. Now, even after being married for some time, he inspires me every day.
Of course, before I met Dan, I had other passions and talents that I pursued and that gave me joy through the years, but in this confession, I focus on the romantic bit; it bleeds into all areas of life. The choice of a spouse is one of the top five most important decisions that anyone will make throughout his life. Consequently my sister and my love of relationships inspired us to create our personal matchmaking company, Matchmakers In The City, 7 years ago.
For all those men and women who have longed to meet the right person, have hope! Refuse to degrade yourself to ‘get a guy’ or fall for the low-hanging fruit. Ladies, the right man will honor you instead of pressuring you. Gentlemen, the right woman will respect herself and, in turn, you. Remember that ‘what you do with your body, you do with your soul.’
Follow Cristina @MatchmakerCristinaConti, and be sure to sign up to have your own love-life changing adventure with us.