The Matchmaker Can’t Find Love
The Matchmaker is currently showing at the Jewish Film Festival in my neighborhood. As described by Joan Falk, “It’s about looking for love, morality and truth-seeking, all from the most unexpected places.” I’m a sucker for just about any movie about love, but this one caught my attention because of it’s depth. Israeli filmmakers are notorious for the transformative nature of their characters.
In this film, Arik, a sixteen-year-old boy, gets a job working for a matchmaker, Yankele Bride. Yankele, a Holocaust survivor, has an office in the back of a seedy movie theater, run by a family of Romanian dwarves.
As Arik begins to learn the mysteries of the human heart through his work with Yankele, he falls in love with Tamara, his friend Beni’s cousin. The beautiful Tamara has just returned from America and is full of talk of women’s rights, free love and rock and roll. The disparate parts of Arik’s life collide in unexpected, often funny and very moving ways as he lives through a summer that changes him forever.
The complexities of love are seen throughout the movie. Yankele the matchmaker wants to find love for everyone, especially those who are ‘peculiar’. That’s his specialty.
He has a slick way of approaching target clients. He roams the city parks, looking for women and men sitting alone on a park bench. “What a beautiful necklace”, he says. “Did your husband buy that for you?”
“I don’t have a husband”, they answer.
“Don’t worry, I can help you find one.” And he hands them his card.
When they arrive at his office, he says the same thing to each of them: “You are a diamond. You deserve to be set in gold. Not silver. Not copper. Not tin. Only gold. I will find you gold.”
They walk away filled with hope. When they return to his office following a bad match, he says, “I give you what you need, not what you want. You want Paul Newman? What if you married Paul Newman and he was in a car accident? His face gets smashed. Do you still love him? You don’t need a Paul Newman. I give you what you need. You’ll see. You’ll learn to love him.”
While Yankele the matchmaker is a ‘one size fits all’ kinda guy, there is truth to what he says. Let’s look at two statements.
You are a diamond. You deserve gold. The most important thing in finding a good match is starting with good self-esteem. If you don’t believe you are a ‘diamond’, why would anyone else believe you were a great catch?
I give you what you need. Not what you want. I got an email from a 32-year-old single man this week. He said he was lonely and wanted to get married more than anything. He doesn’t understand why the hundreds of women he’s writing are not responding to his emails. One look at his profile and it’s obvious. He’s an unemployed actor, in transition from one country to another, a lost soul. Yet, he is looking for a gorgeous supermodel (Charlize Theron or Marilyn Monroe) who is deep and spiritual. I’m afraid he doesn’t yet know who he is or what he needs. And that’s stopping him from finding love.
So, if you don’t yet believe you’re a ‘diamond’, you can start building your self-esteem today. One way to start is by asking your friends what they love about you. Those are the traits most dominant in you. And if you’re uncomfortable asking for that type of acknowledgment, it might help if you offer to do the same for your friends. As far as I’m concerned, you can never hear enough positive feedback.
As for needs vs. wants, you can make a list of the qualities you think you need in a mate. Ask yourself, “If this quality wasn’t present in my mate, would I be able to be in a relationship with him.” That should help you start your non-negotiable list.
I hope your path to finding love is more successful that the matchmaker’s clients. And, unlike the matchmaker with his one size fits all approach to love, I’m here to support you with individualized attention to find your true and lasting love.