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Ask Ellie: Early speed-dating experience was 'too much, too soon'

Dating-assists will always attract some singles, whether online, seated together briefly, or connected by paid match-makers. Your choice.
Advice columnist Ellie Tesher.

Dear Ellie: I heard that “speed dating” has made a comeback but the memory of what I experienced in its earlier popularity was “too much too soon.”

I tried it just once, maybe 30 years ago. One guy (24, I was 21) looked up when I sat facing him and announced that I was his “perfect match.” I was both nervous and flattered. But I soon realized that I’d learned nothing about him.

I foolishly gave him my cell phone number and he began texting me several times daily, saying what a great couple we were.

He kept organizing dates with no consideration to my personal schedule (I was finishing my university courses).

My school was in a different city and he insisted on visiting me there. I insisted he stay at a hotel and told him I wasn’t in a serious relationship with him.

The whole episode was awkward and embarrassing. It put me off dating for several years.

Not For Me

Yes, speed-dating has returned, as described in a recent article by writer Olivia Bowden, who experienced a renewed form of speed dating, which originated in the late 1990s.

It worked for some then, but not for everyone, which Bowden soon discovered for herself about talking to strangers for just minutes, to discover if they clicked.

I understand this re-birth of an old-new dating method which avoids the negative aspects of dating apps e.g., cold dismissals from a stranger, or being ghosted after previous build-up to frequent online communication — or, worse, after a first in-person date.

Yet, online dating enhanced many lives. I’ve personally known couples happily married for years after meeting online.

Unfortunately, your experience years ago with an overzealous speed-dater put you off. He may’ve been genuinely attracted — or he wanted a connection with anyone who’d respond.

Now that you’re in your 50s, I hope your personal life includes happy, loving connections.

Dear Ellie: I’ve lived with my male partner, age 30, for six years. He cares excessively about his physical appearance, attends a gym daily, and enjoys its positive mental-health space.

He’s proud of his strength and good looks, having endured severe insecurities as an obese teenager.

I’m 28 and opposite to him. I didn’t fall in love with him for his looks. He admires that others’ physical appearance aren’t my interests. We relate to different struggles and help each other understand different people.

However, since experiencing sudden unexplained hair loss, it’s all he thinks about. We don’t have any answers yet from doctors and bloodwork, which is stressful.

I’ll love and adore him no matter what he looks like. But he finds my consoling efforts unempathetic.

I can’t help him with research or contacts. I don’t want to draw attention to the problem or exacerbate anything, so I haven’t touched his hair or his face for physical comfort (his primary love language).

Sex doesn’t distract him much, though normally he’d be happy for that stress relief. We’re now both feeling isolated because I can’t comfort or support him. I’m watching him stressed, desperate and grieving.

How do I help him feel loved and supported? I’m asking your readers the following:

Could other men who have experienced hair-loss help me understand what support they would have wanted from their partner through something so distressing?

Missing Empathy

This writer’s outreach to men with hair-loss experience, shows the essence of what a relationship column can bring to light. I’ll publish the answers that emerge, as soon as they become available.

Reader’s Commentary regarding the new neighbour helped to move into her condo by the letter-writer’s husband (April 19):

“While the letter-writer may have past insecurities, her husband should be more sensitive.

“I remember years ago my husband suddenly started helping a new friend from work with moving and other things.

“When I joked one day to a guy friend of his, that he was helping ‘his girlfriend’ he got really angry. I didn’t find out until later that she was indeed his new girlfriend.

“I honestly didn’t see it coming.

“I believe the wife should stay watchful and make sure the new neighbour uses the landlord for other jobs in future.

“Also, watch that the woman socializes with them both if she’s interested in making friends with her new neighbours.”

Ellie’s tip of the day

Dating-assists will always attract some singles, whether online, seated together briefly, or connected by paid match-makers. Your choice.

Send relationship questions to [email protected] or [email protected]