One of our dating consultants came to me looking slightly flustered.

I asked her, “What’s wrong?”

Apparently one lady member insisted that her last date should not be counted as a date. The reason being… the guy whom she went out with claimed that the reason he joined Lunch Actually is purely to widen his social circle and not to settle down. And this is in conflict with her reason, as she wants to be in a relationship to settle down in the near future.

Note: We are not a marriage aid bureau. Hence, members join us for various reasons – (1) to be in a relationship to settle down, (2) to widen their social circle, (3) a little bit of both. To be fair to our members, we will not match (1) with (2) as they have differing expectations, unless of course it is a truly wonderful match, and it’s worth taking the risk.

So anyway, to be fair to this lady member, I checked for the guy’s objective. And his objective is actually (1). Which means, he shares the same objective as her.

What does that mean?

Well, there are a few conclusions we can probably draw. (1) He was not honest when telling us about his objectives. (2) He was just making conversation. (3) He was not romantically interested in her, and did not want to lead her on, hence putting her down gently.

Since none of his previous dates have complaint during the feedback that he was not sincere in his objectives. Hence, we can probably strike out (1).

This puts us in a very difficult situation. Should we tell her that maybe he was doing a (3)? How would she react to it?

Isn’t it interesting that we almost NEVER take responsibility for our own actions / behaviours if there’s someone we can conveniently allocate the blame to?

“Well, since the date was arranged my by dating agency… it is their fault that they did not pre-screen the date properly.”

Couldn’t it be…

“Why did he say that? Is that a hint that he is probably not interested in me? Let’s see how I can increase my appeal or improve my attractiveness quotient.”

It is so easy to blame. But when we blame, we are actually taking on a burden. We are not freeing ourselves. Because when we blame, we render ourselves helpless. We are saying that there’s nothing we can do to change the situation.

And the truth is, by taking responsibility, no matter how big or small it is, we are empowering ourselves. We are saying, “Hey! I can actually make changes!” And by doing that, we are letting go of a heavy burden.

Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? But of course, it’s easier said than done.

However, as they say, it’s all a matter of perspectives. To everything that happens, there is more than one way to look at it. And there is more than one way to approach the situation.

Back to the story of the lady member… you know what is the most ironic thing? The guy actually had a great time at the date. He actually gave the match a pretty high rating. Hence, maybe… he said what he said because of (2)… he was just making conversation.

And maybe, just maybe… the lady just read too much into it.