DATING IS FOR 
THE YOUNG AT HEART

   I've always said the one thing you can't control is your children's love life. That doesn't mean I can't try, though.
   So when my daughter, who works with me, walked into my office a couple of weeks ago and announced that she was fed up with the dating scene, I eagerly offered to help. Needless to say, she was thrilled.
   "You're not going to suggest an arranged marriage again?" she innocently asked. "We've been down that road."
   She's in her early 30's---prime marrying age. I had a couple of friends who have sons about the same age. As long as they didn't expect a dowry, an arranged marriage seemed like a wonderful idea. Imagine the wonderful holiday gatherings.
  "Of course not," I replied. "I'm a man of the 21st century. I want true love to take its natural course. Your mother and I are just wondering why it's taking so long."
   My daughter has had a few long-term relationships, but always ended them, much to my dismay. I already wrote a column about falling in love with her boyfriends and then having her callously drop them from my life. So I was actually a little hesitant about helping her in the dating scene. But she seemed willing, and I'm not one to back away from a challenge.
   "Let's see what you've got," I said as she passed me her phone that was open to the dating app. She had dozens of "matches" and had narrowed the list down to about seven that she was considering, and all came with info and multiple pictures. I dug right in.
   "This one looks good....I like this one....oooh, a doctor, go with this one...very handsome, he's a winner...this one has a big nose but has character....this one likes sports, my kind of guy....this one has a pulse, go for it."
   "You're supposed to help me choose!" she cried. "You can't like everybody!"
   Oh, yes I can, especially when I'm dealing with a young woman who is looking for the perfect match. Since I was back in the game, I decided to remind her of my most important dating tip.
   "Do you remember those three words that are the keys to making every relationship successful," I asked.
   "You mean 'I love you,'" she innocently replied.
   I shook my head gently, hoping she'd finally get the picture. "No, the three magic words are 'Lower Your Standards.'"
   That didn't help. As she headed for the door, I begged her to give me one more chance. I told her I'd give her my opinion as to which of the Magnificent Seven would make the finest son-in-law. On paper.
   I studied the options again, and found the one I wanted. Tall, dark and handsome. Smart, funny, athletic. Same age, nice family---I was falling in love again. I told my daughter he is definitely the one. Let's get it started.
   "Don't get too attached," she said with a sigh. "I haven't even messaged him back yet."
   With my prodding, she did. And then he messaged back, and the flirtation was on. She kept me posted over the next few days. Eventually, they arranged a dinner date for Friday night. I couldn't have been more excited.
   As the week rolled on, I peppered her with questions. She had let me back in the game, and I was milking it for all it was worth. I wanted to know whether he was picking her up, where they were going, what she was going to wear? I couldn't wait for her to meet my new son-in-law.
   On Friday afternoon, I got the call. "Brace yourself," my daughter said, knowing how fragile I had become. "He cancelled."
   "NOOOOOOO!!!!" I cried. "How could he? What an idiot! Why?"
   "He said he wasn't feeling well," she replied, much too cheerfully. "This is why dating is such a pain."
   I was devastated. My new son-in-law cancelled a date with his future bride because he wasn't feeling well? What a weenie. Maybe he wasn't the answer to all my dreams.
   "He said he wants to reschedule, but I'm not sure I want to," said my daughter, who wasn't bothered in the least. "I think I'll just move on."
   Not me. I realized I was done with the dating world. I couldn't handle it. She had finally let me back in the game, and all it did was cause me pain. I wanted out of the game, and I told her so.
   Surprisingly, she didn't have a problem with that.
 

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