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14 January 2017 @ 05:10 pm
LJ Idol Season Ten: "Love 4 You"  
Love 4 You
idol season ten | week five | 725 words
Fear is the heart of love


Will you ever find love, or are you doomed to die alone?

As marketing slogans go, it's a little harsh, but that's our motto. You want love? We're Love4You, and we're here to help you find it.

So, how does this work, you might ask? It's pretty simple. You come to us and say you're serious about meeting someone special, and then we work with you until that happens. We might offer grooming tips and behavioral advice, but the real work is in helping you alter your expectations. The biggest problem people have, and you'd think it would be obvious, is that most of them are just too darned picky.

Say you meet a guy, and he's a belch-rocket. That's… well, that one's kind of tough, actually. It's pretty hard to get past that. If that guy is you, though, hey—tone it down a little. What the heck is the matter with you?

Or maybe you meet a nice woman who has a few extra pounds on her, so you decide she's not the one. What are you, Prince Charming? No. Were you ever? Exactly. So, who are you to be so demanding? That same gal has a heart of gold and smile that could light up a room. Do you think women like that come along every day? Of course not. And if they did, you wouldn't recognize them anyway. Let's face it, you're no good at that. It's why you come to us.

Have you always had some fantasy of marrying a rich man and spending his money for the rest of your life? First of all, how many men like that are there? The answer is, practically none. That dream was never going to happen.

Also, that kind of life isn't as happy as you'd think—especially after you get traded in for a younger model, which is practically guaranteed.

Now, your friends might introduce you to a terrific, upstanding guy with a great sense of humor, the kind who'd make an excellent father. Except he's got a little snow on the roof, or maybe the roof is missing a bunch of shingles, or…eh, well. Not the best analogy, but the point is, do you think he likes the hair situation either? No, he does not. So, why hold that against him?

That nice lady on the second floor with the cute glasses and the laugh that makes you feel like you want to be part of the fun? She likes her knitting and craft shows, sure, but would she expect you to knit too? Probably not. So, what's it to you? Ask her out already!

You have to pay attention to what counts and what you've got in common. Do you like traveling? Are you hoping to find someone who feels the same? Well, be careful—if one of you wants to go to foreign countries to see the sights and visit museums, and the other wants to tour the flat states in an RV, that might not work out. Unless you're flexible, in which case, double the fun! You just have to think bigger.

Now, it's not just you—tons of people are in this boat. You probably think the really good-looking ones have it easy, for instance, but you're wrong. A lot of times, those movie-star types only find infatuation instead of love. As soon as another pretty face or someone with a bigger house comes along, their partner is out the door. They'd probably do better if they came to us for help, but you know they won't. Hey, it's their loss, right?

Maybe you're thinking, "Hold on, I don't want to just settle for someone, not yet." Who's talking about settling? We're talking about looking deeper and seeing what really matters, and maybe smoothing some of the edges off you, so you're not being overlooked by everyone else.

Sure, most of this is the kind of stuff your parents tried to teach you years ago, but did you learn? Kids, they don't listen. That's a fact.

So, that's what we do, here at Love4You. We're in the phone book and we're here to help. Just give us a call—you'll be glad you did.

And in the meantime, you could all make this easier on everyone. Just be a little nicer, like your mother told you!

Sometimes, that's all it takes.


If you enjoyed this story, you can vote for it along with many other fine entries here.

Kizzyxo_kizzy_xo on January 15th, 2017 07:33 am (UTC)
Oh, I LOVE this. Your tone is so matter-of-fact that it makes the reader sit up and pay attention. And what you said, of course, is true ;)

I love the little colliquialisms like "snow on the roof" too.

I keep thinking how much the media shapes who we think we should pick for a partner. An old store manager of mine once said that making mistakes, then realizing that, is the whole point of young adulthood, and many people never outgrow it.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 15th, 2017 08:59 am (UTC)
So glad you enjoyed this!

As a society, we get so obsessed over the "image" of what's attractive, and we miss so many of the really important characteristics that actually matter. It's a form of victory any time two people really see the whole picture of one another and realize that is very much something they want to be part of!

For almost all of dating, any relationship you have will eventually fail until you find the one that doesn't. But that is also how you learn, how you develop your ability to love and to recognize it in other people, how you grow more able to have that final big thing.

A guy at my office was all peeved about having spend 7 years with a boyfriend he finally broke up with. He was maybe 26 or 27, and my thought was seven years at that age? To me, that was a very good sign of his ability to be involved in a meaningful, long-term relationship. He was way ahead of the game already, in a way we don't typically recognize or measure. But really? We should!
adoptedwriter: Swallowtail Butterflyadoptedwriter on January 15th, 2017 04:12 pm (UTC)
So much truth in this. Interesting way to use the prompt too!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 15th, 2017 08:33 pm (UTC)
I could easily see the "afraid to lose what you love" aspect to the prompt, and a few other choices that amounted to loving out of fear, which didn't really appeal and I mostly don't believe in.

But turning that idea into loving out of fear of being alone led me to this idea, and that was something I could get behind!
i_17bingo: toileti_17bingo on January 15th, 2017 07:36 pm (UTC)
A company that exists to manage expectations? It'll never survive.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 15th, 2017 08:34 pm (UTC)
:D I see it more as reshaping your filter rather than managing expectations. The expectation isn't necessarily different, but what might fulfill it could be so much broader.

As for the other, well, I'd say it's worked for a lot of religions over the years, and they're still around. :D
marlawentmadmarlawentmad on January 15th, 2017 11:30 pm (UTC)

There so many good sentiments here. I love the tone.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 16th, 2017 12:10 am (UTC)
Thank you! There's so much more to people than just the obvious surface, and sometimes I think that romantically, we're getting farther and farther away from seeing that.
favoritebeanfavoritebean on January 16th, 2017 07:55 am (UTC)
This is fantastic! I love how you've written this.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 16th, 2017 08:29 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :)
Teo Sayseternal_ot on January 16th, 2017 08:40 am (UTC)
Well, well, I have been there and you have pretty good points/advice up here :) Loved the tone. And I enjoyed this take! Good job!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 17th, 2017 02:37 am (UTC)
And it sure worked out well for you, to judge from this week's entry! :)
hwango: cthulhu-approvedhwango on January 16th, 2017 09:11 am (UTC)
Hah, I see what you mean about similar interpretations of the prompt and then going down different paths. I think my favorite bit is when the "missing a bunch of shingles" metaphor kind of goes off the rails. = )
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 17th, 2017 02:39 am (UTC)
You know what he means by that metaphor, but it has drifted into the territory of absent-minded and weird. Not as bad as a high-level manager who used to work at my office, who was incredibly smart and driven and funny, but also used to shift metaphors mid-stream when talking to our engineering group. Conflation and mangling, and some malformed thing would usually fall out the bottom.

Thanks for reading!
Hillaryxlovebecomesher on January 16th, 2017 05:13 pm (UTC)
Love your take on this prompt!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 17th, 2017 02:39 am (UTC)
Thank you very much!
sarcasmoqueen: dramasarcasmoqueen on January 16th, 2017 06:26 pm (UTC)
Loved this!

I think this is the first entry I've read so far that wasn't all deep and dark, and I greatly appreciated that - well done.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 17th, 2017 02:40 am (UTC)
I knew that prompt was going to bring out a lot of writing about painful topics, and I didn't want to write that... and wasn't up to reading 90 entries of it either, so light and fun and feeling was what really appealed instead. :)
(no subject) - ryl on January 18th, 2017 05:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on January 18th, 2017 05:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
bleodsweanbleodswean on January 16th, 2017 09:09 pm (UTC)
Ha! Nice ending and it belies the sterility of this automated love finder! Clever!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 18th, 2017 05:49 pm (UTC)
There's nothing automated about this guy! He's kind of the advertising for doing it the opposite way-- how can you persuade people to look deeper than the obvious surface stuff if you're mainly using machine matching... which really tends toward the most obvious stuff. :D
mamas_minionmamas_minion on January 16th, 2017 10:58 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful I love the tone and could totally see this as an actual dating company. It at least has a better more realistic pitch than any of the ones you see advertised.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 18th, 2017 05:51 pm (UTC)
True! It doesn't promise to find you true love, though that might evolve from the love that you do find. Its goal is to find you mutual love that will make you happy-- which is a different emphasis and a different task. But far more "doable". :D
rayasorayaso on January 17th, 2017 12:26 am (UTC)
I'm so glad others are enjoying this as much as I do. The idea was so creative, and you managed to bring it off. The idea of opening yourself up to what people have to offer (not settling, but broadening your appreciation) is a great one, as well as realizing (and perhaps changing) your own shortcomings is great. You only want to date hot babes but you're a schlub? Get real. There's an awful lot of great advice packed into this story.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 18th, 2017 05:56 pm (UTC)
I keep thinking back to that coworker, 40 years old and balding and never-married who was looking for a hot babe who was ultra-smart and also career-oriented. I told him that when he became JFK Jr., I would help him find that woman. ;)

He hadn't even asked himself how well a personal relationship between two workaholics (he was one himself) was likely to work out, which was probably the most important issue there. This is where you need an impartial third party to say, "What, are you crazy?" and encourage him to moderate himself a little more and look deeper than "hot babe." :O
penpusher: Two Centspenpusher on January 17th, 2017 02:59 pm (UTC)
Very amusing!

It's interesting though... I wrote a thinkpost, years ago with sort of the opposite take: if you aren't finding what you want, you're not being picky enough! I called it "The List"® (not that you need any more to read with all of these entries and the clock ticking!)... ultimately, the conclusions we both reached are similar though. So, thanks for making me go to the archive to excavate it!

Edited at 2017-01-17 03:00 pm (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 18th, 2017 06:08 pm (UTC)
I went back and peeked at that entry anyway. :)

It's the fine line between knowing what really matters to you (often personality traits and values are as or more important than the physical ones), and the person in the comments who said that she didn't make the List too specific "in case what I thought I wanted wasn't what was best for me."

And that's definitely the common conclusion here! You may not know what is best for you and what you need. Your List may be what you're attracted to. Ideally, it's a blend of both, with a more realistic filter.

One of my sisters was attracted to semi "bad boys" (guys who wanted to go to bars and listen to music, and ride motorcycles). She wound up twice divorced from men who cheated on her and got involved in drugs and money problems-- basically, the 'thrill' came partly from their unstable personalities. We have a fantastic B-I-L whom she always thought was nice but boring, and shunned that type. Um... able to talk to anyone about virtually anything, great sense of humor, loyal, and patient? Boring was the summation that came to mind?

It only took her about 30 years to see how lucky our sister was to have found him. :)
bewizebewize on January 17th, 2017 06:02 pm (UTC)
Very cool take on the prompt!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 18th, 2017 06:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!
dmousey: Medmousey on January 18th, 2017 12:56 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this. I kept imagining the 'Match' commercials with the Grandpa. Hugs and peace~~~D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lovehalfshellvenus on January 18th, 2017 06:09 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen those commercials, but that sounds like a nice approach and unconventional approach to the general world of dating. :)