The Essential is Invisible
For those of you who did any research into friends1st before you joined (you did do that didn’t you?!) you’ll probably be aware that I have been writing newsletters, blogs and archives for our members for a long time (well like 17 years now!). I guess a large part of that writing is aimed at persuading members to look less critically, judgmentally and specifically at other members.
“Here she goes again” I can hear you thinking!
“Is it going to be her pet subject of ‘distance not mattering’ or ‘laying down your criteria list?”
You may well ask and if you’ve thought either of these two things I’m happy because at least you’ve been reading some of my stuff – even if you haven’t taken it all on board yet (or maybe you have – in which case well done).
It’s hard to get my message across because most of use are 100% convinced that the way we think is correct for us. So when I say ‘don’t judge someone else’s profile’ you may agree with the statement theoretically…. but then when you read in someone’s profile that they don’t like dogs….. and you have a dog… you immediately judge them as being unsuitable and you pass over that profile; and then read in the next profile that they live over 100 miles from you….so you pass that one over…., and then you read in the next profile that this person doesn’t have a University degree (which is essential to you because you have a great education and a great high powered job) so you move to the next profile, and that one might sound OK but you certainly didn’t fancy the look of them so you’ve moved on again and before you know it this batch of profiles is “completely unsuitable”, and then time has flown by and a whole year has gone past and your membership has been “a complete waste.”
Now thankfully not all our members experience membership like this but certainly some do.
My writing is always to try and prevent people from having a so called ‘bad experience’ of membership (which invariable and almost always means they haven’t met the right person they’d hoped to meet).
Over the 17 years I guess I’ve always struggled to completely pin point what the real issue is. Yes judging profiles, distance and your critical list comes into it… but there’s’ something much more and it’s very hard to pin point.
Or was…. until recently when I joined my husband at church in the village we were visiting in Ireland. To my surprise, this particular Catholic church was as lively and alive as any Anglican church I’d been to in the last 10 years. The gospel message was well preached and ran through the whole service. The two priests were clearly devout Christians – the children’s programme was alive and kicking and the people devout in a lovely down to earth way. The priest preached powerfully on turning the other cheek, what it means to show love as Christians and it was a challenging message.
And then we were told what the children were studying. They’d been reading the Little Prince (not a book I’d known) and looking at the interaction between the Prince and the fox. Apparently the fox at one point is explaining something to the Prince and tells him “You see, the essential is invisible.”
“You see, the essential is invisible.”
And in that one phrase I suddenly realised what I’ve been trying to get across to members for 17 years. The essential is invisible.
In our context then, what you are truly looking for in someone else – in your ideal, perfect partner – is invisible. That’s why you can’t’ read it in a profile. It’ll never be there because it’s invisible!
You can only really understand how true this principle is when it’s happened to you. You see we all think we want x, y and z. In my case it was a to meet a sporty, active man of my own age – or thereabouts – of good means who was a keen Christian and single like me.
Most of that stuff I could have seen if I’d been looking at profiles like we send out from friends1st.
What I could never have seen is a man who is kind, generous, unbelievable good company, well mannered, polite, gracious and a whole host of things I am honored to have found in a husband. Needless to say, he’s very little of what I thought I wanted, as any member who I’ve spoken to about him will know! Most recently I’ve been struck by his kindness (and I’m not just talking about generosity – though he’s generous too!). He’s a fundamentally kind person – which is one of the most wonderful traits to find in a partner/soul mate. But until I got to know him -and even got to know him very very well – we’ve been 12 years getting to know each other now- I couldn’t have visibly seen this trait. Why? Because the essential is invisible!
So here’s my advice to you. Write that phrase down (the essential is invisible) and put it somewhere where you’ll be forced to read it next time you receive a set of profiles from us, or are reading back over profiles you’ve received in the past.
Remember when you read each profile “The Essential Is Invisible” and then ask yourself are you looking for the essential or just the superficial?
It may just change how you react to the peoples details we send you…. and this could change the rest of your life!