If you’re anything like me, you tell your hairdresser everything. It’s almost a form of therapy – no judgment, I get to talk (and talk) to a captive audience, and when I leave, I feel great about myself! A few weeks ago, I was getting my hair cut from my hairdresser and longtime friend, Ryan Lewis. Ryan had just joined eHarmony and was discussing his experience when he started to bring up some really interesting correlations between his encounters with women on the site and the daily interaction he has with his clients. Because a part of his job is listening to women (and men!) discuss their relationships, he has incredible insight and is able to observe patterns of behavior that we might not otherwise see. And so, for your reading enjoyment, I asked him to write something which discusses these observations from the point of view of someone who is not only heard it all when it comes to relationship hang-ups, but is also a new member to eHarmony.
by Ryan Lewis
My wise dad always told me that being in a relationship acts like a mirror for you to see who you truly are. I never understood that when I was younger, but after 10 years as a hairdresser, the mirror I look into every day is becoming a little clearer. Whether it is a client or a girl I’m dating, the idea of creating a better relationship is always on my mind. I never had a problem finding girls to date but my ability to choose the one best for me was always an issue.
After joining eHarmony, I was faced with the fact that a lot of the girls I dated in the past had followed a fairly consistent pattern. I was determined to get to the bottom of why I am attracted to certain qualities, and how I can use my knowledge to become better at picking the perfect girl for me. The relationships I keep behind the chair and the experiences I have with dating seem to go hand in hand and I’m fascinated with the idea of linking them together. This is my colorful and somewhat neurotic analysis of people in my chair and how it translates into every relationship we have with the people we want to love, especially ourselves.
The first step to any healthy relationship is coming into it with complete honesty. The eHarmony Relationship Questionnaire is a platform for people to begin an honest relationship with themselves. Answering all of those important questions should really narrow down what expectations you have with others but most importantly, the expectations you have with yourself. Truly being honest with who you are seems easy, but it’s actually one of the hardest things we face. We don’t want to show anyone the things that make us insecure or undesirable.
In my industry, most salons offer what is known as a consultation. In a few short minutes, the hairdresser and prospective client sit down and lay everything out on the line. In some ways this is my time to impress my client with skill and talent, but in actuality if we are both being honest it’s an opportunity for me to understand their expectations. In these short moments, we will have an idea if this relationship stands a chance. As the consultation progresses, I absorb things which will help me understand clients better. I take a look at their face shape, what clothes they wear, what they do for work, and what things they do for fun. On top of that, I try and get a sense of how committed they are to the new style I may give them, and how often they will try to duplicate it. I also want to know how this person sees him or herself in the mirror. I want to make this person feel hot, so I need to know what makes them feel attractive.
In my mind, the questionnaire was asking the same very important things. It wanted to know what I looked like, my must-haves, can’t-stands, if I am committed to being in a monogamous relationship, how committed I am to making a relationship work, and my favorite question, which asked how sexy would I rate myself (!). All this information gets put into a secure place, so when the decision is made to go to the next step with someone, neither me nor my first date are going in blind.
So whether it’s a consultation at the salon or signing up for eHarmony, the best plan is to be thoughtful, honest and ready for something new!