Tiger and Elin: Matchmaking win or fail?

December 7, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Posted in Celebrity Relationships, Dating Stories, Matchmaking | 1 Comment
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When you set up a gorgeous ex-model nanny with a billionaire golfer and they end up marrying, you’re proudly responsible for the marriage of the century.

But when the athlete shows his strips ends up cheating on his wife with not one, but almost a dozen cut-rate barflies, do you also become responsible for the crappiest marriage of the century?

That’s what happened to Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik and his wife, Mia, who introduced their former nanny, Elin Nordegren, to Tiger Woods in 2001. He was quoted saying “they are a perfect match,” when they their relationship became public, and explained that Tiger had begged him to set them up.

But one marriage, two kids, and, eight years, and nine mistresses (and still counting) later, Parnevik recently expressed their regret for setting up the two, and publicly apologized to Elin for his mismatch.

“I feel really sorry for Elin, since me and my wife were at fault for hooking her up with him . . . I would probably need to apologise to her, and hope she uses a driver next time, instead of the 3-iron,” said Parnevik in an interview.

But is an apology really necessary? When you set up a friend, are you also vouching for his or her character and subsequent actions? Or after the initial introduction, are you absolved of any damages incurred thereafter?

Basically, if you set up your friend with a dog, are you responsible if your friend gets fleas?

Whether deserved or not, I’ve often found the answer is yes. My matchmaking roster isn’t long: I have about three half-hearted relationships under my belt. But I always end up feeling responsible when a set-up doesn’t work out quiet like I had hoped.

One couple seemed perfect on paper and hit it off famously in person. But I didn’t factor in his shallow character traits or her dating faux-pas, and watched helplessly when they crashed and burned over a few weeks. In another instance, a girlfriend drunkenly slept with a famously unavailable bachelor that I knew, and our friendship became collateral damage when he didn’t call. That totally sucks, but is it my fault?

I figure that after I introduce two people, my job is done. We’re now grown ups and should be able to discern a good catch from the bad, regardless if they have a friend’s seal of approval.

If a matchmaker introduces a couple that eventually marries, add another to the win category. How the couple behave–or misbehave–is up to them.

But maybe I’m wrong, and a matchmaker’s recommendation at least guarantees the absence of douche-baggery.

Do you agree or disagree?


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  1. Although sad, the Tiger situation is not a surprise. Tiger and Elin were set up by friends but I doubt that Parnevik is a professional matchmaker. So, for this reason, he and his wife were really only trying to do a good deed. No one should be “at fault” for truly trying to help someone else (unless, of course, they have been asked not to!).
    Matchmaking (not online dating sites run by algorithms not people with hearts) is a true skill, if not an art and possibly a gift. Most good matchmakers utilize a good deal of common sense. Some use intuition and the best ones also use observation of the couple, feedback from the couple, feedback from friends and family and pay a lot of attention to each of the individuals’ values before they are set up.
    The heartbreaking recent events for Elin (and Tiger) are a very good example of why getting to know peoples’ values and beliefs before recommending them as a couple (if you are a matchmaker) or agreeing to marry someone is critical. In fact, it is one of the pillars of making a good, long-lasting and loving match.
    As far as the future of the Woods’ relationship goes, it is a lot of hard work to repair the damage that has been done. It can be done and I do hope for the sake of their beautiful family that they decide to do the tasking work with trained therapists, not just pre-nuptial attorneys. Money really can’t fix everything and as this example purely shows, it does not buy true happiness.
    3mmatchmaker uses the Laws of Attraction and Six Degrees of Separation techniques. For more information on services, visit our blog at http://3mmatchmaker.wordpress.com/

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