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Why Am I Still Single?!—the plaintive title of matchmaker Siggy Flicker's new VH1 show—happens to be the world's biggest no-brainer for me: Because I want to be! And when I interviewed Flicker two dates ago, the 44-year-old Jersey-born life and love coach told me That's perfectly legal.
"I don't like phonies," says the hyper mix of Teri Hatcher and Sandra Bullock. "If you're true to yourself, and you don't want to be in a relationship, you're coming across as being totally true."
But let's say you do want to be with someone, like most normal folks who are bizarrely convinced that one is the loneliest number. Siggy's your go-to gal, bursting with ways to accentuate your chances, so you stop dreading Saturday nights as if they were colonoscopies performed without anesthesia. "I like to find out people's bad dating habits," she tells me with manic energy soaking each syllable. "Women put too much pressure on men. They have unrealistic expectations. 'I want, I want.' I say, 'Listen, honey, settle down. It's a 50/50 partnership.' And men tend to focus too much on the physical. I have clients that talk about their cats on the first date, which keeps them from getting a second date. Or they talk about their changing Prozac prescriptions. They get in their own way!"
So what should you talk about on a first date, assuming you can get one? "Keep it light," she recommends. "'I love to Rollerblade. I'd love to go to Aruba.' Avoid sex, politics, and religion. It takes three to six months to get to know somebody. Anything that comes too fast ends fast. Take your time, be mysterious. Don't divulge all of yourself."
And look nice, honey! "If you're going on a job interview, you won't come in chewing gum and wearing sweatpants," notes Siggy. "You've got to put your best foot forward. Freshen yourself up. Put on lip gloss. If you're a man, don't talk about the size of your private parts or the position you like in bed." (Damn. The size of my private parts is the best conversational gambit I have going.) "You've got to be the best you," adds Siggy, persuasively.
And that includes acting nice, she says, explaining, "You can't look at dating like, 'I've got to go on another fucking date.' I always say, 'People are dying overseas to protect us, so we can have the freedom to sit in a restaurant and not judge.' You're meeting a person of value. He or she could be a friend. They could introduce you to the love of your life. Go in with a positive frame of mind. What do you have to lose?" My dignity! But again, I'm here to learn for others.
So let's keep going with this infernal match game and wonder exactly when—after all that talking—you should actually do the unspeakable. "It should never be on the first date," advises Siggy the wise. "No way are you gonna give anyone the right to enter your private area—unless you decide you're just gonna have sex and have fun. But if you're looking for a committed relationship, you're gonna think, 'If they gave it up to me, they gave it up to a lot of people.'"
The woman knows her craft, and in fact, she's so wedded to it that she has proven to be her own best client. In 2007, after a decade of wedlock, Siggy and her husband broke up amicably—so amicably that she then acted as a matchmaker for him for the sake of the kids! And Flicker herself found someone new—namely a bald used-car salesman named Mike!
"So many of my clients have unrealistic expectations and want to meet somebody who looks like JFK, Jr.," she gripes to me. "I say, 'Stop with the garbage and focus on having chemistry with someone.' I ended up falling in love with a bald car salesman, but I've never been so rich before—where it counts. You can fake many things in life, but true chemistry, you can't fake."
A tiny bit of trickery happens to be required, though. In her business, Siggy always starts a client by putting them on a date with one her recruiters without informing them that's who it is. "Then I tell them: 'Now I know what your dating habits are. You were spitting curried chicken in her face all night long. Table manners! Now start your dating process. And stop always talking about yourself.' Some people say, 'Fuck you, I'm not changing my ways.' I say, 'Fine, stay single. I'm too busy to deal with ignorance!'"
One potential doof, mortally afraid of eye contact, would always obsessively stare at the menu during dates. Siggy personally rehearsed the guy's eyeballs, and he ended up doing so well he got engaged—though now he won't stop staring at his new fiancée! "I said: 'She's gonna think you're a fuckin' freak. I'm gonna kick your ass,'" relates Siggy, laughing.