Lunch and dating

A personalized matchmaking service that hand-selects each match, It’s Just Lunch has found success in making the dating process more efficient for their busy clients."Going Dutch" is a term that indicates that each person participating in a group activity pays for himself, rather than any person paying for anyone else, particularly in a restaurant bill.And don’t get me started on meeting a potential husband in a bar.

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For the busy single professional, finding that time can be a real problem. Not only do they take care of everything, but their hand-picked matches and face-to-face dates ensure each couple has the best chance at chemistry. On an average day, she spends anywhere from eight to 10 hours at work, almost two hours commuting, and at least one more hour picking up groceries and dry cleaning.

After fitting in a few hours of sleep and the occasional take-out meal, she barely has enough time to Netflix — let alone hunt for Mr. For the thousands of swamped singles struggling to fit dating between meetings and mergers, there’s It’s Just Lunch.

I guess “It’s Just a Drink at at a Cheesy, Showy Restaurant in the Loop after Brushing Your Teeth and Putting Eyeliner on in the Office Bathroom” didn’t have the same pithy appeal.

It was as if Lizzie anticipated every question in my head and already had a neat, little answer waiting for me. I pondered whether Lizzie’s manipulative skills matched those of Charles Manson’s, or whether I’m just particularly desperate—but by the time she casually slipped in that a full year of buffet-style blind dating would cost me $1,800 (non-refundable cash or check, of course), I was pretty much convinced that there was no other rational way for me to romantically function in Chicago.

The building directory ever-so-discreetly listed my destination as “IJL.” Walking into the “happy” yellow-walled lobby and blaring Frank Sinatra initially sickened me, but luckily Lizzie and her Limited Express sexy-executive pantsuit whisked me into her private office before I had time to fixate.

Her walls were adorned with framed, triumphant-looking human interest articles from a variety of second-rate publications.

After dates, I would have to give “brutally honest feedback” to my rep, who would use the information to further refine subsequent matches.

I wouldn’t even have to share contact information or make reservations—my IJL rep will tell me when and where to go.

The ad reiterated that the service is for “busy professionals.” Which means my excuse for resorting to such a service would presumably be my busy professional-ness—rather than the more obvious “I’m pathologically insecure! I scheduled the introductory meeting over the phone with a woman named Lizzie.

(Never mind the fact it is completely ridiculous for an adult to call herself Lizzie.) I put a depressingly large amount of effort into my appearance as I readied for the in-person meeting.

Reservations are always made under the first name of both parties, and I’m only expected to share my contact information if I want to see the guy again.

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