Though pretty much everybody has heard of online dating sites, apps or has friends who hooked up on Facebook, the general public still seems to know very little about the modern-day professional matchmaking business and how it works. It’s quite a unique profession; I’m always the hit of any dinner party. People are fascinated by the details of my job. The two most common questions I get asked all the time are “How did you get into this business?” Followed by, “How do you match couples? Do you do it all online?”
I love my job and believe that my career was meant to be, but I certainly never aspired to be a matchmaker. I never even had much luck fixing up my friends! I wanted to be an actress and spent most of my time acting or making audition rounds. In the fall of 2001, I was dating the man who would become my husband. He introduced me to a female friend of his called Ann who was taking over a management position at a well-known video dating service called Great Expectations.
Like every working actress, I needed a good part-time gig. Ann hired me to work in customer relations and also videotape the clients. It was so much fun. I felt like a movie director, filming each prospective client and quizzing them on what they were looking for in a mate. Over the next year and a half, I interviewed hundreds of men and women and really perfected my technique, learning as I went how to cut to the heart of what really mattered and also how to present each person in their best light.
After I left Great Expectations due to a management shakeup, I answered a blind ad in the back of an actor’s newspaper. The ad was very short, saying only: “Talent scout, fun job, Beverly Hills,” with a phone number. I decided to check it out since I lived nearby. I called the number and set up an appointment. When I told my friend Fran about my meeting, she tried to talk me out of going. “It’s a scam!” she said. “Don’t go!” Well, good thing I decided not to listen to her, because when I arrived I found out that the job was recruiting for a high-end matchmaking service. I was very excited because I had really enjoyed working with singles, helping them try to find the right one. I was hired on the spot and recruited beautiful single women for the company’s male clients, who paid the agency beaucoup bucks to find them high-quality, attractive, marriage-material dates.
Within a couple of months I was offered a regular position in the office as a matchmaker. I worked four days per week and still went on auditions, but I was enjoying the work so much that I eventually took over the head matchmaking slot and went to work full-time. Matchmaking certainly has its challenges (more about that in a moment) but the rewards were enormous. Whenever I learned that a couple I’d introduced had gone “exclusive” or were getting married, I would dance around the office! My work had the potential to change someone’s entire life and destiny. I was helping great people find their soul mate – is there anything better than that?
Certainly there were roadblocks along the way. I quickly learned that the two most challenging aspects of matchmaking are clients lying about their age and unrealistic expectations. Both men and women lie shamelessly about their age, and the embarrassing part is that the lie is so obvious. Just the other day I met a woman who wanted to be included in my database. She put down on her questionnaire that she was 35 years old, when she was clearly not a day under 45 – if that! I also just had a man tell me he was 55, when just by looking at him I could easily see he was well into his sixties. I do not feel comfortable lying or even exaggerating to my clients when I match them, so “white lies” about age puts me in a very uncomfortable position.
As far as unrealistic expectations go, some clients feel that because they paid a high fee to a Beverly Hills firm to meet someone, she should be nothing less than a supermodel lookalike with a small town girl personality — even is he himself is an average looking Joe. Another issue comes up when I get a much older man with several kids, seeking only a young woman with no kids. Finding a life partner is not like buying a car, where you can order leather seats, air conditioning, and a state-of-the-art CD player to your exact specifications. But the reality is, people want what they want, nothing more and nothing less, and I always do my best to deliver.
That’s the story, in a nutshell, of how I became a matchmaker. To answer the second-most-common question I hear, no, my work is not done at all online. I actually hand-match our clients. I don’t put them into a computer or let them look through profiles and pick out people that they would like to meet. I sit down with each client and build a “blueprint” of their lifestyle, including what they are looking for in a match, their expectations in love and marriage, and so on.
When I set up my clients, the two of them give me feedback after their first date. We’ve all had dates that we thought went great, but alas, we never heard from that person again. You can knock your head against the wall and imagine dozens of scenarios, reasons and excuses, but the fact is you will never know the real answer. Unless you have a matchmaker who will give you feedback from your date and give you the answers you seek. They may not be what you want to hear, but I do provide honest answers and real solutions.
This is why I’m such a strong believer in the way I work. The singles I work with are busy in fabulous careers, taking care of family, improving themselves, traveling and just living life. They don’t have time to be out searching for the right person, going to bars, or sitting online for hours as if working a second job. Who has time to waste going on hundreds of coffee dates only to find that each one was a disappointment? Mine has been a very rewarding career. I have introduced countless couples that have gone on to get married, and some have even had children!
It used to be a bit embarrassing to say that you joined a dating service or were online looking for love; now it is so mainstream. Millions of people are outsourcing their dating to a professional! After all, we hire people to clean our house, service our car, make travel arrangements, do business consulting, and so on. Why not hire an expert to weed through the masses and get you closer to finding a perfect partner? These days you’ll find countless ads for matchmaking services in magazines and on television, and schools to train matchmakers have even cropped up. Soon I won’t have the most unusual job in town anymore! I even wrote a book about my matchmaking adventures!
As the years passed I realized that I had acquired an enormous amount of information about what men and women are really looking for; also, I’m an expert on the most common mistakes daters make. I’d been taking notes since my days at Great Expectations, because I knew that this knowledge was valuable. In 2009, I left the Beverly Hills firm, and decided to put out my own shingle. I called my Matchmaking service, Cupid For Hire. In 2011, I joined forces with my amazing partner, Fredly Antosh, and together we run, The Dating Source, a boutique, high-end matchmaking service for men.
If you think you might be a good fit for matchmaking, contact me and let’s talk!