PROFESSIONAL ADVICE FROM MATCHMAKERS AROUND THE WORLD, FEB 2015
We are very proud to share with all our perfect partners that we have been rated as a first class Matchmaking organisation globally! A researcher on the latest trends in matchmaking, Anat Ben-Shaul from Seattle, studied all the various top agencies world wide, in this $60billion industry, and we are very proudly South African in that we were chosen as the top agency in South Africa, with the highest ranking professionalism. It is patently clear that matchmakers are exactly that – matchmakers, and not Dial-a-Date or escort agencies! Single men and women have to be honoured for having their individual criteria, and need advice on how to firstly KNOW who they are and what can really work for them in choosing a life-long mate. We think you will find it very interesting, although another lengthy read, to see that other world-wide leading Matchmakers say pretty much the same things we do (and relatively charge about the same as we do or even more, if you go on to the individual websites and take a look), have the same experiences and therefore are well placed to give the best advice………so here is advice from around the world to help in our mutual quest for YOUR perfect partner!! Enjoy the read!
Go On A Date Think Like A Matchmaker: Professional Advice From Around The World. Valentine’s Day Special
Today more than ever it is so easy to meet people from all around the world without leaving your doorstep. When online dating became available there was hope that finding love would be a brief and brisk affair. Unfortunately the opposite occurred. Finding and recognizing true love has turned out to be a much more challenging journey, more than it was in our parents’ generation. The growing number of singles in our modern society proves this sad reality. Becoming aware of this situation, I thought it would be interesting to hear advice from professional matchmakers from different countries who have proven success in their field.
Matchmakers from the USA (NY, LA, Chicago, and Seattle), Canada (Montreal and Vancouver), Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Israel, Sweden, Spain, UK, and Greece all share with you here their professional wisdom.
I would like to thank all the matchmakers and their staff members who helped me to pull this exciting global project together. My wish is that the voices from different cultures on this subject would trigger a thought, idea, or inspiration in different people who are searching for love. I hope that by reading this post you will gain some helpful insights to use when you are on a date. I also hope that some of you, who have been out there for a while looking on your own for the ONE, would consider working with a professional matchmaker in your area to help you with this quest.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone – with love from Anat
Julie Ferman – Julie Ferman Associates, Los Angeles, USA
Here’s how to know if the person you’re dating (or thinking about dating) is really a good match for you for a potential long-term relationship. Whip out pen and paper and make your list. You know… your list. The qualities, characteristics and attributes that you hope to find all rolled up into one nice, beautiful package. Hopefully you know that this list comprises a fictitious person, who likely doesn’t exist in real life, and yet it’s really important that you take a good hard look to see what qualities you do really appreciate and value. Now the hard part – from this long list, choose your Top Five Critical Criteria. These are the elements that if your partner didn’t possess, would cause you to be unhappy. Criteria that often hit the Top Five List are: Integrity, Desire to have children, Adventurous, Kindness, Financial Stability, Passionate, Positivity. No one but you gets to determine what most matters to you. If this person you’re dating indeed does have your Top Five Critical Criteria, then this is a very good indicator that your time and energy is well invested in exploring relationship together. Also critical is timing, as you both need to be in a place in time in your own lives when it makes sense to couple up. And then there’s the attraction issue. Most women can and do develop romantic attraction over time, whereas men tend to be physically and romantically attracted early on, or not at all. So if these pieces of the puzzle all fit nicely, then keep exploring, as you might just have yourself a Keeper.
Harella Ishai – Doo-Lev, Israel
The most important thing to keep in mind before a first date is to give the other person a real chance and not to disqualify anyone because of outside parameters, such as looks, education, profession, social status, etc. Keep an open mind and understand that your optimal partner does not necessarily need to fit your distinctive checklist.
Today in the Internet era, before people go on a first date they already know everything about each other. Unfortunately this flood of information can do more harm than good, since some people base their opinions on this online data, before even meeting the person who could have been their true love.
In our day and age people rarely trust their intuition, their emotion, and their heart. Choosing a romantic partner has become a mental activity. The result of this approach is that many people are left alone.
I don’t recommend to compromise. To begin with, there should be good communication, chemistry, and physical attraction. These are qualities that no one should give up on in a relationship. While I say this, it is important to keep in mind that there are many things that people can work on and improve given time and effort. Statistics proves that couples that were not thrilled by each other in the first dates but gave themselves a chance, enjoyed happy marriage, which proves that love at first sight doesn’t guaranty a long and happy relationship. Give love a real chance and believe that it is only a matter of time before you will find it.
Sasha Madarasz – Two’s Company Ltd., New Zealand
It’s important to remember it’s a date, not an interview. You don’t need to make a decision after one date. The common response after a first date is, “I’m just not sure there’s anything there for me”. Well of course not, it’s just a first date. You don’t even know the person. And before you say, “Well I know myself”, I have many married couples now who told me exactly that. They weren’t going to go on a second date and I had to talk them into it. And they’re just the ones that are now married! You don’t know anything about a person after just one date. Enjoy yourself and have another date. You have nothing to lose.
Setting the right environment for a first date is crucial. Do you really want to meet for a quick coffee in the middle of your working day? I advise against this. You’re rushed, and often pre-occupied with work. It’s often a good idea to plan your date around an activity that allows you to talk back and forth. Many activities make great first dates, and if you do choose something interesting enough, it’ll spark conversation to fill those first, slightly awkward hours.
Last but not least, have the right attitude. People often put themselves under too much pressure to make a decision after just one date. Are they the right one or not? Keep in mind, It’s not an interview. Get to know the person and enjoy yourself. It’s just a date!
Susan Alper – Susan Apler Connections Inc.,Montreal, Canada
In today’s society, the search for a soulmate, life partner, and any other intimate relationship, has become difficult and at the very least confusing. Years ago there was really only three ways to meet “The One”, in a bar, through friends, or through an old fashioned matchmaker. Today, almost all searches are done through social media and online dating services. That includes the most personal and intimate of all searches, the “Relationship” search. It is surprising that the same way you would research and buy a set of used tires, is the same way you would search for your perfect mate. It seems like a very cold and impersonal way to find something, or in this case, someone with whom you would want to spend the rest of your life with, or at the very least, share an intimate relationship.
As s professional matchmaker I’m all for the old school methods: using personal intuition, acting on a hunch, and feel the calling to be with the other person. People who are unable to see or realize what they are truly looking for, and what is best for them, are usually people who don’t really know themselves. It usually takes a person on the outside that can clearly see the truth and reality of the situation, like a friend or a matchmaker, to help you define your personality and needs from a relationship.
Once you are aware of who you are and what are your needs are it is easier to recognize your soulmate.
Veronica Alcanda – Alcanda Matchmaking, Spain
When on a date, there are several common attributes high caliber men and women look for in the potential “significant-other”:
Life´s objective, when looking for a partner, they will try to find out whether you have the same objectives in life (have kids, get married, be sporty, relationship with their family, religion beliefs, political inclinations, etc.) So, if you are very clear about WHO you are and WHAT do you expect from life, make sure you put on the table from the beginning to avoid wasting your and his/her time.
Elegance and not only physically speaking, for example for the way they dress, how they smell or look; but most importantly elegance in their manners. Are they cultivated? Is he a Gentlemen or a Lady?
Intelligence this is a “must-have” trait all clients ask me for in their potential match. So remember, you must demonstrate intelligence, which you cannot misunderstand with arrogance.
Honesty is the person being truthful with his/her intentions for a future relationship? An intelligent person will read between the lines to find out whether you are being honest so, better be it from the very beginning as any relationship is always built on Honesty and mutual Trust.
Besides these common traits, there are some specifically men and women look for at the very first sight and date. While MEN will always look for an attractive woman, which doesn’t mean explosive but someone who feels well in their skin; WOMEN will secretly look for their “Prince Charming” meaning personality and manners.
Shannon Davidoff – Perfect Partners, South Africa
My very first piece of advice is to identify WHO YOU are! What personality type are you, and what values you bring to the future table in a meaningful relationship. In other words, apart from being emotionally available, you need to be able to ‘market’ yourself to your target market of eligible singles on your strengths.
When you make a list of the type of Singleton you wish to meet that would be compatible with you (not necessarily a clone – that could be so boring!) apart from physical appearance, ask yourself – what traits, personality type and character, hobbies and interests, lifestyle and core values would work for you? Your search is to find traits that spell “KEEPER” not Player, and often looks are less important than these traits that have potential to form a lasting bond. Things that can change in a moment are dress code, facial hair, hairstyles, and other minor attitudes can adjust – so look beyond the superficial. Character does not change, but can grow as you bond and walk the life journey together.
Never get into a new contact without meeting within 2 weeks! And don’t just email – you have to insist on a personal phone call immediately. Our voices also have ‘body language’ and can be a very powerful tool in attracting the right attention. Make sure to speak for you as you are, and are authentic. Never discuss your past in any way, keep your first calls light and friendly, no Twenty Questions, everything will be revealed by the third date when it is appropriate.
Yvonne Allen – Yvonne Allen & Associates, Australia
Beware of expecting ‘instant chemistry. There is no doubt that sexual attraction is usually an important ingredient of a partnership. However, the rush of hormones that accompanies ‘love at first sight’ is usually more to do with perpetuation of the species than compatibility when it comes to sharing the ups and downs of life. A mutually rewarding relationship is not a matter of interests, nor age, or an instant ‘high’. In reality, real love – and lasting chemistry – grows as a couple gets to really know and value each other, warts and all!
Instead of having expectations – or looking for ‘what is not there’ when meeting someone for the first time – why not focus on what you appreciate in the person who has agreed to meet you. You may be pleasantly surprised by the possibilities this opens in you life. Go on at least two dates with the same person. There are many things to gain from doing so:
-Developing a potential friendship
-Having the opportunity to practice dating skills
-Increasing confidence in sustaining a conversation beyond a first encounter
-Gaining insights into our real needs and expectations when it comes to a partner
-Realizing that initial judgments can be wrong
-Discovering there are more things you appreciate as you get to know each other beyond the pressures of initial encounters
-Sharing activities that you both enjoy yet do not want to do alone
-Opening up new networks of friends for each other…which could include that special someone’ you would love to meet
Removing your blinkers could open wonderful possibilities!!
Belinda Leung and Beth Harvey – Muse&Co, Seattle, USA
Gender roles are becoming blurred – it’s great for work, but what about dating? We read about it daily. Women should “Speak out. Lean in. Lead. ”Traditional” gender roles are to be dismissed at work. But as matchmakers, we think different rules should apply on a date, IF you want maximum results in the world of courtship. Some women may believe their efforts at equality extend beyond the boardroom, however do you ever wonder why 50 Shades of Gray is such a cultural phenomenon?
Expectations for behavior vary across individuals, but our recommendation for both men and women on a date is to OWN your gender, and frankly, flaunt it. That means, women, wear a dress – a RED ONE; if you have long hair, let it down. Flirt. Men, take the lead. Do the “inviting,” and be proactive by having a plan, with a backup. Don’t be afraid to treat on your first date. If a woman takes offense, smile, and suggest, “I appreciate the gesture, why don’t you treat next time?” Open doors and to any scowl, remark “I do this for my clients, why not my date?”
We adhere to our coaching to help people attract love. None of the courtship gestures we recommend suggest one can’t do it themselves, but rather evoke romance, and make you more attractive to the opposite gender. We believe we are all equal in intelligence and ability, but our natural instincts are still ruled by a primal brain, which just doesn’t care about equal paychecks.
Jane Carstens – Matchmaker for Hire, Vancouver, Canada
In sports, it pays to play by the rules, but sometimes rules don’t work. As a professional who has been matching Canadian couples for almost 15 years, it’s time to dump those old dating rules. Think like a Matchmaker and have an action plan if you want to have a better score at Love.
Don’t have your filter set too high: Be upfront about what you’re looking for, determine your 5 non-negotiables; ones that you can’t live without and find out early in the game (you want someone who fits). Whether its physical appearance; or you refuse to date someone unless they have a certain amount of money, the insistence that your potential mate shares all of your interests or that they live a short drive away are not reasonable expectations.
Don’t just go by looks: You should only want to go out with people who want to meet you for you. Good photos are so key in the dating world; when you share photos that are blurry or hide what you look like, you may get more dates, but your chances of success drop significantly.
Interested VS Interesting: One way that you know someone is actually interested in you and hasn’t just looked at your photos is if they reference something you’ve quoted. Give them some good bait for conversation starters. Tell them about a few of your interests or a recent trip you took. If they mention something like that to you, you’re off to a good start. Rule of thumb: gents take the initiative, but then let the lady lead the way.
Anna Dingizian and Jeanette Vinberg – J&A Matchmaking, Sweden
Many of our customers have questions about what to do on a first date. First of all we do recommend a classic dinner date. Why? Because you will have enough time to get acquainted with each other and you will have the possibility to have a glass of wine, which actually is an icebreaker. If you only go for a cup of coffee the risk is that you are on the go and don’t have time to really give the other person a chance. Some people are quit nervous when on a first date and won´t show their true self until you get through the small talk.
When you are at a restaurant there are tons of topics to discuss during dinner, for instance: ”have you been here before?” discuss the menu, discuss the food you eat, the wine. Other good topics are interests, sports, family, career, travel. Never discuss politics, exes, family problems or personal economy on your first date.
Sometimes when you are shy or as an idea for a second date you can go for an active date, for instance a walk, bowling, pool, picnic by bike. When you occupy yourself with an activity it might be easier to ignore the fact that you are nervous. Just don’t engage yourself in an activity where you will become all sweaty and messy….
Karen Mooney – Sarah-Eden, UK
In my view the secret to a successful relationship is to share similar goals, aspirations, values and beliefs. You need to respect your partner and have the ability to laugh together, and at each other sometimes. If you have a positive outlook on life it really helps if your partner does also.
I know this might sound strange but a few years ago for an article I was writing for a UK magazine I analyzed some of the photographs of happy couples we have adorning our walls and found out that they actually shared similar facial features – sounds strange but it’s true!
Lena Kastrisiou and Sellia Georges – One Plus One, Chicago, USA & Greece
Our advice on what people should take into account in order to decide whether a person is a good match is summed up in three main and broad categories. These are chemistry, as long as they don’t base solely their decision on that. If there is no chemistry- none what so ever- even if other “requirements” are there, we advise people not to proceed with that date. If there is no chemistry, sexual attachment is difficult to exist. Secondly, we believe that commonalities promote long lasting relationships and our view is the more a person has in common with their partner the better it is. We don’t mean that they cannot have different behaviors, habits or hobbies. We mean that if they share similar code of ethics, family background, political and social views, even culture, education or income they are more prone to succeed in their relationship. Thirdly, and most difficult is be able to share experiences, to have a good time together, to talk about people in a similar way, it is all about EQ… déjà vu together, quite difficult, but when experienced, pretty amazing. So in other words when someone has a good amount of chemistry, can have fun in bed, share ideas and think alike…. It works!
Michelle Frankel – NYCity Matchmaking & Consulting, NYC, USA
Valentine’s Day is notoriously the most romantic day of the year. It is the perfect time to ask that special someone on a date to show them that you are looking for something serious. Here are some important things to consider when Valentine’s Day rolls around.
Are you going on a date ON Valentine’s Day? If you have gone on a few dates and keep in regular contact, but hear nothing when Valentine’s Day comes around, then it might be time to re-evaluate the relationship. If they ask you out on V-Day, it illustrates that they wanted to spend this special day with you, and not someone else.
Do you talk long-term? Obviously things aren’t going to be that serious if this is your first date, but take notice of how they discuss the future as things progress. It is important to ensure that you are not wasting your time with someone who doesn’t want to commit, so take notice if they shy away from discussing future events and integrating you in their life.
Does your date make you a priority? Everyone wants to feel special. Did your date make plans for Valentine’s Day in advance, or were plans thrown together last minute? Did they make a reservation? These are small signs that may show how invested they are in the relationship, and can help you decide if they are worth your time.
Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark created holiday and men do feel the pressure to do the right thing. Remember though, what is most important is how your Partner treats you the other 364 days of the year. That is what is most important.