R5 The Matchmaker

What qualifies you to be a matchmaker?
I have a certificate in matchmaking from the School of Matchmaking and Relationship Sciences at the Matchmaking Institute in Manhattan. In order to receive certification, you have to buy the at-home study kit for fifteen hundred dollars, pass an online test, and attend a one-day local training course for an additional seven hundred fifty dollars. I am also a trained psychotherapist specializing in relationship counseling.

What are your job responsibilities at Great Date Now (GDN)?
I screen all the candidates, identifying personality type, deal-breakers, personal interests, relationship goals, and wants and needs. I then screen for readiness, emotional availability, communication style, and vulnerabilities. Once screening is complete, introductions begin!

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How much does GDN’s matchmaking service cost?
Prices vary from thirty-five hundred to ten-thousand dollars, depending on the number of introductions and types of services requested. The pricier packages include image consultants, nutritionists, personal trainers, and dating coaches.

What percentage of matchmaking is scientific, psychological, physical, etc?
Matchmaking is about ruling out the deal-breakers, matching lifestyles, and then praying for chemistry—the unknown! It’s not a science, but it is psychological.

What’s your status?
I have a boyfriend that one of my clients introduced me to. I refused the introduction at first, so he tricked me into a chance meeting. I have been dating him, a divorced Italian father of three, for over a year now. I was previously married for fifteen years.

How many people have you matched for a date, and how many of those led to a second date? How many to long-term relationships and/or marriages?
I have a team of four assistant matchmakers who set up about one hundred dinner reservations each week by Friday at five pm, and have for the past several years. That amounts to four hundred-plus first dates a month! Last month, about thirty-eight percent ended up on second dates, and I have had numerous weddings and too many people living together to count.

What are the best places to go for a first date? The worst?
We always recommend dinner or drinks and appetizers at a nice, quiet restaurant. The worst place is a loud coffeehouse or bar with no atmosphere.

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Do you believe in the concept of a soulmate?
I believe there are many soulmates for each of us, and timing is everything.

What are the best things to do on a first date?
The top five things to do are to be yourself, then flirt, flirt, flirt, and flirt! Go to greatdatenow.com for more on top dating rules.

What are the biggest blunders on a first date?
The worst things to do are to leave your cellphone on and, worse, to answer your phone, drink more than two alcoholic beverages, talk about prior relationships, and complain about anything. Also, for men, don’t ever discourage a woman from ordering whatever she likes or allowing her to pay.

What do men say they are looking for in a partner?
Men say, ‘I’m not superficial but I am visual!’ After that, they request honesty, a fun personality, someone who knows how to laugh, who’s down to earth, and an equal partner.

And women?
Women request a life partner who is kind and genuine, emotionally available, financially stable, has good communications skills, and a good sense of humor.

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What’s the worst pairing you’ve matched?
The worst pair I’ve ever set up was a woman with terrible cat allergies and a man with a cat.

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