9 Matchmakers Reveal What They Look For When Setting People Up & It's So Obvious
Despite the staggering number of dating apps and platforms that have come on to the scene in recent years, meeting someone we could see ourselves ending up with still feels like one of the most difficult things ever. Some chalk it up to option anxiety, while most of us swear the issue is that there simply aren't enough options. But either way, sometimes the best course of action is handing things over to the professionals. If you've ever wondered what matchmakers look for when setting people up, then you definitely aren't alone. I can't be the only one that binge-watched Millionaire Matchmaker and thought, "Wow, Patti Stanger def knows what's up." And if you have better things to do than binge-watch TV shows on Bravo, then let's just say that being in charge of someone's love life is no small feat.
But naturally, every matchmaker has a slightly different approach when it comes to finding the "ideal" match to set a client up with. To find out the most important elements of making a successful match, I spoke with some of the best matchmakers in the business. Because sometimes, you just need a professional to spell things out for you.
1. Family Planning
I prioritize if people want marriage and children in the long term. Depending on someone's age and past relationships, some people may seek out a long term relationship but not necessarily want marriage. Others feel that if marriage is not the end goal at some point, they aren't interested in getting serious with someone. If one person is a "maybe" on kids and the other is a "definite yes" then that also can pose a problem in terms of long term comparability.
— Stef Safran, matchmaker and founder of Stef and the City
In our modern world of western Individualism, we're all living in our own Manifest Destiny, now aren't we? Inevitably, who we are now is not who we will be in one year, two years, and definitely not in the next decade. In this world of harder, faster, stronger, what are you prioritizing in your life? In other words, what are your personal and professional goals? Where do you want to live, what lifestyle would you like to afford, and, perhaps most important, who do you want to be? When you tie this all together, does your love interest have similar priorities? You don't have to be in the same lane, but are you swimming the same direction?
3. Spiritual Alignment
First and foremost, I'm always looking at spiritual compatibility between two individuals, which can be seen in their energy fields and in how they physically show up together. Spiritual compatibility in my opinion is the core foundation for lasting partnership and truly the only way two individuals can feel deep fulfillment and connection in partnership. When you make a spiritual or soul connection the foundation for what you're looking for in partnership you develop yourself emotionally and spiritually as these kinds of relationships inspire you to personally evolve in big ways. Because of this, you also have a higher satisfaction rate and sense of purpose in your life and partnership. At the core, we are each spiritual beings and so unless our relationships (and work life and every area of life, really) are connected at that level, we will not experience deep satisfaction and fulfillment as humans.
— Heather Kristian Strang, spiritual matchmaker and author
4. Yin And Yang Personalities
Personality wise I do find that opposites often do attract when it comes to things like personality. When one partner is outgoing, they are often turned on by someone quieter and vice versa. Also, when one person is softer and easier to get along with, they tend to work OK with clients who are more difficult and harder to get along with. Clients do need to be be compatible when it comes to values, religion and preference for children - those are often deal breakers.
— Karenna Alexander, matchmaker and dating coach
5. Short-Term Expectations
Outside of shared values, subjective physical preferences, and common interests, I prioritize the specific person's near term expectations. If a man is not ready for marriage or a family, I try and avoid a pairing with a woman whose near terms goals are marriage and children.
— Brooke Wise, CEO of Wise Matchmaking
6. Lifestyle Values
I always dig into lifestyle values when making matches. This includes education, work life balance, leisure, personal health, and relationships (friends + family!). If the lifestyle values line up, mostly everything else can be situational or negotiable. For example, if you were hoping your match could also be a tennis partner, look for someone who values physical exercise and trying new things, or curiosity. Even if they don’t play yet, they’re more likely to want to try it out — and will learn if you’re passionate! If family is extremely important, then you’ll both be more likely to plan your weekends around a friend’s bbq or a niece’s birthday party. Most people are very busy — but will always make time for whatever they value most. When these values are compatible, the couple will be able to enjoy their personal time together.
— Cayla Buettner, matchmaker at Three Day Rule
7. Similar Backgrounds
Dating and building a sustainable long term relationship is challenging as it is and starting with similar backgrounds is always a win-win plan to take some of the difficulty out of dating. That said, many couples succeed who do come from different backgrounds so don’t be afraid to try dating someone you’re drawn to even if they’re not someone would have pictured yourself with. You just may find that you first need to jump over other hurdles that would not otherwise exist in other relationships with other people.
— Lori Salkin, dating coach and senior matchmaker at SawYouAtSinai
8. Day-To-Day Lifestyles
It is nearly impossible to pinpoint a single area of compatibility that we prioritize when setting two people up, but if I did have to make a decision, it would be lifestyle. A persons lifestyle encapsulates that way that they "do life", meaning, are they someone who is traveling to an exotic location every weekend? Are they going to daily mass? Are they partying until all hours of the night? Or do they prefer to curl up and binge watch a new Netflix show? Do they have a lifestyle that allows for them to raise a family? Are they constantly working on weekends, or are they able to carve out time for their future kids? A person's lifestyle goes further than just how they like to spend their leisure time, it is quite literally what their day-to-day looks like. When a couple's day-to-day is complimentary, this can make for a fabulous match.
— Alessandra Conti, matchmaker at Matchmakers In The City
Your beliefs on children would be the one area of compatibility that's the most important because It goes back to lifestyle. I match on 3 areas and this is one of them. Most people match up on their spiritual beliefs or respect each other's belief, but when it comes to children, that can be a deal breaker. So, whether to have them or not have them, or date someone with them, and so forth is really a big issue. Some people only want to date people with none, some only if they are older, and on and on.
— Susan Trombetti, CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking
At the end of the day, the heart wants what the heart wants. Sometimes couples who seem to be different in every way come together to be some of the most amazing partners. But if you're in the market for the relationship, it would seem that most matchmakers can agree that being somewhat realistic about whether or not your vision for the future is overlapping could definitely save you from treading water with people who will never be on the same page as you.
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