Founders of South Florida Matchmakers
1 How did you two get into matchmaking?
Nancy: We’ve been friends for a long time—35 years—and talked about getting into business together. And matchmaking seemed logical, given my history as a relationship coach and doing counseling for 25 years in a private practice, working with people on relationship issues and communication and looking internally, figuring out what’s going on with them. What their wants are. What their needs are.
Barbara: I had a volunteer career as the president of a number of different organizations, and I view myself as a connector of people and a relationship builder, and so it was a good synergy between the two of us to put it together. I had the walking Rolodex and Nancy had the professional training as a relationship counselor and coach.
Nancy: And we love the whole idea of putting people together. It just made a lot of sense.
2 What makes the Miami dating scene different?
Barbara: I think one of the things that sets Miami apart from some of the other South Florida communities is that we are a community of diversity and we are an international community. You have people from Latin America, Europe, Canada—it’s a very fast-paced community. I think people are on the go here. With that kind of fast pace, it does make it more challenging for people to have that ability to connect with somebody and have a lasting [relationship]. We help guide them through that.
3 How do you work with your clients?
Nancy: When we meet them, we find out first about their relationship history. And then we really delve into what it is that they need. Somebody who has been divorced or widowed—a lot of them have the same issues and challenges. Some come to us with a long list and we say, “No, that list is outdated.” They have a list of wants. And they have to really get to know themselves and deal with their losses and disappointments and find out what their true needs and desires are. We get very involved in coaching them from the beginning, when we meet them, until their first date.
Barbara: We always say to everybody that your past is going to become your future. Part of what really makes it work for us is that we work as a team. The communication is really important between them and us because everything we do is predicated on feedback—getting feedback from them and getting feedback from the other person.
4 How do people find what they’re looking for in a mate?
Barbara: We deal with people of all ages—some in their 20s, all the way to people in their 80s. Some are looking for marriage, some are looking for children, some are looking for companionship. We start by asking them questions about their past. … If there’s a pattern of behavior, that’s where the needs and wants comes into it. We’re not telling them to give up every single thing they want, but we’re telling them to listen to themselves. You really know this is what you need.
5 What are some misconceptions about matchmaking?
Barbara: There’s a sort of stereotype that some people use matchmakers because they’re losers—because they can’t do it on their own. We’ve been doing this now for four years, and that notion is being dispelled because of the quality of people we’re finding.
6 Do you think there’s such a thing as love at first sight?
Nancy: I do. I think that even falling in love at first sight, you do have to take a step back and say, “Let me look at my values.” If it’s someone who’s had relationships in the past, step back and say, “What am I looking for? What are my true needs?” I think people can fall in love at first sight, but I also say, let’s come at this with an integrated approach. Not just what looks good and what feels great at the moment.
I think men go a lot with their sight and women go with what they hear. Men are looking to be appreciated, accepted and adored, and women are looking to be listened to.
Barbara: And to be loved and validated.
7 Can you tell us about a memorable couple you’ve matched?
Nancy: We recently had a lady come in to see us. She had been widowed 10 years, and she thought she was not going to be able to have a wonderful, loving partner again, so she decided that she would come to see us. We introduced her to another client who had used several high-end matchmaking services from all over the country, and he was ready to give up. Well, we introduced them, and they fell in love. We did a lot of coaching with both of them. We just came back from their wedding in Newport, Rhode Island.
Barbara: It was magical. That’s the beauty of what we do.