Recently, national newspapers like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Huffington Post have been giving lots of attention in feature stories on the benefits of investing in a dating coach and matchmaker at any age. This year is the 10-year anniversary of starting my business. In the past decade I have become the main matchmaker for the West Coast Jewish community and a dating coach for the general public, nationwide.
I started doing this work informally as a teenager in college thirty years ago since I had a talent for it, and I liked to help people. I became a professional matchmaker and dating coach in 2009 so I could help many more people. People have no hesitation hiring a personal trainer, a life coach, or a real estate agent, so why not someone to help with love? Finding the right person to marry may be the single most important thing you do and the most crucial decision you make in your life, with lifelong lasting impact.
Online dating may provide the endless opportunity to meet numerous people, but many of my clients get burnt out by the task and also because they aren’t forging those deep relationships or finding true love. And, many of my clients are high profile members of the Jewish community and do not do online dating at all.
I provide the human component, because when it comes to matters of the heart, people want a personal touch, and you can’t get more personal than love.
Some people have never been married, while others are divorced or widowed. For those getting back into the dating world in their 40s or 50s, maybe they got married when they were 25, so it’s a totally new experience now. The rules of dating have changed and it’s not how it used to be. I help them navigate the changes.
Internet dating is really impersonal and anonymous, and people often create works of fiction in their profiles. And, not only do you have to get noticed, you want to attract the right people.
With me, you get your own personal dating coach to help you through the dating process, including help with profiles and what dating sites to use. As a matchmaker, you get an advocate to encourage people to meet you.
For example, I had a new client who wanted to date younger women. I had a female client, and I knew she and he were a perfect match but she was a year older so I had to really push him to meet her. He never would have dated someone his own age if not for my encouragement. She wouldn’t have even come up in his dating site online searches since he screened out her age. I believed strongly they were a soul mate match so I pushed and pushed for him to meet her. Once they met, they hit it off right away, and now they are happily married.
For seniors dating, they can have different priotities than my younger clients. Most of my clients in their 20s and 30s have never been married and most want children. Most of my senior clients are divorced or widowed. Some have grown children and grandkids they want to spend time with, while others are on their own. People generally want to find someone who is healthy because they lost a spouse who was ill and they don’t want go through that again. Lifestyle compatibility for seniors is about more than just health, of course. It can be about money for some. Or whether or not people are still up for adventure and travel. Some individuals don’t want a partner who can’t keep up with their lifestyle. If they’re not retired, they usually want to be with someone who is also not retired. They want someone who has an active, productive life as well. That can be tricky because some people retire early and others never want to retire.
Sometimes parents or grandparents have paid for my services as a gift for their family members. I don’t turn people away because they’re too this or too that. I try to help everyone, from the low-income to the wealthy. I am not a dating service and set people up with as few people as possible, waiting for the right match, a genuine potential match to come along. For me, matchmaking is not about numbers, but people.
In all my years of experience in the nonprofit world, it seemed to me that whatever challenges people faced, money, health problems, whatever it was, finding love seemed to help more than anything. I feel strongly helping people find love is the best kind of social work I can do.
It’s hard to find love, no matter what your religion is, and it’s even harder for a super small minority group. There are some successful intermarriages, but religion can be a complicating factor. It’s nice to share values and religious practices, and Jewish identity matters.
I have two books on finding love and dating tips coming out, soon. In the meantime, you can watch my series of dating tip and horror story videos. There are more dating tips in my radio interviews and articles on my website. Wherever you are in your dating process, I’d be happy to help in your search for love!
JUDITH GOTTESMAN, MSW IS A MATCHMAKER AND DATING COACH AND A CONTRIBUTING WRITER TO JLIFE MAGAZINE.