In the 25 years I’ve been bringing couples together, I’ve done matchmaking a dozen different ways, and I’m just thrilled with the service model I’ve developed and am working with today. While I can’t control what single love seekers do out there in the world, if they’re meeting online or at bars, here in my world, we really enjoy providing a dignified, streamlined first date experience.
Here’s how we do matchmaking, Julie Ferman style
We are always working proactively for a small group of carefully chosen Clients, both male and female. I’ve been building community, privately “inventorying” desirable, interesting, date-worthy, relationship seeking single men and women since 2001, with over 25,000 people at my fingertips. The database is not “browsable” by the general public, or even by Clients. This is definitely not online dating.
Searching for our Female Clients.
When searching for our female Clients, we search through our entire community, considering current and former Clients, and we are also searching through our rich, deep pool of gentlemen Candidates – men who’ve not yet been our Clients, but whom we’ve found out there in the world, or who have found us. What’s uniquely special and enormously fruitful about our matchmaking process is that we take the time and make the investment of our effort and resources to continually vet, screen and qualify ALL of the men and all of the women who funnel here to us, from all kinds of sources. When we identify a candidate (Client or otherwise) who’s matching up nicely with one of our current Clients, we reach out to him to screen and qualify him for her, or her for him. When considering a potential match, we always check in with The Guy first, to make sure that timing is good for him for an introduction, and to determine if he’s interested and attracted to the female Client we have in mind for him to meet. In the process, we are vetting him for her as a prospective Suitor. If he’s available at the moment and if he’s a Yes for meeting her, then we move forward with the introduction. We don’t like to “tease” our female Clients by presenting her with potential Candidates who might or might not be available, interested, or attracted. We do that groundwork first for her, to preserve and strengthen her confidence. So, we basically handle “rejection” for her, and she only hears from us when we’ve got good news, a Suitor in queue for her, who’s available, attracted, and interested, excited to meet her.
Searching for our Male Clients.
The biggest distinction between men and women in dating is the simple, often inconvenient truth that a man simply must be attracted in order for anything to happen. Women have a FAR better ability to develop romantic attraction over time. Rather than fight this reality, we work with it, but always presenting her profile / photos to him first, and if he IS available, interested, and attracted, then we’ll move forward with the introduction.
First Date Concierge Service.
Once we know he’s a Yes for meeting her, we then move forward with the introduction, providing first date concierge service for each of our introductions. We typically let him choose the nature of the date, which is usually drinks, lunch, or dinner, and we set the time and place for the first date. We don’t typically set first dates at Starbucks, nor are our first dates meant to be over dinner at the Four Seasons – We like to set our first dates at places that are nice, interesting, fun spots, but reasonable.
Once we have set the date, we do share cell numbers with both parties, so they’re sure to find each other at the venue. It’s not required that there be a confirmation text or call prior to the date, but it’s perfectly fine, and advisable for the gentleman to send a quick check-in text the day prior or the morning of the date, just to say “See you there, then.” If she’s not heard from him, is it OK for her to text him to check in? Absolutely. One of the secrets to our success with our matchmaking process is in the preserving of the first impression for the face to face meeting. We don’t share last names or email addresses prior to the first date. Save the fun get-to-know-you questions for the live date. That means – no Googling, no Facebooking – those are research tools you may need to rely on when meeting folks out there on your own in the jungle… but here in our world, our Clients trust us to screen and vet for them, and we greatly appreciate your cooperation with our process, which has been very carefully designed.
Careful here – there are minefields all over this issue. I encourage both men and women to practice generosity throughout the dating journey, and not to jump to conclusions or veto the other person quickly based on how he or she handles this sticky issue on a first date. While it’s still common for The Guy to spring for the check, plenty of women do offer to share in the expense of dating, and it’s not a no-no for a man to accept her offer to share, although I’ll admit it’s risky when he says “Sure, Thanks!” Most importantly, please resist the temptation to categorize someone (as being cheap or entitled) based on how they manage this tricky dating issue. Once you the two of you have determined that you are both attracted and interested in each other, you’ll be able to determine together who should pay for what, as your budding romance evolves. My advice? Be respectful of each other, and do your part to make the first couple of dates as reasonable as possible. Valet Parking? It’s an over-the-top, rare, though surely appreciated gesture when a man jumps to spring for her valet parking ticket on a first date, tipping her guy on top of it. And I believe that it’s a mistake for a woman to expect this level of chivalry on each of her first dates.
Safety and chivalry.
It’s a good idea for him to make sure she gets to her car safely. It’s not fun, in fact it’s darn right nerve wracking to be a woman, walking in heels, alone, trying to find her car at night in the big city. Gentlemen, please do make sure she gets to her car safely, and Ladies, if he didn’t think to offer to walk you to your car, please do ASK him to escort you to your car.
Our “Inventory” — Where do we find our Candidates and Clients?
Half of the people in our community found us, through a direct referral from a friend or colleague, through TV/Radio/Podcast interviews, a blog article or an online search for a local matchmaking agency. The other half WE found… we’re always recruiting, producing or co-sponsoring events, and we have ambassadors throughout Southern CA who are always scouting for us, referring to us single, relationship oriented men and women who are intrigued with our process, who want to be privately registered with us, eligible for referral to our current and future Clients.
Photos and detailed profiles?
Yes, absolutely, we like to have as few surprises as possible on the first date, so for that reason we DO provide detailed profiles and we insist on current face and body photos. If your photos are more than a year or two old, if they’re cell phone selfies, or if you don’t have representative body shots, then we won’t likely be able to include you in our referral process. Here’s a shortcut to getting great, current photos for your dating profile.
The Age Issue.
Our profiles will not always include age, as we find that there are so many other factors that are more important to compatibility than a person’s chronological age. We won’t “fib” for anyone, and you can count on our photos to be current and a fair representation of this person’s actual appearance. A delightful departure from the typical online dating experience…
Post Date Feedback.
Here’s what we love to hear back after a first date: What are your impressions?
What qualities do you appreciate? Any qualities you don’t appreciate?
Would you be open to seeing this person again? If not, for any reason, help us play matchmaker — what type of person would you recommend for this person?
We absolutely LOVE to see second and third dates happening for our Clients. The most common mistake today’s single men and women are making is to discard or veto interested candidates far too quickly, hoping that that “perfect person” is just around the corner. Those are the very people who will still be single three years from now, wondering why. How to avoid falling into that picky/fussy trap is to look to see if this person you’ve just met appears to have your Top Three Critical Criteria, and if so, have a second date. And have a third date.
Post Date Communication.
We recommend texting or calling after the date to say Thank You – regardless of who picked up the check, or who’s The Guy and who’s The Girl, the two of you have just given each other the gift of your time and attention, which is no small thing. Have the courage to respond, even if what you say is “Thanks so much for meeting with me. I’m not sure we’re a romantic fit, but I’m really glad we took the time to meet. I wish you well.”
Behaving yourself is a very good idea.
The more favorable and positive your post-date feedback is and the more delightful we find you to be to work with, the more likely we will be to continue referring you as a candidate to current and future Clients. I believe that how we do one thing is how we do most things, and if the people you meet here through our matchmaking process find you to be a kind, thoughtful, an enjoyable person to be with, and if they tell us so, then we’ll tend to believe them. With thousands and thousands of fully screened and vetted candidates available to us for referral, we have no shortage of stellar possibilities when we’re searching for viable, fitting referrals for our male and female Clients. Those who misbehave with us or with each other on dates in any way quickly fall to the bottom of the referral pool. Being consistently courteous, reliable, prompt, attentive, considerate and compassionate, kind and thoughtful – this is what we call behaving. 🙂
There’s so much more great dating related content here on dating and matchmaking services blog. So keep reading, keep exploring, keep learning. Growing is sexy.