Most likely, matchmaking has been around as long as society itself. Some people enter the “business” of matchmaking because they are tired of hearing about their friends’ horrible dating episodes. Casual matchmaking is a constant pursuit — who among us doesn’t occasionally size up a few of our friends and ask “Why don’t they get together?” Besides being fun and beneficial to your social group, matchmaking can be a profitable and exciting business venture, if you have the skills and the desire to do it.
Some people seem to have a natural gift for pairing up their friends. These people usually have lots of experience, good and bad, in the dating world, and are very sensitive to things like personality type, communication skills, and the general likes and dislikes of their social group. Most matchmaking starts out non professional — a single girl gets a suggestion from her friend that she ought to go out with so-and-so, or that her and the neighborhood mailman would make a great pair. After this fledgling matchmaker successfully pairs off a few people, they become interested in full time matchmaking.
Becoming A Professional Matchmaker
There is only one organization that trains people in becoming a professional matchmaker. The Matchmaking Institute was created in 2003 in order to “set a code of ethics and strict quality standards in the matchmaking industry”. They provide training and even certification for wannabe matchmakers, and once certified they provide lists of potential clients as well as a support group of fellow matchmakers and industry professionals.
The Matchmaking Institute
Student of the Matchmaking Institute
Students of the Matchmaking Institute learn about all aspects of the business, from the history of matchmaking to the all important code of ethics. Along the way, students learn about business models — how to succesfully operate a business out of their own home, how to create lasting couples while still putting money in their pocket. They learn interviewing techniques, what to look for when interviewing clients and how to fine tune their skills of perception. There’s even a unit on “working with difficult clients” and conflict resolution — as all matchmakers, no matter how skilled or qualified, will run into difficulties when dealing with the general public. Most importantly, students of the Matchmaking Institute will walk away with a certificate proving they have been trained in their unique art, and possess the skills necessary to match you with someone you can love.
Outside of the certification realm, it is possible to become a succesful matchmaker. You don’t need to attend courses or hang a certificate on your wall if you believe you are well qualified and can handle running a home business. Start simply — put together a short list of a few friends interested in dating. Explain to them that you want to help them find a match, and set up a client relationship, clearly outlining any fee you want to charge, the process of matchmaking you plan to pursue, and their recourse if they are unhappy with your services. You may also want to let them know that you are not a certified matchmaker, but are interested in learning the skill and believe you have what it takes to find their one true love. Once you have a client or two set up, create a database, listing details of their personality, what they may be looking for in a partner, and what kind of relationship they’re look for — remember, some people may just want to find casual dating partners, while others may be looking for marriage potential.
Surely in your social network there will be people who match your initial client base. Explain to these potential mates the entirety of the process — that you want to interview them and determine if they would make a good match for any of your clients. It is important to match their personality, likes and dislikes, and what sort of relationship they’re interested in with those of your clients. This may be the most difficult part, as these friends of yours may not have come to you looking for help. This is where your skills become important — simply matching people by one or two interests will usually result in a negative result. The more intuitive you are, the deeper your interview material goes, and the better suited you are to the “sport” of matchmaking, the more succesful you will be.
Certification From The Matchmaking Institute
It is a good idea to receive proper certification from the Matchmaking Institute if you find you are good at the matchmaking game. You will be part of a network of certified matchmakers who can support and assist you in your quest, and your client base will be more likely to trust your judgement. If you enjoy working with people, are tired of the grind of working in an office cubicle, or are just looking for a way to make some extra cash, matchmaking could be the game for you. Make sure you are a good judge of character, have a flexible schedule and good personal skills, and that you may be willing to eventually pursue certification. With luck, you may one day call yourself a professional matchmaker.