Every Wednesday night, a girlfriend and I play tennis and then grab a margarita afterwards. As we enjoy our libations, our conversation often steers toward another shared hobby: reading. We’re both avid readers and discuss the book (or sometimes books) we finished that week and give each other recommendations.
I recently realized that this weekly routine is fairly similar to matchmaking.
When we first started discussing books, we had very distinct tastes. I loved sci-fi, historical fiction, and finance books. Sam loved romance and mystery genres. If I began explaining the plot of a sci-fi story, Sam would roll her eyes and sip her margarita, totally uninterested. Similarly, if Sam shared the story line of a romance novel (or what she calls “smut” books), I would laugh and tell the bartender I was going to need another drink.
Overtime, we gained a strong understanding of each other’s likes and dislikes when it came to reading. Furthermore, we taught each other to be more open-minded with our reading selections. Sam may preface a recommendation with “yes, it’s a mystery novel but I think you’ll really like it because of x, y, z. “ Similarly, she’s now open to reading the occasional sci-fi book that I recommend, as long as there aren’t too many aliens. So now, when I read the first few pages of a novel that Sam recommends, and I’m not into it, I trust the process and know to give it a chance. It’s almost always worthwhile in the end.
When it comes to matchmaking, a client may first arrive with very specific preferences. They’re looking for “adventure,” “romance,” someone who works in “finance.” (Yes, I just incorporated book genres). They share their background, lifestyle, interests, passions, dreams, and relationship values as the matchmaker carefully listens and take notes. With that information, the matchmaker selects their first match. Afterward, the client shares feedback and the matchmaker learns more about the client over time as they discuss each match. The matchmaker gains a clear understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
Simultaneously, through these powerful conversations, the client may learn to consider options that perhaps they would have disregarded before. A matchmaker may say, “yes, this match isn’t the ‘fairy tale’ you described, but I feel confident you’ll hit it off because of x, y, z.” A strong relationship is built so that when a client is on a first date and thinks “I’m not into this person,” they remember that their matchmaker carefully planned this introduction, and give it a real shot. They trust the process. They know to keep reading after the first few pages.
All of my book references aside, working with a matchmaker is like having a friend that really gets you and has an entire library of singles at their disposal. Margaritas optional.