The Most Common Things I Hear as a Matchmaker – Dating Advice

Unlock mindful dating with advice from expert matchmakers. Understand healthy expectations and debunk common myths about finding your person.

Matchmaking to us means meeting you where you are and putting in a concerted, data- and intuition-driven effort to find someone awesomely compatible with you. Our process also involves discussing your nice-to-haves and must-haves with you, sometimes ranking them, and sometimes challenging them. Working to help you in establishing and furthering your relationship goals and values, matchmakers are potent companions for your dating. When you decide to try something different and let us do a bit of the driving, though, there’s a lot for us to talk about to get you set up for successful, mindful dating. First and foremost: in our date coaching, we want to establish healthy expectations. 

These next sections of dating advice will discuss the things we tell ourselves, and, with our match pool of 4 million humans, we’ve identified some patterns and distilled a little wisdom to get you moving forward. Here are a few ideas you might have that might be in your way: 

I want to feel that “spark.” 

We love butterflies when dating someone new, and we know that it’s possible to meet someone–whether romantically or otherwise–and feel as though you were hit by lightning. A good first impression can be very, very powerful. We also know that there’s room for a significantly slower burn. We encourage you, in your matchmaking journey, to give someone the benefit of the doubt on a first date. When you meet people without dating apps and haven’t been primed for them, your gut reaction (while valid as an experience) is not the only actor in the room. You can catch someone on a bad day. That bad day might have been yours. You also just might not have gotten enough information and energetic exchange after a first encounter, so when in doubt: give them another shot. Signs of compatibility do not always appear immediately, so we want to leave room for that. 

As an aside: while we have great success metrics when it comes to helping compatible couples find each other, we’ve also seen the value and interest alignment combine in alternative ways when dating someone new, making room for important friendships. I’ve seen matches go into business together. I’ve seen matches stay in touch and find their person through their match. The point is: we make plans, and fate laughs–keep that in mind! 

I don’t want another failed relationship. 

Polite society seems to regard relationships which do not end in actual death itself as “failed.” Don’t be so polite! It’s possible to have 6-month, 3-year, and 30-year relationships which, at the end, do not “fail.” Sometimes, they just come to completion. As we traverse the relationships in our lives, we also do a lot of learning. Maybe what you’ve learned in a previous relationship, or relationships, is what makes you more compatible with your longer term partner(s). Our dating advice trends toward keeping an open mind and being gracious in regard to the relationships you’ve cultivated with others, even if they don’t last as long as you thought, or change in form. 

I couldn’t be with someone who is friends with their ex.

Some relationships do indeed change shape. Is it possible to get engaged, break up, and still hang out sometimes–with distinct boundaries? Can you raise a family, decide to part ways, and stay in touch, without this threatening the integrity and safety of future relationships? We think so! Depending on the exact context and circumstances, people who don’t automatically write their exes off into oblivion may value their relationships and shared memories in a particularly profound way, and might also approach conflict and reconciling differences with maturity and grace. 

I couldn’t be with somebody who prefers X, because I prefer Y. 

You can fill in the blanks here. Think skiing vs. not skiing, different hobbies, vacation styles, work from home vs in office–just differences.They can get elaborate, too, and they can get in the way. Some recent examples include “While I have nothing against teachers, I think I’d be resentful of someone who has the summer off.” and “I have a dog, and if they have a cat, then they’re not a dog person.” 

While it’s important to have preferences and understand yourself, what you want, and what you need, some of our best matchmaking advice is to challenge thoughts that you’ve inherited from others.

And even some of your own. If you’ve always dated people who look a certain way, for example, that’s valid, but limiting. Some date coaching we often might offer entails recommending you date outside your type at least a few times, with high quality humans, to see if certain “missing” physical attributes truly are deal-breakers or not.

I need to find my soulmate.

We prefer to say your person. You’re ready to find your person. “Soulmate” implies that there’s one person out there, just for you, and that you’re here waiting for them. It implies that should you ever lose that person, your romantic life should terminate. It implies that if you never find that person, you’ll never be complete. It implies a lot of things that might limit your happiness and satisfaction in this life, and we don’t want that for you.  

What if we consider that your matchability with any given person is highly dependent on elements that may–and in some cases frequently–change. Consider that your geolocation, profession, hobbies/interests, physical attributes, energy levels, health, goals and lifestyle have to align to some degree with those of your partner, and all of those moving pieces move independently of one another. Your pieces, especially if you haven’t met yet, don’t move with theirs.

A silly, potent example: there are likely haircuts or styles out there (including facial hair) that you really dislike. People change their hairstyles all the time. If you met your “soulmate” on the wrong day, you could miss out for this singular reason. Our key matchmaking advice takeaway here is that having flexibility, an open mind, and the understanding that we change over time, might be worth a thought.

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