If you think matchmaking is antiquated, it may be time to reboot your relationship barometer. While many people think of Fiddler on the Roof when they think of matchmaking, the reality is quite different. A simple Google search reveals a plethora of websites dedicated to finding a match, getting certified to make matches, and information on the history of matchmaking.
Setting up friends with other friends is a time tested way to create and build relationships. You don’t have to be a professional to be a matchmaker. You need flexibility, creativity, passion, and insight into other people. This is an awesome job (or hobby) that allows for flexible hours, lasting satisfaction, and the chance to use your people skills in a challenging and novel way.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Fiddler on the Roof , here are my top 50 things to know about being a matchmaker.
1. Being single is hard enough, so be nice to people. Seems obvious, but it isn’t.
2. People are naturally different, match couples based on similarities. Yes opposites attract, but not recommended. Much better to match based on the concept like attracts like.
3. Look for what someone tells you they want, not for what you think they need.
4. Don't advise ending a relationship too soon. When in doubt suggest they continue going out.
5. Don't say, "I know the perfect person for you.” You don’t know it’s perfect and you lose credibility if the match goes sour.
6. Do say, “I have someone in mind for you, would you like to hear about him/her?”
7. Get curious about the person you want to set up. Ask him/her open ended questions to learn about who he/she is before trying to set someone up.
8. Listen, listen, listen. (Close your mouth. Open your ears.)
9. Constructive criticism is still criticism, so be sensitive.
10. Don't talk with others about the person you are setting up. That's private information.
11. Don’t set up dating profiles, set up people. Try to meet someone in person before you set them up (in person is best, but skype will do).
12. “No, I don't want to be set up!” This means don't set them up. Find someone else for your matchmaking experiment.
13. Think before you act. That really goes for everything. Just sayin’.
14. Your tone of voice matters. Speak nicely (especially when someone declines your awesome date idea).
15. When your first (and second, and third…) couple gets married, celebrate your success. L’chaim!
16. Lead by example. Single or married, make sure you are a shining example and in a healthy relationship, or healthfully single.
17. You will fail more often than you succeed. Don’t let it get you down.
18. Keep trying! But don't quit your day job just yet to be a professional matchmaker.
19. Sometimes people will get upset with you for the suggestions you make. Expect this and you won't be disappointed.
20. Don't be a know-it-all (even if you do, in fact, know it all).
21. Be humble.
22. Work with someone who is relationship or marriage-minded rather than working with someone who is looking for a date.
23. Separated means married. Set up singles with other singles. Someone who is separated will likely cause someone heartache as they aren’t truly available. (Hot topic, I know, comment away.)
24. Respect boundaries. Some people want more guidance and support, others less. Help according to their need, not yours. And don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t know what they want.
25. As Nike says, Just do it! Set people up!
26. People have tastes, preferences, and ideas that you will find weird. No judgment.
27. Confidentiality. (shhhh)
28. Setting up members of your family will be the hardest cases you work with. That means you need to respect them and their needs, even if you are still angry about the time he cut your ponytail off in your sleep. Be respectful or get out of the game.
29. Grow a thick skin and be okay with rejection. Your ideas will be rejected. It makes the ones that work even sweeter!
30. Keep your mind focused on the popular phrase “there is a lid for every pot.” Even if you don’t believe it.
31. Network - you never know who you will meet.
32. Don’t underestimate anyone. I just heard about a delivery man who made a match. Who would have guessed!
33. Remember the world is really small and soul mates are closer than you imagine.
34. Keep a running list of singles, not just in your mind, but on paper or your smartphone or favorite electronic device.
35. Help alleviate the burden of being single by being thoughtful. Remember small things like birthdays which can be challenging for someone who is marriage-minded. By relieving their burden you will enable them to be happier the next time you set them up.
36. Read articles, books and blogs on relationships. Become a relationship expert.
37. Do your homework. Investigate your ideas before presenting to others.
38. Have patience with yourself and others.
39. Be persistent, not annoying. If you think you have a great idea, ask once. If you get turned down, ask a month later. If you get a second no, you can try a third time after another six months passes. If the person still isn’t open perhaps it isn’t a great idea.
40. Learn the art of persuasion. Use it only for the good to help people see the positive traits that you see.
41. Speak truthfully when empathizing. Don’t say I know how you feel, when you’ve never gone through what they have. Rather say, “I hear you.”
42. Change your thinking. Every so often make matches in your mind that are ridiculous. This is just an exercise to stretch your imagination and help you get out of your regular way of thinking. Sometimes the best matches don’t seem plausible at first.
43. Think before you speak. Some words can hurt more than you realize.
44. The best ideas come at inconvenient times. Keep a pen and paper by your bedside so you remember that great idea in the wee hours of the morning.
45. Ask friends if they have any match ideas that they haven’t yet pursued. If you concur, get involved and help set up their suggestion. (with their permission of course).
46. Follow up, follow up, follow up. Not all people will call you back. Make the effort, call again. Don’t assume they aren’t interested. No call back is not a rejection, it’s simply no call back. People do have a life other than dating.
47. Good looking is subjective. What you think is pretty or handsome someone else may not be attracted to. And vice versa.
48. A majority of people are looking for someone who has a “good sense of humor.” What they really mean is they are looking for someone with “their” sense of humor.
49. Matchmaking is hard work. It doesn’t end with you making a suggestion. That’s just the beginning. Guidance through the process is invaluable.
50. Add yours to the list in the comment section below. We all want to hear it!