Aleeza Ben Shalom – 50 Things To Know About Being A Matchmaker

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 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!                                                                                                              Originally published on aish.com.

Aleeza Ben Shalom – A Harvard MBA Dating Offer

Ren, a Harvard MBA, put up an ad, “$10,000 to find a girlfriend.”

Hi Ren,

I’m a dating coach and matchmaker for singles. I tell you this first to tell you that I don’t specifically have a match for you. Sorry!

Why am I contacting you? First, I want to say, NICE move! You reversed the matchmaking process on the matchmakers. You have paid no one, and have everyone working for you. Smart move in love and business! Secondly, you made a great dating profile. It could be improved with 2 things. I hope you don’t mind that I’m making unsolicited suggestions. If not for you, perhaps others can benefit from your story.

I hear that you sincerely want to meet someone and since I can’t make an introduction, I at least want to help as you seem sincere about finding her. First thing, it would be nice if there was a video of you as well as pictures. Pictures are nice, but an intriguing video would capture even more attention, probably go viral and most importantly will give people a better idea of who you are. Which leads me to the second point, it would be best for you to list more about yourself that is unique, different and really makes you who you are. And we need a ton of interesting details about what you’re looking for. All those little quirky things that your prefer, we need to know about. I want to know about those small details that probably mean nothing, but could end up helping someone to identify her. The part about you liking people who are “intellectually curious” and “like learning about the rules to a new board game,” that was a great point. I’d love to see a dozen more points like that. Not that one person needs to have all those things, but rather that someone with a few of those things would be a good person to suggest to you. Anyone who is helping you look for a girlfriend needs more details in order to do a good job at matching you up.

I’m guessing your new full time job is going to be sorting through all the lousy suggestions you get from the publicity of your story. I hope you are good at filtering suggestions! Being decisive is a great challenge and especially if you aren’t really sure what you want. You said, “Most people don’t know what they want (even if they think they do), and I’m no exception.” If you don’t know what you want, how can anyone help you find it? You’ve got to know. Just imagine you are starting a new business and looking for a partner, how would you go about finding one? I believe you’d know what you want before you would start to look for a business partner. In the business of love I need you to know what you want too.

I think with more serious consideration of what you want, you can articulate better to the world your desires and I imagine within 60 days you’ll find her. Not a guarantee, but with the media attention you attracted, I think you can find her.

I hope you meet a woman who has the qualities you value. I can tell you are a creative individual with a passion for life and an innovative spirit.

I wish I had someone wonderful to introduce you to. However, I see your dating site is down now. So what I want to know is have you found the one? I sure hope so, but if not, don’t give up.

All the best,
Aleeza

 

This article was originally published on aish.com.

Aleeza Ben Shalom – Dating Decisions: Being Proactive in Dating

Choosing a spouse is a real challenge. Even if you’re generally good at making decisions, picking one person with whom you will spend your life may trip you up. Here are a few ideas on how to gain clarity and choose the one.

Too many choices

Are you a kid in a candy store when it comes to dating? Are there too many options for you to make any one person yours? Do you date endlessly, all the while wondering why you can’t find anyone?

If the whole world is at your feet and you just can’t figure out which one to choose, try narrowing your options. First, date one person at a time. This will keep you from comparing your dates to one another to see which one is best. Although one person may be more fun, intelligent, or witty than another, it is still possible that neither will be a fit for you. It’s better to compare yourself to your date, rather than comparing your Sunday morning date, to your Sunday afternoon date, to your Sunday evening date.

If you like what you see and feel, keep dating; if there is a deal breaker, move on. When in doubt, keep going out – until you see or feel something that absolutely convinces you this person is not for you. Was he rude to the waiter? Does she dismiss your opinion? Loving kindness does not extend to staying with people who make you uncomfortable. Keep dating until you have a clear answer either way. If the answer is no, say goodbye.

What if you are too distracted by other dating possibilities (like someone from your past or someone you’ve always wanted to date) while you’re in the middle of dating someone? Look within and see if this is a character flaw (are you a perfectionist or never satisfied with what you have?). If there is genuine interest in someone else, you may want to revisit that relationship. Perhaps you should be dating this other person. An honest self-evaluation will help you choose the right person to date.

Another question to consider: do you have a wandering eye, or the feeling that the grass is always greener somewhere else? Although the grass is greener from your vantage point, I’m confident that when you find a new pasture you’ll still be looking for a greener one. Work hard and train yourself to see your own pasture. And if the grass isn’t so green where you stand, tend to your own garden, and watch it grow. Focusing on the idea that there are better fish in the sea won’t get you the results you desire. If you desire a relationship, you may need to hit the reset button and create a new normal. Your new normal can be: I see the virtues in the person I am dating, I’m satisfied in my relationship, and I value building a closer bond with the person I have.

What is the difference between sincere interest in someone else and the general feeling of the grass being greener? Wanting to revisit a past relationship is quite different than feeling like there will always be something better out there. If the latter is true, that hints at a character flaw that can be rectified. It is not easy to be married to (or be the child of or be employed by) one who does not value what they have.

Be proactive

You need to choose someone. It may be picking someone out of a crowded room at whom to smile, or telling someone you are already dating how wonderful you think they are. Making a choice is vital. Your other option is to be indecisive and passively wait for someone else to choose you. However, by not making a decision and not vocalizing your feelings, you show the other person that you don’t care so much either way. Don’t wait for someone else to choose you, or you may miss a great opportunity that’s right in front of you.

By choosing someone on whom to focus your time, effort and attention, you can make yourself the chosen one for their affection. Showing interest to someone across the room may be all it takes for them to cross that room and strike up a conversation with you. Yes, putting your thoughts and feelings into actions puts you in a vulnerable position. It isn’t easy to be so real and let someone know you are interested without knowing how they feel first. It is possible you may be rejected and it may hurt. However, persistence pays. And persistence is a trait you’ll need in marriage. So if you are rejected, have glass of wine, wait for the sting to wear off, and try again.

Reciprocate or move on

Okay, so someone chose you. What I want to know is: do you want them as much as they want you? Or even if you don’t want them as much, do you want them at all?

Sometimes being chosen is like the children’s game “Duck, duck, goose.” Someone taps you on the head and calls goose; do you run after them or just sit there wondering what you should do? This can be quite a challenging position to be in. Someone likes you, you kind of like them… kind of. Is it enough? Are you ready to be exclusive or get engaged? Can you really say no to the rest of the people out there and YES to this one?

At a certain point in your relationship, if someone chooses you and you don’t choose them back, they may burn out. They won’t believe in you or in the relationship anymore. And it’s not because they aren’t into you. It’s because you are demonstrating that you aren’t into them. Don’t just let things fizzle. Take ownership of your feelings and make a decision. Get clear: either choose them or end the relationship.

When dating my husband, we asked each other what we liked and valued about the other. I decided to seize the moment and started rattling off a spontaneous list of the things I valued about him. Somewhere around the 20th thing, he said I could stop, but I couldn’t – I kept going on. By the end he was in almost in tears. He knew that if I saw all that in him he would be a fool to miss marrying me. Of course after I opened up, he followed suit, and I heard his list too. Eleven years later, I can say I’m glad I choose him and that he choose me.

So go ahead: choose someone, don’t wait to be chosen. And don’t forget to share the good news!

Originally published on aish.com.