The Dating Game
Is it Time for a Matchmaker?
Modern-day Cupid Samantha Daniels on the secrets of making matches
Are you and your single girlfriends running out of places to meet men? If you haven’t found love or even a fun guy to hang out with from online dating (and you no longer want your mom to set you up with her friends’ sons!), maybe it’s time for the new fad of meeting men – matchmaking.
Samantha Daniels, known as the modern day Cupid, owns a matchmaking service called Samantha’s Table. She spends her days communicating with successful, cultured and busy men and women who can’t find the time to find a soul mate – and she’s pretty good at what she does. Responsible for 100 marriages and thousands of substantial relationships, Daniels is the author of Matchbook: The Diary of a Modern-Day Matchmaker and the host of a popular web series, Relationship Chatter. With offices in New York and L.A., and a database consisting of 10,000 plus actors, executives, doctors and lawyers, she can definitely help you score a date and even a husband.
I asked Samantha Daniels her secrets on making matches:
Robin DeCicco: When people contact you, what do they say is the reason for needing your services?
Samantha Daniels: Most people who are coming to me are busy, successful professionals who date all of the time but have yet to find that “right person.” A lot of them feel that they don’t have the time or inclination to go out to bars to meet people, so they would rather a professional like me the right person for them. A lot of people I work with have tried online dating and find that it is very time consuming without a lot of results or that they are too private a person to put their names out there on the Internet. People also complain that when their friends set them up on blind dates, the date is never handpicked for them; the dates seem to be more about a “single guy” and “single girl” going out because they are both single, and for no other reason.
RD: How did you get into the business of matchmaking?
SD: I was throwing parties for my single friends and at the parties, I would introduce them to each other and they kept getting married. Soon, I realized that I had a photographic memory for names and faces and little factoids about people. At the time I started Samantha’s Table, there were very few professional matchmakers out there and online dating was in its very beginning stages, so people took to the service I was offering very quickly. Additionally, I saw that there was a void in the matchmaking industry for a matchmaker who helped very social people who didn’t have a problem dating, but who just had yet to find the “right person.” I wanted to fill that void, so I started working with busy, successful professionals who wanted to work one-on-one with a professional in a discreet and discerning way.
RD: What’s a typical matchmaking experience?
SD: When someone wants to work with me, they first fill out the new client registration form on my web site, which takes five minutes and is confidential. From there, if the service is appropriate for him/her, I schedule a consultation to find out who the person has dated in the past and why it hasn’t worked and who he/she is looking to date. If we mutually decide to move forward, the person will hire me as his/her matchmaker to work with me for one year to help find him/her a husband/wife. I then set the client up with a number of people I strategically pick from my 10,000-person database.
RD: What is the BEST matchmaking story you’ve been a part of?
SD: All of the couples that I’ve helped to get married have special places in my heart, but two of the couples that make me feel particularly proud were couples that did not want to go on a second date with each other and I insisted that they give it another shot, because I felt strongly that they’d be great together.
RD: What’s your best advice on how to meet a guy?
SD: On the second page of my book, Matchbook: The Diary of a Modern-Day Matchmaker, there is a quote from my grandmother who always told me that if you get invited anywhere, you go because you never know who you are going to meet. This is a great philosophy for meeting men. Smile — men like happy women. Go out with fun girlfriends that men seem to like; if you are out with negative friends, you will not meet a guy.
RD: What are definite “no-no’s” of meeting men?
SD: When you are trying to meet men, you need to have realistic expectations; you need to seem busy and mysterious so he will be intrigued by you. You can’t sleep with him on the first date and make excuses for it afterwards; you have to play “the game” a little bit so the guy can be the guy.