How a New York matchmaker gets people out of their own way
Charlie the Matchmaker is one of those love gurus who has been happily in love with his true love for over 20 years! I've always said that the best people to ask for love advice are the individuals with the success you want. Charlie is an equal opportunity matchmaker who works with men and women, same-sex and opposite, and includes image consulting as part of his rates. He is also a bestselling author of the book Love Made Easy which is a compilation of his time tested relationship wisdom. Charlie took the time out of his busy schedule as a professional Cupid to explain how easy love is.
How is Love Made Easy a book that men, women, straight, same-sex daters can all learn to improve their dating results?
This book is a compilation of the advice blogs that I have written over the last four years as a matchmaker. The first two years were spent writing for a straight blog audience and the last two years I have written for the Huffington Post under Gay Voices. I took the best blogs from all four years and rewrote them so that they were not gender specific.
What it boils down to is this; LOVE IS LOVE whether you are male, female, straight or gay. I have four databases in my matchmaking business (www.CharlieTheMatchmaker.com) Straight Male, Gay Male, Straight Woman and Lesbian. The common denominator in all four databases is that each and every one of my clients are looking for the same thing; a committed, happy, long term relationship.
Can you share some nuggets of wisdom from the book that anyone reading this can easily do to change their dating experiences?
The first three rules that you MUST live be are communication, communication, communication. When you are dating someone and getting to know them, do NOT be afraid to ask a question. You may not like the answer that you get but at least you know how they feel about any given situation.
The two chapters that I get the most thanks for are "Lose The Luggage" and "Get Past Your Past" What it boils down to is this. Learn from the mistakes you have made in past relationships but do NOT compare a new love to a past love. It is unfair to compare a new love interest to someone that is no longer in your life.
AND if you have built up walls to not get hurt, break them down. It is unfair to make a new love interest scale the walls you have built around you and THEN get to know you. New relationships are tough enough. Asking someone to do addition work to get to know you is not acceptable.
Describe to me the first date guidelines in the book? How did you come up with them?
The first date guidelines that I have come up with are the ones that have used with my clients since day one. BE SAFE. Always make your first date in a public place.
FIND COMMON INTERESTS. When getting to know someone, chat about your common interests and plan a fun first date. Think outside the box. The biggest successes I have had are with couples that did something they both enjoy on a first date like rock climbing, bowling or even a museum tour for example.
NO DINNER OR MOVIE ON A FIRST DATE! Meeting someone for dinner on a first date can end in catastrophe. Dinner can make a new couple too nervous. One person may not like the restaurant, the service or food could suck, and then the age old question "Who pays?" Instead I tell my singles to pick a nice coffee shop or wine bar near a park or nice neighborhood.
When you start off small with a casual experience, there is opportunity for it to grow into something more. When you are done with your coffee or drink you can say "I am enjoying myself, would you like to go for a walk?" If you get a positive response, you automatically know where you stand. If they are guzzling that drink to get the hell out, you know they do not feel the same way.
Many times my clients say "WOW, starting out small is a great idea. We ended up spending several hours together because while we were walking we found a cute cafe to grab a bite to eat at." If you JUST plan a dinner date, it can end in less than 2 hours. Starting out small gives you an opportunity to grow it into a longer, better experience for a first date.
What is it like to work with Charlie the Matchmaker as a client? What does the elite client in your Fairy Godmother Membership category get as part of your person concierge matching service?
My success comes from the fact that I work personally with each and every person in my databases. I have met face to face with each and every person I work with to get a real feel for them. There are no profiles to fill out, I simply sit down with someone for an hour or two and ask questions and take notes on what they are looking for in their love lives.
My Fairy Godmother Membership is my most popular, for it combines my image consulting services with my matchmaking services. My client and I will do a mini makeover that can include a wardrobe revamp and hair makeover if needed, along with in depth dating consultations and wing man services so that I can make sure that they are as datable as possible and can function in all social settings.
For those clients who also hire you for image consulting, take me through a typical makeover process?
I am not the kind of person that says "You must look like this!" I basically help boost a person's best qualities and help them tweak the qualities that are least attractive. If they need a wardrobe makeover, we focus on a shopping experience in their budget.