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Dating : Struggling to meet someone? Become a matchmaker.

h2>Dating : Struggling to meet someone? Become a matchmaker.

Nana Wereko-Brobby

How to transform your love life, in the service of others.

Photo credit: Andreas Rønningen/Unsplash

It is a happy coincidence that I went into the business of love as a single young woman.

There were no ulterior motives, it wasn’t just one big plot to find all the single men in London and make them mine, and it certainly wasn’t a selfless move to help all the single friends I had to find some semblance of happiness in a paramour.

Nope, it was a business decision. I saw an opportunity in the market — to create truly glamorous singles events in London and New York — so took it.

That being said, I’m not saying there weren’t advantages to the job. It’s actually not rocket science when you think about it. It turns out that a sure fire way to optimise your dating options and expand your pool of options is to start helping other people find love.

Both myself and my (coincidentally) single female colleagues started to notice a peculiar phenomenon with our clients. For every coffee meeting with a bachelor who wanted help finding love, the same question would inevitably pop up “So what about you? Are you single?”. I had of course trained our team to reply politely with a “Yes, but this is about you” and keep things strictly professional but the more parties we put on and clients we attracted, the more time I would have to spend fielding singles away from the matchmaking team and back to the clients. It wasn’t to do with beauty or youth or just hiring a very eligible team, it was to do with the power dynamic inherent in being on the other side of the dating game.

One of the most effective ways to attract people in life is to act like you couldn’t care less about the object of your affection. Been in love with someone from a distance? Ignore them when they’re around. Finally been asked out by the colleague you’ve obsessed over? Take a while to respond. Therein lies the beauty of being a matchmaker. By prioritising other people’s search for love and building them a network of options, you unconsciously create a “couldn’t care less” force field around you that attracts people to you like bees to honey. That cloak of professionalism you wear as you stand in a singles party making introductions acts as an alluring challenge for singles, to win you over. It also appeals to the false impreession that a lot of singles have when walking into a dating party that “Everyone here must be desperate”. By offering them someone in the room who isn’t ostensibly there for love, it lightens up any interactions with that person. They’re more likely to enjoy flirting with you as it feels agenda-less.

A member of my team ended up marrying someone they tried to set up.

Now I’m not saying you need to quit your job and go into matchmaking. However, it is worth considering a little side hustle hosting dating events for your network, as an extension to your social life. I promise you it will transform your love life and enable you to actually enjoy the process of dating, not just focus on the end result.

1. Compose a (lighthearted) email to friends

I launched an entire company off the back of an email newsletter. By writing a humorous email to friends that demonstrated both the desire to set them up, and a promise of fun in the process, it was easy to attract my first guests for dating parties. Write to your nearest and dearest telling them you are going to start hosting dating events and pepper this email with the word fun. The more lighthearted they find this venture, the more likely they will take part.

2. Decide what your hook is

People love a niche and a theme so make this clear from the get go. Is this a 30something event? Is it a Trash/Treasure party where you bring someone you’re not interested in romantically? Is it a safari dinner where you will have starters with one group, main courses with another? Is it a really boozy hook up party thinly masquerading as a wine tasting? Whatever you choose, make sure it speaks to your strengths and interests since people will look to you as the ringleader.

3. Find a killer venue

The house party option is always a good one if A) You have a flat/house you want to show off and B) If you’re comfortable with strangers being there. However, finding a good venue is often a great way to attract people who would otherwise be unsure about going to a dating event. Pick someone interesting/cool/new and you’ll attract friends of friends who are also just looking for a good night out — and can also use the excuse “I just wanted to check this place out” when they arrive at the singles party. A lot of venues love single people because they know they’re more likely to stay late and drink up, so make it clear to the venue that this is a network you’re bringing together, not just a normal reservation, and make sure they don’t charge you a hire fee. They need you, not the other way around.

4. Pick a day

There is an art to picking a day of the week. While Saturday feels like an obvious choice — time to refresh in the day and primp — it isn’t. People are way more likely to flake on a Saturday then they are if catching them straight after work. Fridays are ideal if you want to create a party atmosphere, Thursdays work well if you want it to feel more like casual networking.

5. Ask (shamelessly) for referrals

Once you have the date and venue, just start messaging people. You’re going to need to get very comfortable with the phrase “Are you single?” because you’ll find yourself barking it at every new person you meet as the party approaches. Be a hustler. Ask people to bring colleagues, tell close friends to spread the word. Target men in groups, like football teams, and target women you’ve already dated with the promise of introducing them to “someone better than me”. If you really want to go for it, use Moo.com to make business cards with the date and your contact on it and start handing them out when out and about.

6. Make sure you look like you’re working on the night

Guests will be very wary if you kick off the night flirting aggressively with the pick of the bunch. They’ve trusted you with their evenings and their time so make a genuine effort to swan about the party making introductions for the first 90 minutes. It’s good fun and you get to chat to everyone. Then, once everyone looks like they’re having a good time, start thinking about your options.

Unless you’re genuinely trying to run a business my advice is not to charge for tickets, the value is in the network you’re building and how grateful your expanding group of singles will be to you.

So go forth, throw a great party, and open up your world to love, lust and an ever-expanding social network. You’ve got this.

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