Amy Laurent has been a relationship expert / professional matchmaker for more than seven years, and is the author of 8 Weeks to Everlasting: How to Get (and Keep) the Guy You Want. We’re so thrilled that Amy is our resident dating expert! If you have a question about the single life (like, “How long should I wait before texting him again?” or “Will I be single forever?”), Amy is here to help! Just visit her board, Ask the Dating Expert, and post your question!
But before you do that, check out this interview with Amy to see how she got started in the business, plus her one, no-fail piece of advice for singles.
Q: How did you get into the Relationship Expert / Professional Matchmaker business?
Amy Laurent: I have always been a “people person” with a desire to understand what makes everyone tick (even those who are very different from me). I also have a natural gut intuition! I can walk into a party of 100, do a once-over of the room, and tell you things about each person that only they thought they knew about themselves. These are some of the things that I don’t necessarily verbalize to my clients, but these skills help me tremendously when successfully pairing people who are ideal, true matches for each other.
However, though I was basically always equipped with these tools, knowing where to apply it most efficiently came much later. When I was in my mid-20s, I relocated to another state for a job and it was very hard to meet people. I discovered these matchmaking companies, and I thought, “How incredible! I can still meet great men, but I don’t have to go to bars and clubs!” After trying three of the best, it turned out to be a massive disappointment. To me, they weren’t doing the real work that would result in true matches. This annoying feeling stuck with me for a few years. One day, I thought, “You know what? I could be running a totally different matchmaking service! And I can’t believe no one is out there thinking the same thing!” So I went for it. The workload was massive, and success did not come immediately, yet it was something I believed in so strongly and was so passionate about, I was going to let nothing stand in my way. I started by matching people for free.
Q: Tell us about one of your happily-ever-after success stories!
AL: I was working with an eligible, early 40’s, attractive Producer with a sincerity that impressed me right off the bat. He had just gone out with his 3rd match, when “Melissa” (31 years old) came into my office. Often, my most successful and lasting matches are purely based on my gut intuition and not a computer-generated match. Their match wasn’t obvious on paper, but I just knew.
Melissa almost declined to meet the Producer. It was her very first time working with me, so unlike my other clients, who have come to trust my judgment, she hesitated -- the Producer was a few years older than her age range cap. But I had a feeling about Melissa, like I had known her for years. So I urged her to meet him, and I told her that if I was wrong she would never have to speak to me again and could tell me to go stuff it.
And in fact, I never worked with her again. Melissa and the Producer are happily married and their first child was born last June! Their match makes me so proud because the good guys won, and they deserve all the happiness that that they have now -- and that makes me SO very happy in return! It just goes to show that it’s okay to deviate from your laundry list of preferences, and that there are no absolutes in love.
Q: Have you ever met a person you couldn't help...who you thought was just unreachable?
AL: Yes, of course. I’m here to help singles through their dating obstacles. Not that they have to come to me issue-free, but they must be in a reasonably healthy state to begin dating in the first place. People who have seriously unrealistic dating expectations, fear of relationships and emotional intimacy, or any other deep-rooted issue that requires therapy with a licensed doctor -- they should consider this before they enlist a matchmaker. I have an ethical obligation to recognize situations like this. Believe me, I have probably turned down more potential client prospects than anyone in my industry. It’s just the right thing to do.
Q: Do you find it easy or difficult to take your own advice?
AL: Like many people, in certain scenarios, I’m better at giving great advice then taking it. That’s human nature. When it comes to love, it’s far easier to see someone else’s relationship from the outside, explain what you see, and give them solid advice that works. I fully understand that love can make us all a bit crazy, especially new love. It can make a secure person insecure, make us question ourselves, and make you a little zany at times.
But this is what I do best -- helping singles navigate this stage of the relationship without losing themselves, even if things feel a little out of control with a new person. My happiness is based on seeing so many people work their way into amazing, fulfilling relationships. I have to admit, I am far more comfortable in the matchmaking chair helping others, than on the other side…but it’s something I’m working on.
Q: If you could give everyone only one piece of dating advice, what would it be?
AL: No matter what, your job isn’t to make someone like you! Never be someone you are not in the hopes of impressing someone. Be confident, and if someone isn’t interested, that wasn’t the right person for you anyway. Onwards. There is a match out there for everyone. And don’t forget the fact that you simply rock!