WANT TO GO?
What: Post Valentine’s Day Speed Dating Event
Where: The Tasting Room, 901 South Chapman St., Greensboro
When: 6:30 p.m., Feb. 19
Cost: $35 per person, Must RSVP by 7 p.m. Friday.(Feb. 15)
Information: 340-9345 or www.uniqueromance.com
It’s Valentine’s Day.
If you’re in a relationship, that means there could be some flowers and a romantic dinner. Maybe even a little Barry White.
If you’re not in a relationship, there couldn’t be a more annoying holiday.
It’s just another overly commercialized event fueled by the florist, greeting card and candy industries.
Although you may outwardly scoff at the prospect of love, perhaps inwardly you hope that things will be different next year. Continue Reading
Well, there is hope — and help.
They’re called matchmakers.
MEET THE MATCHMAKER
Debrecia Ponder became a matchmaker because she has always been fascinated by love.
When she was young, these were her favorite television shows: “Love Connection,” “Fantasy Island” and “The Love Boat.”
So last year she decided to turn a lifelong interest into a business. She created Unique Romance Matchmaking because she believes there’s somebody for everybody.
“Here’s the thing with love: When you love someone, they love you back, and you both work at meeting each other’s needs. It’s life changing and the most motivating emotion that exists.”
One problem: It’s harder to date now, she says.
Many of Ponder’s clients are middle-aged and divorced. They are in a transitional period.
Dating becomes a lot harder when trying to squeeze it in between work and kids.
Sometimes it can take weeks to set up a date, Ponder says.
“With our fragmented social networks these days, it adds a special challenge to someone meeting his or her match. Chances are if you don’t meet someone through a friend, school or work, your odds become quite a bit tougher to finding that person.”
That’s because 50 percent of singles say they’re too busy to date, according to Ponder’s research.
She also says people looking for serious relationships come to her because online dating hasn’t worked. People either weren’t ready for monogamous relationships or were dishonest on their profiles.
So that’s when they turn to a matchmaker.
THE LOVE CONNECTION
There’s actually a formula: compatibility plus chemistry equals a love match.
Ponder says her service — it ranges roughly from $200-$500 for one year — is simply to be a broker for two people looking for love.
Prior to making a match, Ponder meets with her clients to determine who they are and what they want.
Potential clients complete a rather lengthy questionnaire — six pages — in which they answer questions about their values, expectations and past relationships.
Do you smoke or drink alcohol?
Do you have pets?
How long did your previous relationship last?
Which areas of your life are you currently trying to improve?
What is your greatest passion?
Ponder finds that most people are more apt to know what they don’t want — kids, recently divorced or a criminal history.
Some people do have very specific expectations.
Must be tall.
Or work for a Fortune 500 company.
Or be debt free.
“We coach them to get to the authentic answers of what they need, what would be nice and what are deal breakers,” Ponder says.
That’s the easy part.
Now comes the hard part: chemistry.
It has been said that people know within minutes whether they like someone and want to see them again.
That’s why Ponder arranges a 20-minute mini-date before an actual one.
The mini date usually takes place at a coffee shop. It gives the couple a chance to see if there’s any chemistry between them.
“When it works, it’s instantly obvious. When it doesn’t work, it’s also instantly obvious,” Ponder says.
Afterward, Ponder recaps with clients to determine whether they want to advance to a date, which is usually dinner.
Transportation is provided with Ponder’s service.
If the date goes well, the couple may decide to see each other on their own.
Still, it may take a few times to find that blend of passion and chemistry, Ponder says.
The bottom line: “If you’re serious about finding love, you’ve got to take it seriously,” Ponder says. “Be the best person you can be to attract what you want.”
— Contact Tina Firesheets at firstname.lastname@example.org.