This Is What it's Like to Be a Local Matchmaker
Karenna Alexander dishes on what it's like to help others find love.
Lucky in love? No? Relax, you’re not alone. Matchmaker Karenna Alexander comes to the rescue for locals who need serious help finding their soulmates.
Unlike online dating sites and services, Alexander brings a personal touch to matchmaking. She meets clients in their neighborhood — typically at restaurants, bars, coffee shops, or in their homes.
“It’s whatever they are comfortable with,” Alexander says. “I always meet my matchmaking clients at least once in person.”
Cupid wasn’t Alexander’s first career choice: She was a journalist for the Hearst newspapers and other papers in Connecticut, her work ranging from criminal justice to advice columns. Then she trained as a dating coach, and found one of the biggest complaints was that her clients simply couldn’t find the right person. So, a year ago, Alexander became a certified matchmaker through the Matchmaking Institute in New York City.
What type of people consult a matchmaker?
My clients are single professionals who prefer to outsource this aspect of their life. A lot of my clients would prefer not to be hanging out in bars and not have to do online dating; it’s just a huge time-suck for them.
What criteria do you try to match?
Chemistry is so important. I don’t force people to go on dates with people they aren’t attracted to. Cultural and social factors are very important but sometimes I find that people do fall for those outside their cultural or social type. I go a lot by instinct and that has worked very well.
How many people have you matched for a date, and how many of those went further?
I haven’t officially had a wedding as a matchmaker, but I have been a dating coach for women for almost 20 years now, and I have dozens of marriages under my belt as a dating coach. It’s very gratifying. The first client I had when I started matchmaking a year ago is still dating the second person I introduced him to.
What qualifications do matchmakers need?
You need to really care about finding love for other people. I do this because I love it and work extremely hard at it. Matchmakers also need to be persistent. Sometimes clients are very fussy and you need to keep working with them to figure out how to find the right person. Sometimes they need a little coaching on top of matchmaking. Other times, they simply haven’t found the right person.
How much does matchmaking cost?
The cost is a range, but it starts in the thousands and I typically enter into six- or 12-month contracts with clients. I will occasionally take on three-month contracts, if the client only wants to test the waters.
Your best advice?
I tell my coaching and matchmaking clients to be very positive on the date.
What’s your favorite success story?
The ones who really think they are never going to find love. Then, when they find that person, it’s like they hit the jackpot. It’s better than anything money can buy. That is why I love what I do.