Whenever we describe our matchmaking and dating coaching programs to prospective clients, colleagues, or friends, the conversation often ends with the comment, “Must be fascinating work,” and then the question, “What is your success rate?”
Our reply to the comment is an unequivocal “Yes. Our work is fascinating and rewarding because of the wonderful single men and women we feel privileged to help look for love and companionship.”
We answer the question about success with a straightforward statement: “Our success rate is over ninety percent.” We explain what success means for adults re-entering the dating world after life-altering experiences like divorce, or the death of a spouse, or in some cases single men and women who have never been married, or experienced a committed and satisfying relationship; who suddenly become aware that life is moving ahead, and they don’t want to miss out on romance for another day.
Many older adults who are hoping to find love are not always interested in being married. In some cases, it’s a question of “been there, done that;” recognizing that marriage can be as much about building a family as about intimate companionship. Our clients are clear. They want someone to love; someone with whom they can spend time in a meaningful ongoing relationship; to share new experiences and intimacy and to overcome the most dreaded of all feelings: loneliness.
Because the demographic in our culture is skewed more toward single women, the challenge for women to find someone special requires effort, energy, and resources to be successful. Over the course of our six-month program, many of our female clients experience an increase in their online and offline activity while others “find someone” more readily with whom they decide to spend time exclusively. Over the years, we have noticed that this happens more frequently around this time of year. Perhaps it’s because Valentine’s Day is in the air, and the probability of finding love theoretically increases. Clients embrace this optimism. They feel empowered as they present their new brand, their individual posture to the world, and they describe their feelings of success to us.
Working hard to change old beliefs and habits, change comes at a different pace for each of us. One of our clients had not dated for seven years following the death of her husband. After our work together began, she finally gave herself permission to create an effective online profile and put herself “out there” to begin meeting interesting men from a variety of backgrounds. This lovely woman, who had been holding herself back (for reasons we helped her understand) now reports a feeling of freedom and curiosity about the world. Is this what success looks like? Yes, it is one of the many faces of success.
Another client came to us fourteen years after a cruel and costly divorce that involved a custody fight for her children and a protracted dispute over family assets. Finally, after healing set in, she began to look around and realized that her marriage was only to one man, and not all men can be reduced to that one painful experience. We worked together, helping her create new strategies for meeting men including going online – a resource she could not afford to pass up. Slowly, she posted her photo (a huge step because of her public life) and a strong profile. Quickly, she attracted many admirers, began to date and enjoyed it. In a word, her life was transformed. She now found herself rejoining the world from which she had retreated for so many years to protect herself and her children. Success? You bet!
Success for men is somewhat different. The goal is the same – to find someone special, to give and receive love in a meaningful relationship. Many men have their own painful and confidence crushing experiences and although, on the surface, it might seem that they have an easy time of it, men are, like women, often gun-shy, mistrustful and doubtful about meeting someone to whom they can commit. Men also have the challenge, in today’s online world, of thinking that there is always someone better just around the virtual corner. This belief puts them in jeopardy of not sticking with any relationship for very long and often creates psychic exhaustion and burn-out. One of our clients dated over seventy-five women before starting his work with us. We helped him see the self-defeating nature of his behavior and the chronic anxiety it created. He became more relaxed as he adjusted his expectations to his real needs and finally settled into a comfortable relationship. Another success, given where he started and where he ended his search for love journey.
Success is different for each person. Where we begin the process with a client and where it takes him or her is the measure of success we find most useful. We call our program a “Matchmaking and Dating Transformation Program” because that is exactly what we observe. The transformation of mindset, belief, and confidence creates opportunities for finding love that overcome isolation, fear, and insecurity. Our 90% success rate is the result of realistic goals tailored to each person’s unique and personal needs, and from his or her understanding of the vital proactive role that makes love happen.