Why I’m not a matchmaker

Alex and Carolyn Rentziperis newlweds

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – October 25, 2019

by Columnist Tom Blake

Why I’m not a matchmaker and don’t fix up senior singles

I’m a newspaper columnist and an eNewsletter writer. My usual topic: people age 50-plus seeking love. For 26 years, I’ve written about hundreds of seniors who’ve found love, and thousands who haven’t.

Knowing I have contact with so many older singles, people ask why I am not a senior matchmaker and why I don’t fix singles up. There’s an easy reason: it’s too darn hard and seldom works. The effort usually isn’t appreciated.

It’s not that I haven’t tried; I’ve done it dozens of times. I’ve known widowers from San Clemente, California (for example), and widows from San Clemente and have suggested they get together. Some have, but in most cases, no match was made. And then, the people get mad at me for wasting their time, even though my time was free. It’s a no-win situation. In a nutshell, that’s why I’m not a matchmaker.

Granted, some couples have met at our Meet and Greet get-togethers at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli, the Dana Point, California, restaurant I founded and owned for 25 years. But I didn’t fix those couples up. They did it themselves by getting off their couches and out of their homes and coming and socializing.

Technically, I did not introduce them. But, Carolyn and Alex Rentziperis met at our first Meet and Greet 3-4 years ago. And it led to a marriage. He’s been my barber for 25+ years. (Photo by Tom)

Many couples who met there are still together. But not all. Some of the relationships have lasted for a month or so, while others resulted in marriage.

Sponsoring events like that is challenging. Why? There are always more single women than men, especially as we age. Often, by five or six-to-one. I’ve watched women walk in the door, see a limited number of men, and turn around and walk out. Their loss. Sometimes men arrive late.

It takes time and effort to put those no-cost events on.

Last week, a Dana Point woman emailed: “Maybe you should have Meet and Greets more often so seniors have a place to go and socialize instead of staying home. I know you are busy so maybe you can have someone else take charge. Just a suggestion.”

She’s never attended one of our events; she has no clue what’s involved. My answer to her: “More often? It’s difficult enough having one per month, just trying to round up enough men to make it interesting. More often than that? No thanks.” She read that response and unsubscribed–must not have been what she wanted to hear.

Nearly every day, an email arrives in my inbox promoting new dating sites. This week, one arrived with the subject line: “An Easier Dating Site For Men Ages 50+.”

I usually ignore those emails, but, was curious so I clicked on it. It showed a picture of an attractive woman with this caption: “Local matchmaker has more older women & needs more men to match with female clients.”

I said to myself: “What’s new?”

The opening line read, “Meet Successful Dana Point Singles.” Turns out, it’s not an online dating site, but a matchmaking site, the kind where you pay a professional matchmaker to find dates for you.

The site stated, “Professional Matchmakers work with you to determine the exact type of man or woman that would be best for you, and then do their best to find that person and introduce you.”

“Do their best?” Wow, matchmakers are only as good as the people they have in their stables. Let me tell you, they are aware of the lack of men. I have had many of them contact me saying they were having an introductory cocktail party, and did I know of any men they could invite? No joke, it’s true.

It’s Just Lunch is a matchmaking service and on occasion has contacted me asking for the names of men. I decline, of course.

The ballpark cost for hiring a matchmaker? The article stated between $675 to $25,000. At those prices, maybe I should become a matchmaker. Or, at least a paid fixer-upper.

The site also stated: “Matchmaking is by its nature, a local endeavor. That means local offices staffed by warm, experienced, real people – not algorithms.”

Maybe the office is in Dana Point, or San Clemente, or San Juan Capistrano, the cities near me, but if so, I’m unaware of it. Avoid professional matchmakers. Read the online reviews; they are frightening. People feel ripped off.

So, I’ll remain a columnist, and your weekly eNewsletter provider, and leave the matchmaking to – well, the professional matchmakers, wherever and whomever they are.

Author: Tom Blake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published five books. His primary topic is finding love after 50 and beyond, sometimes far beyond, for people 80 and older as well. He also blogs about travel at TravelAfter55.com.

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