“Why do I always get set up with women who are way off the mark?” complained Moshe (not his real name). “I tell matchmakers I want to date a woman who’s nice, pretty and interesting, and I get set up with the Bride of Frankenstein who wants to talk about her manicure. Why can’t they get it right?”

This is a great question. I hear this complaint time and again. In the matchmaking world people often complain they are set up with the opposite of what they want.

So what can you do to make sure that matchmakers pay better attention to what you require and match you up with appropriate dates? First of all it’s important to understand that you can’t “force” people to listen to you. You need to communicate clearly what you need in a positive way. The key word here being ‘positive’, which means respectfully and politely.

As a relationship therapist/coach, I hear complaints from matchmakers and well intentioned setter-uppers that their clients are often grumpy and demanding. That there’s an expectation from singles that society should “get them married.” This doesn’t inspire people to want to help (especially in circumstances where the matchmaker is just a do- gooder member of society and not gaining personally).

Singles need to understand that matchmakers need more to go one.  They aren’t prophets or mind readers.  When you approach them and they don’t know you and don’t have a relationship with you, you need to put your best foot forward. They’re your agents into the dating world, so it’s your job to inspire them to do their best for you, by being courteous.

Here are some tips for clear communication to express yourself so that the matchmaker can hear you:

  • Know thyself– Before speaking to someone who can potentially set you up, consider the key things you want them to know about you. Give them a picture of how you spend your time, how you are as a friend, child, sibling? Don’t just tell them you’re family oriented, demonstrate how. Don’t just tell them you’re into chessed, share genuine stories.


  • Spend more time expressing who you are than focusing on what you want from a date. People take you more seriously if you’re clear and confident about yourself, and show you can take responsibility for your part in the relationship.  When people go on and on about what they need from someone else, it makes them look as though they expect the other person to hold the relationship together. This is a turn off to the person setting you up.


  • Be clear about how you’ll measure whether someone is for you. An initial spark or click isn’t always a sign of a potentially healthy relationship.  The ability to create points of connection, having core values and beliefs is a much greater predictor of relationship viability.


  • Be realistic- People want to date those who have things they are missing.  Where you need to be evenly matched is in confidence levels and strength of character. When there’s a large discrepancy between these traits, the relationship will feel imbalanced over time and fall apart. Make sure you feel and convey a healthy strength of character when you approach someone who wants to set you up. Otherwise they’ll set you up with people who match the low or negative energy you may be transmitting, without your even realizing it.

When you convey a crystal clear and accurate message to those who set you up, you’ll find the quality of people you meet to be more on the mark!  So take time to take stock of your needs and focus on the key most important ones to people who can introduce you. Make sure you sound unique so that people can be more targeted in setting you up. After all it only takes one!

If you have any interesting stories about dating or experiences you’ve had drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you.

Also, check out my most recent Real Relationships podcast where I interview two modern day matchmakers with my co-host, the super funny Molly Livingstone, on www.jewishcoffeehouse.com: https://soundcloud.com/user-871884937/real-relationships-the-modern-matchmaker

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