WL Dating Scene: D.C. Matchmakers

If you’re single and ready to mingle, these D.C.-area matchmakers can help.
By

Photo by Weir Thru A Lens.

(Photo by Weir Thru A Lens)

What do the Blues Brothers, Queen and Justin Bieber have in common? They all believe that everybody needs “somebody to love.” If you’re still looking for that “somebody” in your love life, look no further.

We’ve put together a WL-approved list of the District’s best and most diverse matchmakers, complete with an interview with each expert. Take the guesswork out of your love life, and let a professional play cupid.

DC Matchmaking

www.dcmatchmaking.com

Twitter: @DCMatchmaking

is the owner of DC Matchmaking. She specializes in matchmaking and dating coaching.

DC Matchmaking Owner Michelle Jacoby (Photo courtesy of Michelle Jacoby).

DC Matchmaking Owner Michelle Jacoby (Photo courtesy of Michelle Jacoby).

Washington Life: Who are most of your clients?

Michelle Jacoby: My matchmaking clients are men and women — mostly men, between the ages of 25 and 65. I work with straight singles who are looking for long-term, committed relationships. My typical matchmaking client is an attractive, successful professional who can easily get dates on his or her own but does not want to spend time at singles events, happy hours or dating online.

My coaching clients are men and women of all ages. Typically, they are busy professionals who want to make dating a priority but may need a little extra motivation or help getting the best possible results when dating. As a coach, I work with all genders, sexual orientations and ages, but I especially enjoy working with older women (50+) and those who have made poor romantic choices in the past that would like to break the pattern.

WL: How did you get into the business?

MJ: I’ve been connecting people all my life. I’ve introduced close friends who are now engaged and married and am always introducing people wherever I go. In 2008, I considered hiring a matchmaker for myself. I did tons of research and interviewed many singles who had worked with other matchmakers and dating services in the D.C. area. Unfortunately, no one I spoke with had had a positive experience. After listening to their stories, I recognized a real need for an ethical, hardworking matchmaker offering a high level of service here in D.C. I researched the matchmaking industry and decided it was a perfect fit for me. I made it official when I opened my company, DC Matchmaking, three years ago in early 2009.

WL: How do you work?

MJ: My matchmaking clients hire me to do all of the legwork and interviewing on their behalf so that they can simply show up and enjoy their dates. I interview each potential match personally, run background investigations, coordinate schedules and arrange dates, am “on call” the evening of the date, get feedback from both parties and provide necessary coaching. During the year that I work with my clients, I make myself extremely accessible, provide unlimited introductions, and strive to make each client feel that he or she is my only client. 

As a dating coach, I work with my clients to help them create a diverse portfolio of dating activities to increase the likelihood that they will end up in a relationship. I design a personal dating plan for each client which empowers her to become her own matchmaker, teaching her how to find, attract, meet, date and get to commitment with the right man.

WL: Why Washington?

MJ: I’m a native Washingtonian, and I love it here. I’ve been in D.C. for 45 years, and I have a huge social network, which works to my advantage when I match my clients. It’s my hometown and my favorite place on earth. I’m not leaving any time soon!

WL: Describe the D.C. dating scene in one word.

MJ: Frustrating

WL: Why should single WL readers choose your service?

MJ: My life mission is bringing people together to love one another, and I’m very passionate about this work. I dance around my family room when a client has a great first date — I’m serious. Some of my clients have been to my home, and I’ve been to theirs. I’ve sat in the front row of weddings, crying my eyes out. I am impeccably honest and have a very strong work ethic. I will not take on a client unless I feel I can meet his or her expectations. I’ve been known to chase people down in parking lots, malls, grocery stores and even the motor vehicle administration to see if they are single.

WL: Your relationship status?

MJ: I am currently engaged. I am divorced and have four children, who will all participate in my wedding this coming June.

Mixology

www.ReadyToMix.com

Twitter: @MixologyDC

is a matchmaker and the executive director of Mixology U.S.

Mixology U.S. Executive Director Meghann Novinskie & Mixology President Kim Rosenberg (Photo courtesy of Meghann Novinskie).

Mixology U.S. Executive Director Meghann Novinskie and Mixology President . (Photo courtesy of Meghann Novinskie)

WL: Who are most of your clients?

Meghann Novinskie: We work exclusively with the LGBT community, ranging in age from 25 to 70. Mixology members are proactive people, typically relationship-oriented and are able to articulate to us what they are looking for in a partner. They just hire us to “do the work” for them — screening their matches, hand-selecting dates and coaching them throughout the process.

WL: How did you get into the business?

MN: I have an obsession with relationships. I studied psychology in college, with many classes focused on relationships, sex and what makes successful relationships tick. After moving to San Francisco to pursue a graduate degree in counseling psychology, I landed a job at a prestigious matchmaking agency in 2005. I thought my work at the agency would be temporary until I got into grad school, but I fell immediately in love with my job, my clients and understanding why so many “dateable” people were still single.

WL: What’s your approach to connecting people?

MN: My clients need to trust me, knowing that we’re going to push them outside the box because however they are meeting people now clearly isn’t working for them. Deeply understanding my clients’ excitement, their goals and also their fears in dating allows me to match them appropriately and efficiently. Our process includes an in-depth in-person interview, matching clients the “old fashioned way” by hand, following up after each introduction, and coaching along the way.

WL: Why D.C.?

MN: My partner and founder of Mixology, Kim Rosenberg, was raised in the D.C. metro area. Being incredibly well-connected and dedicated to offering the close-knit D.C. LGBT community a personal matchmaking service is something that Kim is very passionate about. She launched Mixology knowing personally how hard it is to meet other professional, financially stable, relationship-minded individuals in D.C. Since Mixology opened in 2009, we’ve opened a second office in Los Angeles and continue to work with members in various cities, including San Francisco, New York, San Diego, Raleigh and Atlanta.

WL: Describe the D.C. dating scene in one word.

MN: Challenging

WL: What sets you apart from other area services?

MN: Our expertise in the industry is hard to find. Having experience in matching both hetero and homosexual singles, and personally having had long-term relationships with both men and women, I am uniquely poised to understand relationships from all angles. There is a reason why many well-known high-end hetero matchmakers around the country have selected us to be their “gay” division.

WL: Your relationship status?

MN: In a relationship, somewhat long distance — I live part time in Los Angeles

WL: Best date?

MN: He booked private sailing lessons for us on the San Francisco Bay, and then surprised me with dinner reservations afterward at world-renowned restaurant, Chez Panisse in Berkeley.

WL: Your favorite D.C. date spot?

MN: I love museum dates. The Corcoran is incredible in its architecture. It always has unique exhibits, which lend an opportunity for interesting conversation. I also think a cooking or a sushi-making class is a great idea for a first date.

Premier Match

www.premiermatchmaking.com

Twitter: @PremierMatch

is a matchmaker and the founder of Premier Match.

Premier Match Owner Christie Nightingale (Photo courtesy of Christie Nightingale).

Premier Match Owner Christie Nightingale. (Photo courtesy of Christie Nightingale)

WL: Who are most of your clients?

Christie Nightingale: We target male and female upscale single professionals, ranging in age from the early 30s up to the late 50s. We work with single people who are seeking long-term relationships and marriage. Our clients are heterosexual.

WL: How did you get into the business?

CN: I was looking for a career change while working in the fashion-modeling field in New York City. My interest in matchmaking stemmed from the encouragement of a very successful matchmaker who ran a firm in California. She felt I had the “knack and the skills” for this business. So, I started to look into what types of services were in my hometown of New York City. I discovered that there were plenty of Internet dating sites and a few large franchised-type dating services, but there were not any services following the same business model like this firm in California: working with high-end singles. In a city like New York, it seemed inconceivable at the time that there were not any matchmaking services catering to single affluent professionals. So Premier Match was formed in 2000. Fast forward to present time; I have three physical offices in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

WL: How does your service work?

CN: We begin each membership by arranging an in-person confidential consultation with a potential candidate. This interview process is also designed to explore any preconceived notions or general patterns that have the potential to influence a client’s ability to be compatible. Once a client is added into our database, we begin the matching process by facilitating introductions for them and reviewing individuals’ profiles for their acceptance. Once both parties of a match have OK’d one another, phone numbers are exchanged between them and they arrange their own dates. After the dates occur, we follow up with our clients to receive and document all feedback, discussing what worked and what didn’t work. We work with clients on personal relationship management, helping them develop their interpersonal skills in relation to fostering long-term relationships.

WL: Why D.C.?

CN: It is an incredible market to service upscale single professionals. The city is extremely transient, so new arrivals move here all the time to pursue their careers. They work extremely long hours and may not know many other singles to socialize with or date. Many single professionals work in sensitive government positions, and so they do not want to broadcast that they are single and searching for relationships. They like my business approach to matchmaking because they can date very discreetly and are comforted in knowing that my process is extremely private and confidential.

WL: Describe the D.C. dating scene in one word.

Christie Nightingale: Vibrant! That was the first word that came to mind, so I’m going to go with it!

WL: Why should single WL readers choose your service?

CN: My expertise and guidance will be very helpful to those who join my firm, as they will work with me personally. All of our clients are personally interviewed at my physical office location. This is key for the sake of keeping the database alive and fresh with new applicants. The database is always changing every three months or so.

WL: Your relationship status?

CN: Married. Our 11th anniversary was March 31, and I love him more than the day I married him.

WL: Best date?

CN: I would have to say the first date I went on with my husband. He took me to the symphony, and then we went to a really cool lounge bar in SoHo. We had such a great time that we closed the place down after 3 a.m. By the time he dropped me off at my apartment, the sun was coming up. Time flew by as if hours were minutes. When you click with someone, it’s like the world around you is not even happening. I tell my clients, it’s not so much the date itself, but the person that you are with that makes for a great date.

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