Linda Kassimir Murad and Liz Murad Waters, owners of the matchmaking service, The 2nd Date, in Los Angeles have successfully set up lots of couples over the years. I asked the two (who happen to be cousins by marriage) their thoughts on the best way to find a match, what people should look for on a first date, the biggest mistakes people make on their journey to finding a match, and when you should express that you’ve fallen in love. Here are their insightful answers:
DW: What do you think are the biggest mistakes people make on the road to finding a match?
Linda and Liz: Some of the biggest mistakes are being too picky and looking for the perfect fairytale romance. In real life, the most important things in a partner are whether they have your back, will they stick up for you, will they nurture you and the relationship, will they put in the work necessary to make a lasting relationship, and, probably most important, will they put you first? People who are too caught up in someone’s appearance may be missing out on some amazing people that they could ultimately become attracted to because of who they are inside. We often interview potential clients who say they refuse to date someone with 5 extra pounds or someone under 5’10”, but people should really focus on the qualities that are going to hold you together through potentially tough times, like illnesses and job loss.
DW: Where is the best place or the best way to look for a match?
Linda and Liz: The best place to look for a match is through a friend. This way the person has hopefully been vetted and doesn’t have any major skeletons in the closet! We also think meeting someone while doing an activity you love is a great way to meet someone. So if you love art or photography, take a class; if you love to hike or run, join a group! We also tell people if you are meeting friends for dinner, maybe plan to arrive 20-30 minutes early and order a drink at the bar. That way you aren’t really going out alone, but you are more approachable than if you are sitting at a table with a group of friends.
DW: What questions should you ask on a first date?
Linda and Liz: You should keep things light and fun on a first date, while also subtly investigating whether you have shared interests and life goals. For example, if you love to be on the go, you want to find out if your date is a couch potato, or if you are a foodie and love red meat, maybe a vegan is not ideal. You can often find out a lot about someone by asking different questions, like What do you like to do on Halloween?. As we said before, another telling question is as simple as What did you do last weekend?. We definitely wouldn’t recommend asking questions about exes, politics, or other controversial subjects on a first date.
DW: How does age play a role in dating? Is there a certain age or “age difference” to aim for?
Linda and Liz: Age is less important than whether you are in the same place in terms of life goals. We would typically encourage women to look for men up to twelve years older although, again, we don’t feel age should be a deciding factor. We just want people to be open-minded and open to getting to know the other person. Often men get stuck on age because they want children, but many women are now freezing their eggs and technology is rapidly changing, so that should be less of an issue.
DW: When should you express that you’ve fallen in love? When is the right time to “define the relationship”?
Linda and Liz: We wouldn’t suggest telling someone you’ve fallen in love too early as that could potentially scare someone off and can also change the dynamics of the relationship, and we advise waiting at least until you have been in an exclusive relationship for three months. As for defining the relationship, we would recommend doing that before you decide to get intimate with someone. You should at least establish that you like each other, intend to keep dating, and are not actively seeking other relationships.
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