Working with bachelors I learn about their dating life in the course of conversation. And while I operate with my clients under the premise of “if you build it / decorate it, she will appear”, my interviewee takes a much more active and truly effective approach to dating, marriage, etc. Janis Spindel is the country’s leading matchmaker with approximately 869 marriages to her credit, 1000 long-term committed relationships and zero divorces.
Janis Spindel has been interviewed by the New York Times Magazine, Fortune, Wall Street Journal and many more. She has been seen on 60 Minutes, CNN, the Today show, ABC, NBC. Janis has serious credibility and is serious about her passion, finding you your wife! Her services come at a dear price, however her wisdom is there for us all to learn from.
I pulled up to the Bridgehampton home, complete with heart-shaped street number, of Janis and her husband of 27 years on a busy summer Friday afternoon to ask her questions about the pitfalls and secrets for men about dating women, in counter balance to her recently published a book for women, “How to Date Men” (which she has her male clients read). Janis is fiercely dedicated to her mission and she will tell you, “I am not a dating service, I am a matchmaker. I am here for the exclusive purpose of finding my clients the woman whom they will marry.”
During our interview a Mr. X. calls, Janis takes every call from everyone, no screening. This is a woman who means business even if her business is love. Mr. X is hemming and hawing about coming to a party of Janis is throwing out in the Hamptons the following Sunday evening. I am uncertain if he is a current or potential client, Janis is to the point regardless, “What are you waiting for? You are 40 plus years old … “ She is very clear, he needs to be there, she has someone for him to meet, he needs to get off the fence and be there. I ask her a few days later if he is coming to the party, she said “He’s coming, of course I DON’T take no for an answer.”
Part of what I learned from interviewing Janis Spindel and reading many of the articles written about her is that while she is direct, almost withering, she has a point. We’ve all been waiting around looking for the right person, or staying in a relationship too long because it is easier than finding a new one. Janis is gifted in her craft, and an important part of the services she provides is to prepare the field. She gets her clients ready, she is grooming you to take your life and getting married seriously.
Graciously, Janis shared with me some of her thoughts about dating a woman. Most of them seem obvious to me, and since Janis says, “I own the minds of men” let’s listen to her advice directly.
“What are the first date do’s and don’ts?” – (and she applies these to the second and third dates as well)
1. do be on time.
2. do pick her up at her home (but do not go in).
3. do bring a small gift, maybe a single rose or some chocolate or a book.
4. do be a gentleman, open her car door, open all doors for her, pull out her chair – serious brownie points.
5. do go out for more than dinner on your second and third date, a movie, an activity, a charity function or a sports event.
6. don’t talk about your Ex-anything! Your ex-girlfriend, ex-fiance, ex-wife, ex-business partner – whatever! Nothing negative!
7. don’t be pushy, rude or anxious, to your date or anyone you come into contact with. If a woman sees you yelling at the parking attendant she is going to think that you will yell at her that way someday too.
8. don’t be desperate, relax, this is fun.
9. don’t talk about politics.
10. don’t bring your baggage to the table. She doesn’t want to hear about your tragedies, keep it light and fun.
“What creates a lasting relationship?”
1, 2 and 3 – communication – as this is so important, I asked Janis to elaborate on this
– never go to bed angry, talk about it, make peace.
– communication with the woman you are seeing is a 24/7 thing, not a call twice a week.
– share the good and the bad stuff, be a team.
4. really get to know her, be incisive, ask questions and listen to her answers.
5. respect her and listen to her.
6. commonalities – whether they be upbringing, lifestyle, or interests you need to share things that matter to you in common or respect the things you do not share.
“How do you work with your clients?”
1. Initially there is a phone interview with one of my assistants.
2. The home visit – like it sounds, we visit his home, look inside the drawers, the fridge, the closets, as you know best, someone’s home is very telling of who a person really is and I need to know it all to find “the right one”.
3. The simulated date – the man takes me out on a series of dates so that I see how he treats women.
4. The dates – our service is a 12 month contract and we usually we find “the right one” in two or three dates.
5. if he doesn’t find “the one” in these first two or three dates, I talk to him about this because either he is not articulating what he wants or he is just “dating” and I am matchmaker.
6. If he begins to date someone then his membership “freezes” for up to a year, and he has up to 24 months to be matched. However if he’s been dating someone for a year and he’s not to “I do” then there is something else wrong.
“What makes for a good client?”
1. he has to be emotionally available.
2. commitment minded.
3. well educated and successful in his chosen profession.
4. well traveled.
5. healthy, athletic.
While Janis works with the elite of our species, her words are not wasted on the rest of the crowd. What she says is valid for every man and woman, be your best, take care of yourself, be polite and be determined, there is someone out there for everyone … but you have to have done the work to prepare yourself or else you will have the same life you have today. Ouch!
Without a doubt Janis’ unsaid motto is life is short, find a mate, you’ll be happier and then she can move on to find the next great match.
dale b. cohen
new york city