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17 Secrets We Learned From A Professional Matchmaker

Basic compatibility might be boring, but don't overestimate its importance.

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Would you ever go see a professional matchmaker to help find you a partner?

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It feels like such a strange concept... how can a complete stranger match you up with the supposed love of your life? We decided to have a chat with Linda Prescott, who is a Chief Matchmaker at Ideal Introductions in Brisbane, to find out all her secrets.

1. So to start off, there are general factors they always look at when matching people.

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"We generally look at the age range, lifestyle, appearance, family, and location," says Linda. "Compatibility may sound boring, but it is the base of a healthy relationship. "

2. But to be honest, that can't always predict attraction.

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"You can have some people who are compatible and tick all the boxes but don't work well in a relationship. So we don't just base it on a checklist – we have to use our intuition, and years of experience seeing what works."

3. Having common interests with your partner is good... but not the be-all and end-all.

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"Interests can come and go, but sharing the same core values is key. You don't have to share the same hobby or like all the activities your partner does. Do you want to date yourself? The truth is, you need time apart to grow. And having your own individuality is attractive."

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4. It's not just women who come in to find a match.

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"Actually, we get a pretty even mix of men and women."

5. Though in the older age groups, most of the people who come in are women.

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"Women generally crave nurturing relationships more than males do when you get to that stage of life."

6. Most clients are in their 20s or 30s... but there's really no age limit.

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There are even some clients who are in their 80s.

7. Linda says she's always been good at matching people up.

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"When I was in high school, I introduced my best friend to her husband... they’re still married. What started as creating love matches for my classmates in high school led me to take a job at Ideal Introductions when I was just 23."

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8. It can take time for you to realise that someone is "the one" so don't try to rush it.

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"Lust is always instant, but real chemistry takes time and is long-lasting," says Linda. "You have to listen to your intuition."

9. The company only marks a match as "successful" if the couple stays together for more than six months.

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And the success rate is 75% – there have been over 1000 weddings as a result of their matches.

10. And from those 1000+, there have only been 10 divorces.

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11. It sounds cheesy... but you really have to be happy within yourself before looking for love.

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"If you're a woman looking for a relationship, you need to be in a positive mental place. If you're in a negative bubble, have dramas with your ex-partner or job, it's not the right time to date. You've got to be happy first. Being positive is attractive."

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12. Because it's pretty obvious if you're not.

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"No guy will say, 'Oh I'll date her first, and maybe later she will be a happier and less moody person'. Guys are not looking for skinny people, but people who are positive and comfortable with themselves."

13. There's really no typical time frame for finding someone's perfect match.

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"It really depends on the individual, what type of person they are looking for, and their dating attitude. We had one couple who recently married – he met his match on his first date while his date had been here 11 months. Some clients stay longer if they feel they want to keep searching and meeting new people, but some find a match on a first date."

14. You have to keen an open mind, and not have huge expectations.

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"If you have your bar too high you'll set yourself up for failure. If the way you picked your partner or the personalities that you explored did not work in the past, we need to take you in the right direction. Some people are less open to our suggestions but we have to tell them that they need to trust us. The bigger the wish list, the smaller the dating pool."

15. It takes a certain type of person to see a matchmaker, but not the type you'd think.

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"Our client is someone who is strategic and busy. Somebody who is a realist. Life these days has become so busy. It is the efficient and smart people who come to us to help take care of their love life. We also get a lot of professionals and business owners in our pool."

16. There are a few criteria all clients must meet before the company will find them a match.

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"They must have a stable job, an independent way to travel, be within a healthy weight range, presentable, and happy. They also can't have had a relationship within the past 12 months, so they can be fully present and settled. They also have to have a genuine desire to be in a long-term relationship."

17. And Linda says there's no better feeling than hearing of a couple that she matched getting married.

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And she gets invited to a lot of weddings.