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Matchmaker, Matchmaker!

Matchmaker, Matchmaker!
February 2013
They’ve seen it all—the good, the bad, the awkward. Two local pros share their tips for successfully finding and wooing a mate

Charleston Wine Pairings

What: Bringing potential couples together in a relaxed, vino-fueled setting
Who: Buffie Bell started the business in 2010 and now has close to 200 clients ranging from age 23 to 72.
How: After every event, Bell calls her clients to coach them and check in. If there was a missed connection, she facilitates.

Top 5 Tips:
1. Turn off your phone during a date, or at least keep it out of sight, says Bell. “You need to give them your undivided attention.”
2. Don’t cyberstalk. Bell had a client who turned up her nose at a prospect after seeing something she didn’t like online. Bell said to give it a shot anyway, and now they’re married.
3. Be creative when planning a date. It doesn’t have to cost a lot; for example, make a picnic basket with their favorite foods and go the beach.
4. Confidence is the sexiest thing you can put on before a date. Pick five awesome things about yourself and repeat them in your head prior to meeting up.
5. Listen. Don’t immediately jump in after they finish a story. Pause for three seconds to see if they have something else to add.

Face to Face Charleston

What: One-on-one dates, coaching, as well as group events
Who: Martine Friedman-O’Keefe met her husband at a singles mixer a few years ago, so she knows a thing or two about the Charleston singles scene.
How: Friedman-O’Keefe screens more than 3,500 local candidates for clients and often holds mixers.

Top 5 Tips:
1.When it comes to meeting new people, branch out. Join an activity or group that requires a partner, like mixed-doubles tennis or ballroom dancing.
2. Be approachable. Whether it’s at the Piggly Wiggly or Cocktail Club, give the opposite sex a reason to talk to you.
3. Expand your network. “You have to meet new people to meet new people to date.”
4. If you’re shy, go on activity dates. “The last thing you want is dead air, so do something you both focus on.”
5. Have conversation starters planned. Think of humorous anecdotes ahead of time. “The number one thing most ladies  want is a guy who can make them laugh.”