Matchmakers help singles look inward – Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Matchmakers help singles look inward – Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Cedric DuBose of Houston was completing a nine-week online course called “Love Alchemy.” The workshop, intended to get him thinking about his relationship skills, was a prerequisite to hiring Amari Ice, a Washington-based matchmaker.

At 48, DuBose, who works in research and development for a pharmaceutical company, had grown weary of looking for love on his own. He considered online dating a bust. “The sites I’ve been on were all horrible,” he said. “It was all people wanting hookups. And I’m not the hookup type.” Ice, who was recommended by a friend, appealed because he presented himself as a love coach armed with practical advice.

The more constructive approach has become a way forward for many matchmakers, first in the age of internet dating and now in the age of covid-19. Lisa Clampitt is a founder and president in Manhattan of the Matchmaking Institute, which holds conferences and provides training for industry professionals. She said about 80% of matchmakers now offer coaching services. Thirty years ago most concentrated on the kind of matchmaking that for centuries had been the province of wise village elders. “It’s a strong shift in the direction of coaching,” Clampitt said.

As singles are stuck at home and social distancing makes traditional dating all but impossible, the coaching skills of matchmakers, now imparted online, are becoming more valuable.

“People are really clear at this point that investing in themselves is one of the best things to do with all the free time they
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