My distrust of Patti Stanger is well documented on this site. (See: Don’t Listen To Patti Stanger, and also, Enough Is Enough, Patti Stanger.) And though I know matchmakers were once vital parts of communities, I’ve watched Clueless (and read Emma) enough times to know that meddling in affairs of the heart is a dangerous, complicated business.

But a couple of weeks ago, my friend casually mentioned that one of her friends runs a matchmaking business, something she does by referral only. I immediately pictured Yenta from Fiddler On The Roof, but my friend assured me that Marnie, matchmaker and founder of of Fish’n For, is a hip, modern New Yorker who just likes to set people up within her network of friends. I emailed her immediately.

Marnie told me she met her fiancee online, but was interested in creating a more intimate way of helping people meet their matches. She works with a recruiter, a style guru, a relationship therapist, and a “resident guy” to give a male perspective when necessary.

“I like the notion of ‘Friends of Friends Only’ so that it’s exclusive at first – but more importantly, that it’s an intimate group of people all stemming from us.” She told me. “If our database is full of people who are friends of other friends – they are all going to be similar in nature, which makes this process easier.”

The Fish’n For process takes place mainly online, though optional in-person consultations are available. The first thing Marnie had me do was fill out a questionnaire.

I especially loved the disclaimer at the top:

“We’re all about honesty here. If you give us false information it just makes you look bad in the end and then you don’t end up with what you want.”

Blunt, but true.

The questions, for the most part, are typical of dating sites, with an emphasis seemingly placed on environment: what neighborhood is the person you’re looking for in? Who does he or she hang out with? Are they big planners or spontaneous? Homebodies or stoners?

I sort of wonder if my answers are a little too non-committal:

Neighborhood: Doesn’t really matter!

Is religion important? Nope!

Are you spontaneous or a big planner? Both!

But truthfully these things don’t really phase me too much, and I’m hoping being open will up my chances of Marnie finding someone compatible in her network of people.

“The turnaround time for a first date can be anywhere from hours to weeks based on how compatible you are.” She says. “We aren’t going to match you up with just anyone for the heck of it, there has to be a spark.”

Stay tuned to see if there’s a spark…

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