Matchmaker shares her skills

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a matchmaker.

That’s what Susan Kates is hoping to hear from people willing to pay $750 to learn the skills and secrets of her trade — and to get a Certified Matchmaker certificate, suitable for framing.

Kates, CMM, is well-known among singles in the city for DinnerWorks, a meet ‘n’ eat (‘n’ maybe mate) program, in which she brings groups of singles together to check each other out while eating dinner at local restaurants.


Kates also works one-on-one as a personal matchmaker, bringing together couples with the potential for compatibility and chemistry.

Training other people in Toronto to do that is Kates’ latest venture. As an executive board member of the New York-based Matchmaking Institute, she’s offering the first local training session sanctioned by the institute on March 8.

“Can you learn to be a matchmaker? That’s an interesting question,” says Northwestern University psychologist Eli Finkel, who researches dating and relationships.

“It’s possible if, with enough training, you can learn to see through some of the facades and that what people need is not necessarily what they want.”

Matchmaker wannabes will learn interviewing skills, how to really listen to clients, how to look beyond the obvious, how to coach clients through getting to know each other, how to draw up contracts, an understanding of the industry and how to deal with checklists — those shopping lists single people compose.

“Most people have a list,” says Kates. And they’re pretty predictable.

“A woman who is 33 will say, ‘He must be two years older, six feet tall, good-looking and a doctor or a lawyer.’”

In all her matchmaker wisdom, and with her database in mind, Kates may suggest, “How about a 38-year-old MBA?”

Kates says it’s also important to understand how essential it is that “two people are ‘in the same place’ at the same time.”

“This couple was dating and having a great time,” she says about two who had met online, “but he hadn’t actually left his marriage emotionally. On paper, there was a lot of compatibility ... But he wasn’t ready. She was.”

The woman signed up for Kates’ service.

Clearly, singles willing to spend in the range of $1,000 to $10,000 for the services of a personal, professional matchmaker are serious. Matchmakers’ clients want to cut to the chase.


  • For more information about the Matchmaking Institute, and for products and enrolments, go to www.matchmakinginstitute.comor call 1-877-232-8743.

  • For more about DinnerWorks or the Matchmaking Institute workshop scheduled for March 8, send an email to toronto@dinnerworks.caor call 416-483-1312.

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