Genevieve West is a professional matchmaker in Portland; here is a link to her website:
Q: What made you want to become a matchmaker?
A: I love marriage! I want to see people falling in love and marriages flourishing. I believe that singles who want love can find it and that broken relationships can be avoided. My heart is for helping to equip singles so that when they do find themselves in a relationship with a wonderful person they won’t get in their own way and sabotage themselves. I believe that couples will find happiness when they are functioning within the role they were created for and fulfilling God’s design for marriage.
Q: What other kind of jobs and training have you had and how does it help you in your work?
A: I’ve always worked in customer service of some sort because I love working with people. In fact, my husband Eric and I met while working at Starbucks together. He was my supervisor. Scandalous, right? My husband and I still get to work together, running Mix ‘N’ Match Creamery, the food cart that makes Ice Cream right in front of you with Liquid Nitrogen.
Actually, the biggest influence on my Matchmaking business is that we didn’t always have a healthy marriage. Nobody taught me about being a wife and I always just thought it either came naturally or you were with the wrong person. I am very thankful that a dear friend gave me a book that explained what marriage is, what to do, what not to do, and how to communicate with my husband. This book not only helped transform our relationship, but it also ignited a passion in me for seeing other marriages saved! And ever since then I’ve been elbow-deep in independent study to further my education on dating and relationships!
Q: You have a seminar called “Finding Love in Portland.” Is there a specific way one would find love in Portland that wouldn’t apply to other places?
A: Well, if you want to know, you’ll have to attend the event! Anyone who watches Portlandia or sports a “Keep Portland Weird” bumper sticker (most likely upside down) would agree that everything about Portland is unique! Between the uber independent culture and gender roles being so fluid here, people forget that men and women really do think and communicate differently, setting themselves up for failure in a relationship. My desire is to give singles resources and coaching in these areas before they fall in love to give their future relationship the best chance for success.
Q: What makes for a long lasting match?
A: A match where their foundational values align, where they’re both people of integrity, and they both are actively loving, respecting, and trusting each other, even when the other doesn’t deserve it, will be a long lasting match. Contrary to the popular “soul mate” belief, and what I believed to be true even after I’d been married for a time, is that a long lasting match does not depend so much on who you’re with, but on what you do.
Q: With all the matchmakers out there why should my readers hire you?
A: Actually, I was surprised by how few professional matchmakers there are in Portland! I offer personal introduction services, and I’m very selective about who I work with. I have to believe in the product I’m selling, so to speak! My clients have to be marriage-minded and emotionally ready to begin a long term relationship with the right person. I will always tell my clients the truth because I sincerely care about their personal and spiritual growth in this process of finding a match, and about their future happiness. Because I take the time to get to know my clients, I’ve actually become friends with many of them!
Q: What is the biggest dating mistake couples make?
A: Sex. And I don’t mean just on a first date. When people who are not in a 100% committed relationship do the hippidy-dippidy, it artificially ties them together without any real steadfast devotion to each other. Setting the boundary early on that a physical relationship will not happen until after a commitment is made helps weed out people who’s intentions are not honorable. A person of integrity can handle waiting for sex because they care more about the person than their body or their own instant gratification. Sex is a level of intimacy and vulnerability that was designed to be shared by a husband and wife. When it’s shared in this way, it is a beautiful, mysterious, and crazy fun way to build up a relationship!
Q: What was the strangest thing anyone ever told you they wanted in a mate?
A: What I find strange is how so many people think they need to marry up. They’re drowning in debt, but they don’t want anyone who’s in debt. They’re uneducated, but they want a college grad. They’ve been divorced, but don’t want a divorcee. Basically, they wouldn’t choose themselves. It’s strange and heart breaking that they don’t think they’re situation is worthy of being loved. In these cases, my goal is to gently burst their bubble and help them see themselves as loveable.
Q: Do you think relationships that begin on line have a better chance of lasting?
A: I can see the argument for why they would! Ideally, they’ve read about each other’s values and have gotten to know each other’s personalities before chemistry and hormones have had a chance to interfere. However, I find it interesting that half of the singles in the US are going online to find dates, yet almost half of the people in the US are still single! Something isn’t working. So many people misrepresent themselves online, even if it’s not on purpose. And it’s just exhausting work! Online dating can be a full time job of sifting through profile after profile, then going on date after date, all the while seriously considering writing a book about dates from hell based on your own personal experiences. It’s also nearly impossible to avoid making a list of “deal breakers” that are really just preferences which the couple could usually navigate through. It’s easier to be judgmental online, scrolling past photos of quality people because they don’t fit the picture you have in your head. Hiring a professional Matchmaker who offers personal introduction services is more efficient, letting them do all the leg work of vetting values and seeing any blatant character flaws, and gives the client an opportunity to learn about relationships and grow personally.
Q: Why is romantic love so confusing to people?
A: You know that rush of excitement you feel when the caller ID says it’s them? Or the butterflies in your stomach when they’re close to you? Yeah, that’s not love. I think many people mistakenly believe that love is an emotion, so when that emotion fades or changes, they think the love is gone and they move on to someone who gives them that feeling again. But real love is more durable than feelings and emotions. It’s building a life together based on trust, loyalty, sacrifice, commitment, serving, and submitting to each other. Love is a decision that’s made several times a day. Like when I get annoyed with my husband but instead of snapping at him I choose to do or say something that will build my marriage instead of tearing him down. Like when my husband is invited out with the guys but he knows I’ve been looking forward to seeing him so he comes home instead. Love is the opposite of selfish, and in this narcissistic culture it’s easy to see how love could be confusing to some people.
Q: What can people expect to learn in a matchmaking seminar?
A: To get the juicy details, you’ll have to come see for yourself! It’s pretty much everything we would go over during a personal consultation, but for a really great deal. I want singles to become empowered to find healing from past breakups and learn how to be content in their singleness. We’ll also look at why they might be single. This part might sting a little, but I hope it acts as a mirror, helping singles see parts of themselves that might be keeping eligible singles away. I mean, if you have spinach in your teeth wouldn’t you want someone to tell you? Singles will also get some equipping on how to communicate with the opposite sex in order to enjoy fulfilling relationships when they do meet their future honey! To stay in the loop for future workshops around Portland, follow me in Facebook and Twitter!
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)