Recently, we caught up with lesbian matchmaker extraordinaire – Dr Frankie of Little Gay Book
Tell us a little bit about your background and how you became a matchmaker.
I grew up in a large Jewish family in Manhattan. I had many wonderful relationships with my extended family including my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. From an early age I treasured these relationships and valued the time we spent together. I have always been a people person and as I became older my interest in human behavior expanded. After I received my undergraduate degree from Northeastern University I took the plunge and moved to California to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. After about ten years of clinical practice I really felt the pull to branch out and use my talents and training in a less formal setting. My own long-term relationship with my partner and our relationships with our twins brought me so much joy I wanted everyone to have this experience. This happened to coincide with so many of my friends having a really difficult time meeting a compatible partner. I remember the day I told my partner that I wanted to become a lesbian matchmaker, and Little Gay Book was born! I take a so much pride in the connections and matches I have made, as well as in the company that I have built.
What’s the difference between matchmaking and online dating?
You really can’t compare the two. When done properly, matchmaking is a very personalized experience. It is the matchmaker’s job to track down potential matches and screen them for compatibility, which includes red flags. I often tell prospective clients that it is my job to get stood up, and to go on the bad first dates. My clients are busy professionals who don’t have time for that nonsense, that’s part of what they pay me for! A good matchmaker personally knows his or her clients and understands their personalities, dating histories, must-haves, and deal breakers. A great matchmaker not only understands their clients but also has a strong understanding of human behavior. They identify their client’s unsuccessful dating patterns and guide them away from repeating that pattern.
How do you decide a good match?
A good match is really based on a myriad of variables. I look at the compatibility of personality types, interests, religious beliefs, and cultural backgrounds are just a few. Relationship histories, socio economic status, intro-extro version, sex drive (top-bottom-switch), are also important factors. And sometimes even when things look great on paper there just isn’t any chemistry. That’s something that is difficult to quantify, so that’s what makes a matchmaker’s intuition so important!
When should you consult a matchmaker?
I think a great time is when a person is truly ready to be serious about her love life. Dating, especially online dating, can be such a time drain. We screen everyone that we consider introducing our clients to during a 90 minute consultation. This consultation is essentially the professional equivalent of the first date. I am able to save my clients a great deal of time and energy when they try and meet people on their own. Many of my clients hire me for both relationship coaching and matchmaking. I have found this is almost an unbeatable combination. In general I would suggest hiring a matchmaker when someone feels they have exhausted their dating pool, are fed up with blind dates and online dating, and are serious in their quest to find a life partner.
Are you in a relationship?
Yes, my partner and I are coming up on our tenth anniversary actually! We have a strong bond based on love and mutual respect. Like any couple, especially with children, we have seen our share of ups and downs, but we are both committed to our relationship and family.
What do you think of shows like Millionaire Matchmaker, Patti Stanger?
I think Patti is good at what she does and I find her show really entertaining. She makes some really insightful observations and reads between the lines. She and I have different styles when dealing with clients, but that’s natural. I think my client’s would say I’m a bit more…tactful, shall we say?
What is your best matchmaking tip?
My number one piece of advice is to not limit yourself by creating excessive must-haves, obstacles and deal breakers. Understand the difference between a “must-have”, a deal breaker and a preference. For example, if you are a very accomplished athlete hoping to date someone similar, dating a kayaker, a long distance runner or a snowboarder is a preference. To maximize your chance of finding someone really compatible, think of the broader category as athletic, and place that in your “must-have” column. And on a side note, finding love is not a race, it’s a path of self-discovery that will hopefully eventually lead to love. So if you’re ambivalent about your feelings after one date, give it a second shot and see where things go. As Oprah says, women are slow cookers and it takes us a while to warm up. Maximize your chance for success by keeping your heart and mind open.
What should we avoid when first dating?
Two common pitfalls people often find, which both stem from anxiety, are excessive drinking and inappropriate self disclosure. Limit your alcohol consumption to a maximum of two drinks. Anything more than two drinks might cloud your judgment and make you sloppy. Also, have compassion for yourself and try and remember that we all have baggage. Don’t attempt to deal with your baggage by “laying it all on the table” or full disclosure, on the first date. It can also be a form of self-sabotage, but that’s another issue althogether.
What do you think of online dating?
I think online dating has seen its heyday. It can be a good way to meet people, but it is also very time consuming. My friends have told me how they spend hours and hours sifting through suggested profiles, crafting the perfect email that stands out from the slew of other emails without coming across as if they’ve spent too much time trying to make the email special, only to never hear from the person. I think also that people can get sucked into a cyber relationship with the fantasy of who they want to meet. People sometimes spend weeks and more communicating back and forth, disclosing very personal information, and ultimately creating a fantasy of what the other person is. My suggestion to online daters is to keep the emailing, texting and calling minimal and to the point. The point after all is to meet in real life and hopefully cultivate a relationship, right?
Where can we learn more?
Great question! I encourage everyone to check out my website at littlegaybook.com. There are links to my radio interviews, magazine articles, and my blog. I also hope all the single ladies will fill out a confidential profile! It’s free to be in my database and your profile will never be browsed by clients. Like I love say, fortune favors the bold!