Do they still exist, the classic dating agencies where singles ring the doorbell with a pounding heart and then sit opposite their advisor in a 1:1 conversation in the hope that the butterflies in their stomach will soon be able to dance the samba or, depending on their taste, the waltz? They actually still exist. And they are extremely popular despite – or perhaps because of – online dating.
(ss) “I have the best job in the world – making two people happy,” says Kathrin Grüneis about herself. Grüneis is Cupid’s extended arm, matchmaker, connoisseur of human nature, psychologist and owner of a classic dating agency in the city of Zurich – all in one. The great thing about her job is that she doesn’t have a
everyday working life, she says. There are times when the two business phones ring incessantly. Only once were there no e-mails or calls for two days. “When it gets quiet, I get nervous,” says the lively entrepreneur. At a minimum, she attends events twice a week to meet new people. And that is precisely the advantage she has over electronic dating agencies: People who want to make a commitment can call the happiness maker, visit her, cry with her when love strikes on one side only, she is tangible for her clients. “All interested parties meet me in person. No one can hide behind a fake profile. The people who come to me are not looking for an adventure, but a real partnership. Nobody comes to me for an affair, that would be too much effort” – says Grüneis, who was born in Bavaria. Of course, the infamous questionnaire also comes into play here. She goes through this with every interested party. She takes notes between the lines. Asks herself questions in the back of her mind, also in connection with a potential candidate she has in her portfolio. The personal conversation means a lot to the matchmaker. Because this is the only way she can grasp and understand her counterpart – essential for her job. She tells just as much about herself to ease the situation. Because some people are nervous and have a sinking feeling in their stomach when they go to a dating agency. “I know all this from my own experience,” she continues.
She has a special feel for people, which she has developed over the years, also through her jobs in marketing, sales or as a relationship manager. But Grüneis is no magician. Sometimes she is wrong. That’s why openness pays off for her, because the better she knows the person or the better they reveal themselves, the more successfully she can communicate them. Customers who come across them by chance in everyday life have nothing to fear. Their credo is discretion. It cannot guarantee love. She always gives her best. But she is only as good as the people who come to her – which brings us back to the topic of openness. Sometimes she knows exactly what he or she is looking for. Sometimes, however, there is no suitable partner. Sometimes impossible to find. As in real life, it also takes a bit of luck and being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes it takes time, patience and confidence. “And then there are the dear expectations, which – the older we get – become all the greater,” explains Kathrin Grüneis. And what happens if one falls in love and the other doesn’t? “It’s not easy and sometimes leads to long discussions between the unfortunate person and me. Especially when things looked good from both sides at the beginning. But that’s what makes my job so exciting. One negative piece of feedback and the whole plan is thrown out the window. Or then I have a few great candidates in mind for one person – and there’s a spark on the first date …”, Kathrin Grüneis concludes the interview.