“If I see that someone is limiting their chances of a relationship by being too strict, I say so openly.”
My office is in a prime location in the center of Zurich, a five-minute walk from the main railway station. I’ve rented a room in an inconspicuous office building; a couple of trustees work on the same floor as me. The surroundings are very discreet. This is ideal in this industry, because not everyone who decides to join a dating agency wants to be open about it. Some people are embarrassed if they have to wait outside in the corridor for a few minutes because they are afraid of being seen by someone. Interested parties are often not good at admitting to themselves that they need support in their search for a partner. I can understand this feeling. In our society, everyone strives for perfection, so it’s not always easy to admit that you’re single. When I was 35, I was a customer of a dating agency myself. I was also in a relationship for a few years and thought I’d spent my money more wisely. I have found that it is difficult to make contacts in Switzerland. The Swiss are generally very reserved. But I admit: in Bavaria, where I come from, it’s not any easier. I know that there are matchmakers who meet their clients in hotel bars or visit them at home. That would never be an option for me. A hotel bar offers too little discretion for such a conversation, and if I had to visit men at home, I would feel uncomfortable; you never know what to expect. At the very beginning of my self-employment, I once had a bizarre experience: a man had seen my photo with a reference to my work in an advertisement. He called me, we exchanged a few words, and very quickly I realized that he was looking for an escort service. The mix-up was due to language problems. Today, my network comprises around 700 to 800 women and men, whom I actively place. I cannot guarantee success, but I try to get to know each person and their interests and needs as well as possible at the first meeting. The conversations sometimes take a very personal turn and need space, which is why my office has white walls, is neutrally furnished and not cluttered. What I like best is that the room is very bright thanks to the large windows. As I talk to people, I use an outline of questions to guide me. I realize that most people have very high expectations of a partner, which sometimes seems a little unrealistic. If I see that someone is limiting their chances of a relationship by being too strict, I say so openly. Sex is usually also a topic in these conversations; after all, that’s what drives everything. Both women and men also confide intimate things in me. I once had a prospect whose husband suddenly became interested in homosexual relationships. Tears flowed, because it was really bad for the woman. If I think two people might fall in love, I give them each the other’s first name, cell phone number, place of residence and a few hobbies. I recommend that they go out to dinner together and I assume that the gentleman will call the lady. You can get to know each other quite well during a meal: you can see what the other person likes, how they eat and how they behave. If nothing comes of it, you haven’t lost anything. I met my current husband at a party. A colleague of mine knew that he was newly separated and told me that there was a “customer”. He wasn’t actively looking for a partner at the time, but we realized that, despite all our differences, we were a good match.