(machine translated) A lot of singles contact Kathrin Grüneis, especially after the New Year. She has specialized in personal matchmaking with her company freieherzen.ch. The trade newspaper visited her in her bright office in the heart of Zurich. And if you want to dress up for your first date, the Volketswil beauty and lifestyle specialists (see box) are guaranteed to have the right offer for you.
Interview: Mohan Mani
How did you meet your partner Thomas Bucheli?
I spontaneously approached him myself at a party, which he really liked. And back then he didn’t know what exactly my job was. (laughs)
How do you differ from Internet dating sites?
Clearly in terms of seriousness.
Do many people still find it difficult to find a partner?
Yes, unfortunately. I have many friends and acquaintances who don’t want to talk about this topic out of shame. Many people doubt themselves: Am I really not capable of finding someone myself? Yet it is a privilege to be able to ask for help. Of course you can’t control love, but you can at least create opportunities for it.
And what was it like for you?
I was never embarrassed myself, even though I met a lot of men when I was young. But none of them was a man for life. But at some point I wanted to find a man with whom I could imagine starting a family. That’s why I went to a dating agency. I was looking for a partner who was personally, professionally and character-wise stable and not someone who just wanted to get into bed quickly. Everything in its own time.
Do more women or men come forward?
Rather women. They trust me not least because I can do much more than any computer algorithm: I am very experienced, have a good gut feeling and am very emotional. I have two employees who actively support me.
Do younger or older women tend to come?
It’s very mixed, with more mature women no longer wanting to experiment “out there” and are therefore more likely to contact me. But that doesn’t mean that I only have older women. The youngest is currently 28 years old and the oldest lady is 83. The important thing is to be mentally active and fit.
How does a dating service actually work?
After an initial telephone call, there is a free welcome meeting. I want to see people in person, I want to feel them. During this meeting, we also go through a questionnaire together. However, what someone says is less important to me than how they say it. I want to feel passion, because then mediation is much easier.
The more open a person is in conversation, the more “substance” I get for my actual mediation work. Sometimes, after the initial meeting, I already have a concrete idea of who from my card index might be a good match for my counterpart. If a cooperation agreement is concluded, then my real work begins: I look for a potential partner. When I find a “match”, I call the two people and tell them about each other. If both agree, I will send them each other’s contact details – but without pictures or photos! They are rarely representative and only offer potential for misunderstandings. As a rule, I also recommend that the gentleman calls the lady and arranges a meeting. After the date, I expect feedback from both parties independently of each other. This gives me valuable information for a further search process, if that is still necessary at all. Because sometimes the first date already leads to the desired success. If not, then I’ll keep looking.
What about same-sex couples?
I don’t have any business experience with this yet, but I could definitely imagine it in the future.
How openly do people talk about sex?
Many people are very uptight about this. However, it goes without saying that sex changes with age.
How do you deal with wealthy and/or well-known people?
Such people come to me precisely because I strictly guarantee anonymity and because ultimately my customers always say what goes out, when and to whom.
New year, new luck: can you feel such trends?
Interestingly, more people call when the weather is bad. On holidays such as Christmas or New Year, some singles particularly long for a partner. Even in June and July – in the context of the long summer vacation – many people get in touch with me.
Are people also specifically looking for a life partner?
Yes, that does happen. But ultimately, most people are looking for true love and a partner for life.