Elite Connection’s founder Sherri Murphy talks about dating and the art of matchmaking
By Amy Sommer
After being introduced to her husband by a personal matchmaker, Elite Connections CEO and founder Sherri Murphy left her career in real estate and opened her own exclusive matchmaking service in Beverly Hills in 1996.
“I was in my 30’s, single, had two kids and was all of the time,” she said. “I wanted to keep my private life private and since the only two things I did was work and play tennis at a club I wasn’t meeting anyone I could date.”
Matchmakers have been valued members of the community for centuries. Much of the practice really hasn’t changed. Elite Connections now has nine locations throughout Southern California from which her team of matchmakers work with a wide variety of clients locally and abroad.
“Most of our clients are successful, busy professionals who hire us because it makes their social lives a lot easier,” she said. “People who travel and work a lot have reason to put their dating lives in our hands.”
She described one client – a 43-year-old, Swedish entrepreneur who splits his time between Los Angeles and Taiwan – who’s been thinking about rings after meeting someone in his second contract with Murphy.
“We meet every client in person. We sit down and talk with them at length and will brainstorm about suitable clients with whom we’re working currently or have in the past right there in the meeting. We also do a background check,” said Murphy who can’t imagine dating on the Internet after a bad experience with a blind date when she was younger.
“I have clients who have fallen after being on 40 dates, others who’ve met one or two people and are married now,” Murphy said. “Yes, it’s a business but in the end, I just want people to be happy.”
With Valentine’s Day coming up, we thought it was the perfect time to ask an expert on dating what are the five mistakes people most often make.
Top 5 Dating Mistakes
Don’t Talk About Your Ex
Don’t answer the oft asked “what happened with your first marriage/last relationship” with a 15 minute soliloquy on all of his/her best and worst traits. “Keep it simple and just say, ‘it didn’t work out’,” advises Murphy. “If you keep talking about your ex, the other person will decide that you’re not over that relationship. While they may smile and feign sympathy, your date will have nixed you as a potential romance within the first couple minutes of your dissertation,” said Murphy.
Don’t Size The Person Up Too Soon
Just because you don’t like the way that your date put their napkin in their lap doesn’t mean that the guy doesn’t have potential to be a part of your life. “Don’t go and decide if you want to marry the person on the first date. Think about making a friend,” Murphy says, “I’ve introduced people as dates who became friends and then met romantic partners as a result of their new friend fixing them up. And, we’ve all heard of stories of happily married spouses who started out as friends.”
Don’t Squeeze in a Date
“Don’t rush from work for a Wednesday night date. If you want a relationship then you have to make dating a priority: if you’re going to make time for a spouse then make time to find that special person,” says Murphy. “Women mistakenly think it makes them look attractive if they can’t squeeze in a date with a guy for a couple of weeks. But, it’s not true. Men want to be needed.”
Don’t Drink Too Much
“First dates can be nerve wracking but don’t sooth yourself with too much vino – sloppy is never a good first impression,” advises Murphy.
Don’t Sleep Together on the First Date
“No matter how hot the sparks are on a first date, it’s never a good idea to consummate a potential relationship after a single date. You haven’t gotten to know each other in any meaningful way after a single meeting. Even if it’s the only time a woman sleeps with a guy after the first date, the man will think that she does it all of the time and is less likely to view her as relationship material,” Murphy says. “Besides, sex is better once you know the other person better.”