August 3, 2000
The Mating Game
Sherry Singer, a kinetic redhead with a personal philosophy that includes a strong reverence for the influence of fate and karma, believes that she was destined to be a matchmaker. The 36-year-old shadchan has been fixing up white-collar singles for the past 15 years. Six years ago, she opened her own matchmaking service, Meet-A-Mate, with the help of her mother, Eva Singer.
Sherry, who was swept up into matchmaking after she finished a radio internship at the age of 21, recently returned to the air with "The Mating Game," an hourlong show devoted to helping people find their soulmates. Armed with an in-depth knowledge of dating dos and don'ts, Sherry advises lovelorn Angelenos on Saturdays from 11 p.m.-midnight on KRLA.
"I love radio so much," says Sherry. "It's a way of life for me."
Sherry also lectures on and is writing a book about relationships, and her matchmaking service is the subject of an upcoming Learning Channel documentary, "The Mystery of Mating."
The mother-daughter team say they are responsible for more than 300 marriages. The majority of their clientele are lonely professionals who work long hours and don't have the time or patience for "meet markets." Meet-A-Mate clients who marry are sometimes so impressed that they recommend the service to single family members in search of their beshert.
"Ten or 15 years ago, going to a matchmaker was taboo," says Sherry. "Now everybody is doing it."
The family-owned business, which attracts secular, Reform and Conservative Jews, offers a traditional form of matchmaking. No videotaped biographies. No computer matches. Sherry or Eva meet one-on-one with potential clients and talk for two or three hours to get a better idea of, well, personality and identity. Eva, who puts a lot of stock in physical chemistry and pheromones, claims that her nose knows. She says that she will often smell potential clients when she greets them with a hug.
But not everyone who walks through the Meet-A-Mate door becomes a client. The Singers reject a few applicants each week.
"We're very selective about who we take on," says Eva. "Other people aren't so stupid to turn money down, but in the long run people respect us."
They look for people who are genuinely nice and say that kissing up to them won't improve your chances of being accepted. They'll see right through it.
"We work by intuition," says Eva, a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor. "There's a perception that nice people finish last. Here they come in first."
The Singers say your love affair starts with them. A client will often send an unconditional token of esteem - a small gift or card - soon after the interview. The Singers don't ask for them, but these gifts from the heart seem to help inspire their matchmaking muse or give fate a little nudge.
"The bottom line on all of our successful matches is that it's all done by miracles, and through unconditional love and giving," Sherry says.
Sherry and Eva like to think of themselves as friends for hire. They go to unusual lengths to help their clients, often looking for negative habits in a client's life that they can help break to make the person a better catch.
"I can't guarantee marriage, I can't guarantee love, but I can guarantee that I'll do whatever it takes," says Eva. "We work with people until they're married."Sherry says that people often sabotage potential relationships through a variety of missteps: not calling the day after a date, being too cheap, obsessing about past relationships and trying to change people.
"People choose to be unhealthy," Sherry says. "There's a lot of victims out there."But the biggest hindrance to a successful relationship, according to Sherry, is low self-esteem.
"I don't care what they look like," Sherry says. "More people would be in healthier relationships if they would just love themselves."
"The Mating Game" is on Saturdays, 11 p.m.-midnight, on KRLA, 1110 on the AM dial. For more information about Meet-A-Mate, call (310) 914-3444 or visit www.meetamate.com