“Are you single?” the Manhattan-based matchmaker Maria Avgitidis asked a reporter mid-interview, plunging him into a dark place. “And you are 40? Do you ever feel like all the really good girls that you would want to marry are taken?”
Full disclosure: My answer to each of Ms. Avgitidis’s questions was “yes.” “That is where that panic comes from,” she said. “Like: ‘Why not me? What does he have?’ And then you realize that he is four years younger. And that is exactly where that panic comes from.”
Maria Avgitidis, founder of Agape Match, said her client base comprised busy professionals, especially in finance. In her experience, New Yorkers searching for a London date have largely been women desperate to search outside the city. “There is a crisis in New York,” she said — “a shortage of single, straight men.” New York women are also frustrated by the “stupid rules” of the city’s dating scene, she says, such as the strict observance of a three-day post-date interlude until the man calls his date.
“I started my business when there weren’t many matchmaking business,” says Maria Avgitidis, the founder of Agape Match in New York City and a cofounder of the Matchmakers Alliance. “Now when I Google them, I’m like, holy crap, there are hundreds of them.” Avgitidis says her clientele has also changed. Seven years ago, when she founded Agape, they were mostly between the ages of 38 and 55.
“If it’s a new relationship,” advises Maria Avgitidis, fourth-generation matchmaker and date coach, “I don’t suggest dinner,” which she says is “way too pressurized.” Instead, she stresses fun, because, I suppose, no matter what happens, it will be fun. What kind of fun? “Ice-skating rinks, bowling alleys, something that would show a little bit of your creative or kooky side.”
How could meeting a man in New York possibly be as difficult as landing an affordable apartment? New York matchmaker Maria Avgitidis, of Agape Match, says it’s infinitely harder. Just as in real estate, there’s a dearth of inventory. “In general, you have four single straight women to every single straight man,” Avgitidis explains.
This New York City based matchmaking service is run by fourth-generation matchmaker Maria Avgitidis. With the choice of paid client services or a free membership, each love seeker is asked to fill out a form which includes relationship status, age, if you want children and religion, among others. She does the work – if there’s a match, you’ll be contacted. Additionally, singles mixers are hosted throughout the year as well if you’d rather do your own matching.
“We match people on a multi-pillar scale. We look at their communication style, first and foremost. We look at their lifestyle and how they can improve their dating experience. For a lot of people it’s about showing them priorities, giving them feedback after dates, educating them on style.You can sign up on the website to either be a client or a member in our database. If you sign up to be considered as a client, we call you in for an interview and recommend the best program for you, whether that’s matchmaking or date coaching.”
“Agape Specializing in busy professionals (heavy on financial industries) seeking serious relationships, this New York-based boutique agency was founded by Maria Avgitidis—a 4th generation matchmaker.”
Animated and personable, Maria tells us that matchmaking is in her DNA, going back four generations in her family. The ability to see what people need and be a support system for singles is second nature to her. But the way this modern woman got into her life’s calling was more by coincidence than heritage. In her early 20s, she was at a wedding when a few single men came up to her with a hopeful plea.
“Be completely yourself,” says Maria Avgitidis, a fourth generation matchmaker and founder of Agape Match. Maybe you have dated around and tried on a number of different personalities. You’re dating the right person when you feel free to be all shades of yourself around them, especially vulnerable.
An ideal matchmaking candidate is someone who places significant importance on their privacy and safety, who feels more comfortable at the hands of a love expert. If you’re the type of person who would pick a headhunter for your career, you’re perfect for matchmaking!
Since the company’s launch in January, Instant Chemistry has sold 200 kits worldwide, Gonzalez and Seabrooke said. Through partnerships with matchmaking services like Agape Match in New York and Singld Out in Los Angeles, they said their product has resulted in dozens of happy relationships.
Avgitidis subscribes to the idea that three months is the time for the DTR (define the relationship) talk. “Three months is a tricky [stage],” she says. “If you don’t know what you are yet, this is when you need to figure it out.” She suggests Public at 210 Elizabeth St., which is a global cuisine restaurant in an old public school building. “It’s really intimate, somewhere you can [talk],” she says.
Maria Avgitidis, a matchmaker and dating coach based in New York City, says she uses OKCupid in a similar way. She edits clients’ profiles and advises them as they write messages—and maintains her own account to run queries. Avgitidis screens profiles based on age, race, and religion, and when she finds a suitable match, she writes to them. “I’ll say, ‘Hi, my name is Maria. I know this is really weird, but I’m a professional matchmaker—here’s my website. I think you’d be a really great match for one of my clients, and if you’re interested, I’d love to meet you for coffee.’”
Maria Avgitidis, a matchmaker at New York City-based service Agape Match, says summer can be a perfect time to date. “Summer weather promotes more activities for socializing,” says the 29-year-old Chelsea resident. “Weekends are filled with weddings, barbecues, rooftop cocktail parties. There are more opportunities as a result to meet more ‘friend of a friend’ people and date them.”
Bragging Rights: Awarded best matchmaking service in NYC by CBS News. Avgitidis is the founder and head matchmaker at Agape Match. Her goal is to find love solutions for all of her clients, so she commits personal attention to make sure she finds the right fit for everyone. Preferences and compatibility are measured on several levels so you’re happy with the result.
Maria Avgitidis, 29, a matchmaker at Agape Match, says it’s a matter of economics. “Generally speaking, the more educated and higher-income someone is, the more likely they will marry — or at the very least enter a long-term relationship,” she says, drawing data from Freakonomics. “What does NYC have? A whole lot of educated and high-income folks.”
In total, I’ve been dumped seven times. Why is that?
Most experts seem to see both situations (constantly being the dumper or constantly being the dumpee) as psychologically problematic, but the constant dumpee one as more troubling. When I turned to several licensed professionals for insight, including Maria Avgitidis, matchmaker and dating coach at agapematch.com, and Dr. Karen Sherman, psychologist and author of several relationship books, I pieced together a profile of my side of the coin.
Maria Avgitidis, who founded Agape Match six years ago, says the rise of Tinder “oversaturated the market,” driving younger clients to her offices. “All of a sudden we had men under 34. They’re like, ‘I’m sexed out. I can’t do this anymore. With more apps suggesting matches based on users’ social media networks, bumping into colleagues or employers is a growing problem. Avgitidis says her clients, 80 percent of whom are “Goldman guys,” don’t want to risk running into their bosses online.
Find out how he likes to spend his time and cash. Similar tastes in these areas are crucial, says Maria Avgitidis, founder of Agape Match. Ask: “What do you like to do on your days off? What’s a worthy splurge?” Set the first date 17 to 23 days after initiating contact with him. This specific window gives you the optimal online courting time before meeting, found a study in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.
Men know the rules. If you cannot afford to date, you shouldn’t be dating. Since I’m sure I’ll get plenty of flack for this, let me just say I have an economics background, so, while some may say I’m anti- feminist, I say shut up– I’m more feminist then you’ll ever know.
Can’t come up with an attention-grabbing costume yourself? Just turn the tables, Avgitidis says. “If you see a lady or maybe a man in a sexy bumblebee costume, ask them, ‘Where did the inspiration for your outfit come from?’ if you’re shy — or, if you’re bolder, make a joke, like, ‘It’s a jungle out there. I saw three bumblebees on my way here… never thought I’d make it!’ ” she suggests. “If you can make someone laugh, you’re pretty much golden.”
I think the reason why “Friends With Benefits” (FWB) relationships don’t last is because some “couples” enjoy the sex, and do it too often, thus confusing at least one party in the relationship into lust/love. If the other party is on the road to FWB, and the other is driving a FWB to a relationship, someone is bound to get hurt… and that someone is the driver.
Following in her Greek grandmother’s footsteps, Maria Avgitidis is taking the age-old art of matchmaking into the 21st century. She uses the Internet, social media and her networking skills to help singles find their perfect match.
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