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Resolution 2016: Fall in love

By Elizabeth Hebert | Feb 12, 2016
Noreen Rochester, owner of Cara Matchmaking.

Every year, about 45 percent of Americans make a new year's resolution, but only 8 percent of them are actually successful, according to Statistics Brain Research Institute.

The Camden Herald is running a series to help improve those odds. Each week, we will feature one of the most common new year's resolutions and ask an expert for advice on how to enter the resolution winner's circle in 2016.

One of the top 10 resolutions each year is to fall in love, but finding the perfect partner is often easier said than done.

The modern solution has become online dating, with nearly half of all Americans saying they know at least one person who met their spouse or partner via an online dating site, according to a Pew Research poll.

But what about an old-fashioned solution?

Noreen Rochester, former Rockport resident and owner of Cara Matchmaking in Biddeford, has been a professional matchmaker for 27 years with numerous clients in the Midcoast. She gave us some insight into this old dating option that's new again.

Describe your average client.

My clients are intelligent, successful, driven people. The majority of my clients come to me because they have busy lives and don't want to spend time in the bar scene or browsing random profiles online. They're looking for a human connection facilitated by someone they can trust.

Has he/she usually tried other types of dating help?

Yes and that's the primary reason they came to me. Most of my clients have tried online dating but found it overwhelming and frustrating, not to mention time consuming. One of the differences between working with a matchmaker and online dating is that I've personally met every single person. A common complaint with online dating is that people aren't always who they appear to be.

What is he/she looking for?

They're looking for love! Part of that also means finding someone with similar interests and goals, but that's not always what makes the relationship work. Chemistry is important, but sometimes (often times), it doesn't happen on the first date or meeting. A lot of my clients feel like fireworks should happen immediately, but that's not always realistic. I've been a matchmaker for over 25 years and my experience is that people are looking for someone to love that will love them back.

Do your clients often fall for someone unexpected?

Yes, this happens all the time and I love it! A couple of months ago I talked to one of the guys in my service about a woman I thought he should meet. He said no. He wasn't attracted to her and thought she lived too far away. I introduced him to a few people that he thought were right for him (I strongly disagreed, but he wouldn't listen to me). Anyway, I told him he had to meet the woman we talked about earlier, the one he wasn't attracted to. He said no several times and I said I wouldn't introduce him to anyone else until he met her. I knew in my heart that this was the right match. They had to meet. They did and they're madly in love. She emails me every week to tell me how happy they are and every week I cry when I read her messages. He called the other day to tell me he wants to marry her.

Do you think people need to be "ready" to fall in love?

The people that I work with aren't interested in "hooking up." They want a relationship and to fall in love but they need to be ready and open to it. If a person comes to me a week or two after a break up, my advice is to wait. They're usually not ready to fall in love or even date. People generally contact me because they're at a point in their lives where everything is falling into place but one of the most important components is missing ... love. Going back to the guy that I just mentioned, he had to meet a few women before he was ready for the woman that was right for him.

What is your favorite client love story?

There are so many but one that still touches my heart is that of an older couple. Both had lost spouses after more than 40 years of marriage. Their marriages had been wonderful and they wanted to find something like that again. They were in their 80s when they came to me. They met, fell in love and invited me to their wedding. It was one of the happiest days of my career as a matchmaker.

My very first matchmaking couple has been married for 27 years and have six children. That's another favorite love story.

Do you have any other advice for people whose resolution is to fall in love?

Yes. As cliche as it sounds, it's really important to love yourself first. Having an open mind and heart is essential as well. If you choose to work with a matchmaker, please trust her to guide you through the amazing process of finding the love of your life.


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