Dating world, if you don't already know who this woman is in front of you, let us gladly introduce you. This is Carmelia Ray, a matchmaker who has been in the business of helping people find their significant other for over 20 years now, and has subsequently created a successful brand that includes worldwide conferences on the topic that we all know and love--dating.
Not only that, Ray is now taking her talents to the small screen in Myx TV's new series Mom vs. Matchmaker, premiering May 3, where she'll go head to head with opinionated moms to see who can handpick the best suitor for the mother's precious offspring.
But, before we get there, Ray was kind enough to answer The Problem With Dating's burning questions about finding "the one," and shared her tips on what we might be doing wrong when looking for a partner in this exclusive interview.
So let's get into it, shall we?
What initially drew you to becoming a matchmaker?
The honest truth is when I was 20 years old, an ex-boyfriend told me he was working for a matchmaking company and they were hiring. I had never heard about matchmaking and online dating didn't really exist back then but I was intrigued. I asked what I had to do and it involved speaking with singles over the phone who were curious about matchmaking, screening them as a potential client and then scheduling appointments for them to come into a matchmaking office. I loved the idea of speaking to people about relationships and I was always a natural salesperson with the gift of gab. It ended up that I was the perfect "match" for matchmaking! I haven’t stopped since and I still love talking to people about their relationships. I have interviewed over 65,000 singles from all over the world and counting.
What do you think is the most common mistake people make when choosing a partner?
The most common mistake people make when choosing a partner is getting involved in a relationship far too quickly based on physical attraction and chemistry without truly knowing the person. All relationships start off in the honeymoon phase and couples tend to ignore any signs of incompatibility or red flags while focused on the feelings of being in a new, all-consuming love. Without a strong foundation of compatibility, shared lifestyle, attitude, values and life goals; the relationship will fail and lead to break ups. Or years of misery!
When trying to match someone up with a potential partner, what are the qualities or traits that you focus on to hopefully create a lasting connection?
The key areas I focus on when it comes to matching a partner are the following, in no particular order:
- Lifestyle compatibility - Social, economical, educational, familial
- Personality traits - Looking for extreme differences - Opposites don't always attract!
- Physical attraction - age, height, weight, health
- Common values & principles - including religion & cultural similarities
- "Love languages" & communication style
- Sexual attitudes - affection levels, views about sexuality
What advice would you give singles who are currently looking to be in a serious relationship?
Rule # 1 Hire a matchmaker and not your mom! LOL
If you are looking to be in a serious relationship you must have a strategy. No matter what area in life you are looking for results in, your love life should be treated with the same respect and investment as your education, career and family. People often rely on chance and go through life hoping and wishing to magically meet someone fabulous at the grocery store.
As far as Mom vs. Matchmaker, what is it that the mothers overlook when trying to set their children up? Most mothers have a view of their children based on what the kids want them to see, and it may not actually be who they truly are. In front of our parents, we want them to only see and know our "good side." I have a teenage daughter and many times I have discovered things about her by accident and not because she intended for me to know. I have discovered that lots of moms rarely talk about relationships and hardly ever discuss SEX or other personal matters in front of their kids. These topics and conversations are important to have in order to be an effective matchmaker.
What is a common mistake parents make when matchmaking their own kids?
The most common mistake parents make when matchmaking their own kids is that they seek a partner whom they believe their kids "should" be with or who "deserves" them based on their own biases and belief systems. They don't always agree with the mate choices their own children make when it comes to finding a long-term partner. They tend to choose a match for an image they have of their child, or for their own interests, rather than putting their offspring’s obvious preferences first.
And there it is. Did you write all that down? Good.
Now don't miss seeing Carmelia work her magic on Myx TV's Mom vs. Matchmaker, premiering this Tuesday at 8 p.m.!