Sunday, January 24, 2010

Because You Asked ...

Just the other day an acquaintance asked me ... "Marni, what exactly do you do? How does your business work? I don't even know..." In fact, those same questions are asked frequently so I figured to kill hundreds of birds with one stone (not PC idiom, I know, especially coming from an animal lover) that I would attempt in this blog to give my readers a better understanding of what Sunday at Noon is all about.

What? The truth is, I hate the word Matchmaking. It conjures up images of Yente from Fiddler on the Roof - fat, overbearing and old. God, I hope no one would describe me that way! But that is what I do. I set people up. Not super complicated. Unfortunately, none of the other words I have tried really cut it - social networking? social engineering? relationship headhunting ... nah. So, matchmaking it is. But not your standard matchmaking.

Who? The first time a prospective client asked "who does Sunday at Noon?" I was so surprised. Possibly you! Me (if I weren't the founder). Your best friend. Your sister. Your brother. Wonderful, quality single people in the city. People who are finally ready to meet someone great and move on to the next stage of their lives. People who don't want to sit around anymore hoping that they will meet the love of their lives - they want to be proactive about it and make things happen.

My clients range from 25 to 51, they are men and women from various cultural and religious backgrounds, but what they all have in common is that they are well-educated, attractive, successful professionals. With their limited time due to their lifestyles, my clients gain the benefit of quality introductions without sacrificing countless hours on the internet or wasting precious time on inappropriate dates.

How? "How does the process work?" Is usually the next question. Simple. I take on clients who pay to join and I then undertake a very thorough and intensive search for people who would be a great match. After screening the prospective matches, I then set them up to meet for Sunday brunch, ergo the name Sunday at Noon. The process regarding arranging people's schedules, the confidential nature of the service, etc. I won't get into here - feel free to check out my Philosophy and Process links on my site if you're curious to know more on that ( It's all spelled out there.

Of course, there's also feedback. We could all be better daters - and I help people with that. From wardrobe to protocol, sometimes the feedback comes from me based upon my observations and sometimes it comes straight from the date. It is worth its weight in gold. Part of my job also includes being a resource and giving advice even as my clients start to date the men and women I have introduced them to - they know I am constantly hearing from men and women about their dating/relationship views, stories and needs.

And then there are my monthly events which are an added benefit for my clients. Clients get an opportunity to meet dozens of new people every month and people are connecting. Anyone who has been to my parties knows they're not "singles parties" - but just great events which draw dynamic professionals. Sailing, bowling, cheese tasting ... just some of the events I throw. Of course, it's also a lot of work making sure that everything is up to par but that's where my anal lawyer type A personality comes in handy ... ensuring the proper male to female ratio and that everyone at the event has a great time. And if you've been to an event before and I haven't invited you back it might have been for that precise reason (keeping the ratio even) - of course, clients always get invited.

Why? Meeting new, quality people can be particularly hard for professionals in New York - especially after your 20s. Anyone who says it isn't hasn't lived here long enough or is recently single. In fact, it's not just New York. Friends of mine in other cities (e.g. LA, D.C., Chicago) say the same thing - it's difficult in urban areas for a myriad of reasons.
Just like many of my clients now, I was an extremely busy attorney in Manhattan with very little free time to be out meeting new people (it's all about those billable hours and making partner!). Yes, I could go out when I wasn't tied to my desk and meet some Joe Schmo at a bar, but I kept wondering where in this city of millions were the quality guys?

I knew - personally as well as in addition to hearing countless stories from single friends and colleagues - that there was a profound need for someone in this city to bring quality people together with honesty, integrity and skill.

Almost two years ago, I jokingly told a friend of mine lamenting his single status that I should start my own business and improve upon everything out there. He looked me dead on and said "Why don't you? You're the one person I know who could do it." I have always been extremely social, a networker and a connector. Well before I started my matchmaking business, I had a vast network of friends and acquaintances of all different backgrounds - not just lawyers and bankers but also artists, entrepreneurs, academics, jet setters, Hamptons friends - you name it. I have always had an excellent instinct for people and I have always loved setting people up. When I told friends that I was planning on starting my matchmaking business the reaction was the same across the board: you are going to be awesome at this, it's what you were meant to do!

Ok, I hope I killed a thousand birds (you know what I mean) - but if you still have questions, feel free to write me directly - you know where to find me!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Job Opening: No Pay But Excellent Benefits

Yes, that's it, it's time to fire cupid. His judgment is questionable, his timing is off, and he seems to take a perverse joy in watching one love struck single pine for someone who, in turn, is pining for someone else. His quarterly reviews have been consistently poor and in this time of economic downsizing lackluster performance cannot go unaddressed.

And just who is going to fill the job opening? You. That's right, YOU. Now, please don't complain that you already have enough work to do and that you barely take lunch as it is - when times are tough we all have to make adjustments. Plus, Valentine's Day is just one month away, so no time for whining - you need to get to it and hit the ground running (oh right, don't forget to be a team player and think outside the box - gotta love corporate America lingo).

Of course, with little over 30 days until the project due date (yes, Cupid left a whole stack of work unfinished for February 14th), you need a plan and ideally some short cuts. Here are five tips that may help you as you take matters into your own hands.

(1) Rework your on line profile. If you've been on line for a while and aren't getting the results you want, perhaps it's time to shake things up. Have a friend whose opinion you value look at your profile and ask him or her for honest feedback on how it could be better so it will stand out more in searches. You may even want to consider hiring a profile expert to give some guidance and objective advice. Maybe it's time to change your photo, switch sites, or modify your search to target new victims (I mean love interests - victims was Cupid's word...).

(2) Get out. The chances of your sushi delivery guy being the love of your life is slim to none, so if you're not out and about it's pretty much guaranteed that you're not going to meet someone. Thus, as obvious as it sounds, if you want to do your job effectively you need to leave the house and attend as many functions as you have time for and can afford. Accept as many invitations to super bowl and birthday parties as you can and try to make an appearance at all of them. Organize a girls or boys night out ... and also make sure to go a few places solo (e.g. Barnes and Noble draws a lot of single people in the evenings and on the weekends and could be a great place to meet someone. Just don't look too immersed in your book so that a prospective suitor would be afraid to bother you). Guys, go to a cooking or salsa class (I am amazed that more men who are looking to meet great women do not sign up for these classes as they are typically filled with all women). Girls, if you can handle the smoke, head to a cigar bar or get tickets for a sporting event like hockey or basketball. Whatever you do, just don't sit at home.

(3) Change your routine. Going to the gym at the same time every day? Time to change your morning work out for an evening exertion - you will be exposed to a whole new set of people. Going to the same Starbucks every morning for your double mocha latte frappucino swirl (ok, I totally made that drink up)? Try hitting a different Starbucks instead or even a new coffee shop altogether - again, you never know when the love of your life is going to be staring at you from across the expresso bar. You get the point - just start changing where you are and when.

(4) Spread the word. Tell your friends that you are following through on your resolutions for 2010 and one of them is to be proactive about meeting someone special. Do they know anyone at work that might be a good set up for you? Do they have any cousins, business school friends, neighbors in their building, etc. that they think you might like? While you might assume that they would have already made the effort to set you up if they had someone in mind, that's not necessarily so - sometimes people don't realize that Cupid didn't do his job properly and mistakenly think you don't need the "help."

(5) Consider hiring a professional. Why not allow someone to help you with your new project? Cupid had no incentive to strike you with his bow, but a professional is paid to be working for you 24/7. Having someone be proactive in finding the right person for you only increases your chances of meeting the "One." This someone needs to "get" you and understand what you are looking for in a partner. Of course, he or she also needs to have the people you would want to meet in his or her database and needs to be trustworthy and knowledgeable.

Who knows, you just might come to see that Cupid should have been downsized a long time ago ...

Ready to get proactive about your love life and get started on meeting that special someone in 2010. Contact Marni at to learn more about becoming a client.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Call to Arms

First, let me start off by wishing all of my faithful readers a very happy New Year! Let's hope that 2010 is a year filled with much good for all those we know and love (and even those we don't know and love as it's good karma to wish positive things for others).

Ok, the blog …

Not too long ago I met with a woman who was turning 41. She was attractive, bright and successful. We talked about her prior relationships for a while, what she was looking for in a partner, etc. (the usual stuff) and then she uttered two short sentences that seems to sum up all that I have come to know about the dating world for 40+ year old single women in New York City. It was candid, direct and succinct but also profoundly full of meaning: "Nobody told me. No one warned me how things were going to suddenly change." Across from me was a woman who had never lacked for male attention or serious suitors in the past and now men that would have previously been interested weren't asking her out because she's over 40. The landscape had changed.

We all know that men are attracted to pretty women who are in good shape and take care of themselves - nothing earth shattering in that statement. But what really surprised me after I started my matchmaking business, and what may surprise some of my readers, was how many men I have met over 40 who are not open to meeting anyone remotely close to their own age. Indeed, I speak frequently with men who are in their 40s and 50s, etc. who provide a laundry list of what they are looking for in a partner - as you can imagine, they are seeking the works - and then they hasten to add that she should also be [insert age a minimum of 8 years younger than the speaker's age]. No matter how wonderful or interesting or attractive these 40+ women are, they are not going to have a shot at being considered by a certain percentage of NYC guys of their equivalent age or a few years older because they just don't make the age cut. The Millionaire Matchmaker had a show on this where she referred to these men as “ageists.”[1] A great term for it, really.

The reasons for this "ageism" vary. Sometimes it's just a value system. Obviously, there is a premium placed on youth and good looks in this world. Younger is often "better" and that's reality. That being said, to some, experience, wordliness and maturity are more valuable than a tight ass and perfect skin. Sometimes men don't want to acknowledge their own aging and a young partner may make them feel better about themselves.[2] I am going to skip over these types of analyses (perhaps to be tackled another day) to address the reasons articulated most frequently for the age discrimination I witness.

Many guys will simply cite the woman's age and say they want kids. With an attitude of “’nough said.” As if the number 40 speaks for itself. If you spend 20 minutes online you can find ample information showing that many women in their early 40s have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. Yes, everyone knows that there is an increased risk of infertility and complications in pregnancies as women get older but these issues actually start to become relevant in pregnancies where the women are 35 and over (should these still aspiring papas now drop their maximum age limit to 30?).

Not so fast - women under 30 beware. Research has shown that for women under 30, a male partner aged 40 or over reduced their chances of conceiving by a quarter; for women between 35 and 37, a partner over 40 reduced conception to a one-in-three possibility.[3] Studies also show that men over 35 are twice as likely to be infertile.[4]

Other research shows that there is an increased risk for autism in instances of men in their 30s fathering children and the risk of having an autistic child is five times higher when the father is in his 40s.[5] For men having children over 40, studies show there is also a dramatic increase in the risk that the child will be affected by schizophrenia, dwarfism, bipolar disorder, certain childhood cancers, or even, later in life, Alzheimer's.[6] In fact, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine "has set an upper age limit of 40 years old for semen donors because of the increased risk of genetic abnormalities in the offspring of older fathers." .[7]

Thus, these men who are so quick to point to the women’s biological clock as a deal breaker are truly an example of the pot calling the kettle black. Sure Tony Randall could have a baby at 77 (whereas a septuagenarian women has long passed menopause), but that does not mean the male’s biological clock does not exist. For some reason it is just never discussed. News flash: Men have a biological clock and it ticks pretty damn loudly.

Another reason 40+ guys have given in regard to not being interested in meeting women closer to their own age is they have a time frame for kids that is still years away. This issue was already addressed briefly in my prior blog Peter Pan Lives on Perry Street (Nov. 11, 2009) (please reference the section regarding dads too old to play sports with their teenage kids and add the additional factor that studies show older dads have less patience with their children), coupled with the paragraph above, I think it's fine to leave this reason and move onto the next.

The next reason comes compliments of "Al". Al was 46 but easily could have passed for 56 (I know he was actually 46 because I checked his license). Despite this, Al told me his age cut off for women was 37. Stunned, I asked him why and he shared his view that women who are over 37 and never married tend to be bitter. On the surface it seemed like a valid reason ... but to stereotype every woman over 37 in such an unflattering way is like saying everyone from Wisconsin loves cheese (I know this is not true because I once met someone from Madison who did not). The irony of this guy is that he was so woefully, unhappily single and yet was ruling out an entire segment of women simply based on likely bad choices he had made in the past. I know a lot of happy, not-bitter, joyful single women in their late 30s and early 40s (some never married and some divorced).

In fact, while the bulk of my female clients are under 40, some of these phenomenal 40+ women are my clients. Which brings me to the real point of this blog. The women who come to me looking for help in meeting that special someone could easily be your friends, co-workers, family members ... people you love and respect. So I am asking you, Dear Readers, if you know any men who are in their 40s and 50s (they could be your friend, a colleague, an uncle) who are open to meeting quality, very attractive women who are 39 (ok, yes, the bias actually starts a wee bit prior to 40) to 49 they should contact me and I may very well be able to introduce them to the love of their lives. They don't have to become a client[8] and they don't have to spend a dime (other than treating for the date). You're thinking of someone in particular and he's divorced? Perfect - regarding men over 40 that is actually the preference. He has kids? No problem (in fact, it is a preference for many of my clients who are divorced, do not have kids and are not looking to start a new family). If you're wondering what kind of men I'm looking for, that's easy - the standard: good guys who are kind, interesting, fun, active, successful and looking for a real relationship.

Who knows? By playing assistant matchmaker yourself you may start 2010 off with some very good karma. And a little good karma never hurt anyone.

[1] The irony of that episode was the 45 year old gentlemen millionaire on the show who asserted he wanted to meet a young vixen ended up having more in common and, picking, the successful female millionaire client on the show who was the CEO of a high end fashion label, absolutely gorgeous … and 40.

[2] This can often have the opposite effect, however, when the courtship phase is over and the men realize that they really can’t keep up with their younger counterpart.

[3] See Men's Reproductive Function Can Be Damaged If They Have Children After 40; see also Male Biological Clock Also 'Ticking': Fertility Problems Greater For Men Over 35

[4] See Is Your Sperm Too Old?,, Nov. 22, 2009 Blog, see also Research: Male Biological Clock Winds Down After 35

("According to the ASRM, infertility is a male problem 35 percent of the time; a female problem 35 percent of the time, a combined problem of the couple 20 percent of the time, and the final 10 percent is unexplained. The Columbia research found that the risk of miscarriage of a fetus conceived by a father over age 40 was 60 percent greater than if the father were 25 to 29, irrespective of other factors that have been linked with increased miscarriage risk, such as the mother's age, maternal diabetes, poor maternal health and smoking during pregnancy. The increased risk of miscarriage does not just apply to fathers in their 40s, however. The miscarriage risk in a pregnancy involving a father aged 35 to 39 was three times higher than the risk if the father were under 25.").

[5] Id.

[6] Id.; see also It Seems The Fertility Clock Ticks for Men,Too (very good New York Times Article worth taking the time to read).

[7] See Research: Male Biological Clock Winds Down After 35, supra.

[8] For those who are unaware of how my business model works, I take on clients both male and female and set up personalized introductions. The introductions can be client to client or between a client and someone who is in my “database” (the database consisting of hundreds of single NYC men and women who I personally screen before any introduction). I can assure my readers that should you send someone to me who would like to be in my database and is open to meeting the 40+ women I have referenced he will not be pressured in any way to become a client.