HONOLULU (KHON2) — Finding love in the 21st century is as it has always been. There are those who find love on their own; then, there are those who utilize third parties, such as dating apps, matchmakers and arranged marriages, to help them find that special person to spend their time with.
One form of locating love that has not been as popular in the last few decades is that of a matchmaker.
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This led KHON2.com to sit down with a real-life matchmaker here in Honolulu.
Ms. Sayuri Van Rijsbegen operates the It’s Just Lunch matchmaking firm.
She has been matching couples for ten years and has joined 50 couples in her time as a matchmaker. While she has done international matching, mostly between the United States and Japan, she said that most of her work now focuses on locals here in the islands.
When she moved to Hawaii, Van Rijsbegen got married; and her husband’s friends would ask her to help them find love, too, which led her to creating a business out of it.
So, what brings people to ask her for matchmaking help?
“Well, matchmaking is a very hard business,” revealed Van Rijsbegen. “Clients come with very high expectations. My female clients usually want someone that is tall with blue eyes and a certain amount of income. Regardless of their age, they want someone younger.”
She went on to explained further.
“My male clients can sometimes be picky,” said Van Rijsbegen. “They want someone much younger. Even if they’re 70, they want someone very pretty. It can be very hard to find them matches, sometimes. They can be very particular about what they want and are usually looking for likeminded people. I try to give them diverse connections so they aren’t just connecting with people they would already meet.”
For her female clients, it is mostly women in their late 30s to 50 years of age. “Most of them are in their 40s,” said Van Rijsbegen. “There are not so many in their 20s or early 30s since they are not focusing on settling down just yet.”
She said that her male clients are typically men ages 30s to 70s.
KHON2.com asked what her process is for setting up someone on a match.
First, Van Rijsbegen creates a profile. “I want to get to know my client, their likes and dislikes, their hopes and dreams, their background,” she explained.
In the profile, she compiles “age, where they are born, where they live, their education, job, income, hobbies, foods they like, pets, previous marriages, children, love languages [ranked for them], why they are looking for love, the age range looking for in partners, personality types and what kind of personality they are looking for in partner.”
Next, she has them get a really good, professional picture taken so they can show their very best looks. She does both casual and formal looks to show diversity of character.
Then, Van Rijsbegen shows her clients various profiles to see what their first impressions are like.
Obviously, she does a thorough background check to ensure that the matches are safe and above board.
Next, Van Rijsbegen verifies income since this is a very important aspect of what many of her clients want.
Finally, she archives their legal identification (driver’s license, passport, etc…).
Needless to say, KHON2.com had to ask what she thinks of dating apps like Grindr or Tinder. Her response was more of a chuckle.
Van Rijsbegen’s services provide a thorough vetting process that these do not and cannot do. “You can’t trust who people are,” she said.
She had a bit of advice for anyone who is looking to find love.
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“Love is about giving not expecting,” explained Van Rijsbegen. “We all are different, so especially men and women and masculine and feminine people. The masculine and the feminine have different conceptions of what is wanted from relationships. So, be patient and come from a place of understanding, manage your expectations and understand your differences.”
According to Van Rijsbegen, love is something we have today that is not guaranteed tomorrow.