Caroline Brealey, 31, runs an award-winning matchmaking agency named Mutual Attraction.
In a nutshell, my job is to help people find love. I launched my dating agency, Mutual Attraction, in 2011 but it was a year or two before then that I first had the idea. As a single, professional woman, I wanted a different way to meet new and interesting people. When I researched matchmakers I found them to be all geared towards an older clientele. There was definitely the need for a matchmaking service that catered for the younger generation. Now, at Mutual Attraction, we take clients on from their mid-20s upwards.
As a matchmaker my job is to introduce my clients to like-minded, compatible single people who, like them, are looking to meet someone to share their life with. Myself and my team of matchmakers meet all our members in person to get to know them and then find their match for them. Of course, it’s never as easy as it sounds!
I’m not an early bird but I force myself to be, so at 6:30am I drag myself out of bed. I often have Good Morning Britain on in the background as I get up. I work from home around three days a week and I LOVE these days! You do have to be very self-motivated to work from home, it’s something I’ve had to learn. Thankfully, since I have no commute, it takes me 20 seconds to get to the office!
Before lunch is what I’d call hardcore work time! Every morning at 9am the team have a video meeting. We often go through a list of our clients and decide jointly on who their next match should be. I really try to focus before lunch and get my head down. I could be writing client’s profiles, calling them to see how a date went, or planning their next date. Getting feedback from clients is a really important part of my job and I love hearing how dates went. It’s not so nice if a client wants to see their date again but the date doesn’t feel the same – we have to be the ones to break it to them.
If it’s an ‘out and about’ day I can usually be found zipping around, either meeting potential clients over coffee to explain the service to them and to find out what they’re looking for in a partner or, catching up with a client to talk over how their dates are going so far. These are the days I think I am really lucky to be a matchmaker. I get to spend my day having coffee with really lovely people talking about dating – there are definitely worse jobs in the world! I really love my job and I love working with people. I love hearing people’s stories – they share their relationship history with me and it’s incredibly fascinating as you can imagine. You never know what someone is going to say! The highlight of my career so far is celebrating the wedding of my first couple to get hitched. It’s an amazing feeling to know you played a small, but important role in someone’s life. After all, whilst I make the introduction, the rest is down to them! Another highlight is this year I have been nominated for a Great British Entrepreneur award which, for a girl who knew nothing about business before launching my own, isn’t too bad!
But it can be difficult, especially managing client’s expectations. I can’t promise love or guarantee that I am going to introduce them to the love of their life. I also don’t have power over people so can’t make Bradley Cooper suddenly fancy a client and want to sweep her off her feet! We work with incredible people but I always have to make it clear to clients that we work with real people, with real lives. We don’t have a magic wand, though we wish we did.
The downside of working from home is that you never really have an ‘off switch’ and as Mutual Attraction is my business, I do get drawn into checking emails in the evening. I either finish around 5pm, or 8pm if I’ve been in meetings. Every day really is very different. During the week I usually have dinner at home with my fiancé Christian. We both enjoy cooking so typically whoever gets in first cooks. We are partial to a takeaway though for those days when you just can’t be bothered!
When I was younger I wanted to be a postwoman, I loved the idea of being able to walk every day and finishing by lunchtime. Though of course I hadn’t factored in the snow and early starts! But before starting Mutual Attraction I was working in the voluntary sector working with children with complex needs and their families. I’m now looking at volunteering for a charity so I will still be involved in some way.
It’s always interesting seeing people’s reactions to my job when they find out – they love it! If you ever want a conversation starter simply say, ‘I’m a professional matchmaker’.
Caroline is in the business of love