A Match­maker

Caro­line Brealey, 31, runs an award-win­ning match­mak­ing agency named Mu­tual At­trac­tion.

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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

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