MEDIA: Vancouver Matchmaker Offers Services for Online-Weary Daters

VANCOUVER
OBSERVER
Linda Solomon

Vancouver Matchmaker Offers Services for Online-Weary Daters

Linda Solomon: You’re Vancouver’s only dedicated matchmaker. What does a job like that entail?

Sheree Morgan: Consider me a headhunter for your personal life.

Linda: A headhunter for my personal life? Hmmm. Please explain.

Sheree: First off we do a prescreening by going for coffee and a chat. At that point they get to know me, my company and how I do my searches. This also allows me time to get to know them. I need to believe that I can find a match for them and know they are actually ready for a committed relationship. By the end of the screening we both decide if we want to work together. I also offer image consulting and relationship coaching if needed.

Linda: We could all use a little help, I suppose.

Sheree: If we decide to go forward we have a full consultation at my office. At this point I find out what they bring to the table, what they’re looking for physically and emotionally and their life goals.

Linda: Then what?

Sheree: I do a full background check on everyone. It tells me if they have any criminal warrants or if they’ve ever been arrested or even under suspicion. It also tells me if they’re married or not.

Linda: So you bust the married people?

Sheree: Yes. After that we go out for a walkabout, at this point I get them to point out people that they are attracted to. I take the women to the Cactus Club because there are a lot of men there and I take the men to the Keg because they can’t see past the waitresses at the Cactus Club. This gives me a huge insight in picking a match for them because chemistry is such a vital part of the relationships.

Linda: People they think are hot?

Sheree: Yes. If they’re a gold member, I go about searching for a partner for them. I look to my data pool first. If I don’t have anybody in my data pool that I think they’d be a good match for, I look elsewhere. That could be anywhere, networking, in a business meeting, on the street, in a restaurant. Then I bring them in on a silver membership which is very affordable, this allows me to put them through a full consultation and a complete background check.

Linda: How much does the gold membership cost? I tell people my rates when we meet, otherwise people are comparing apples to oranges. There’s nobody else who goes as far as I do in Vancouver. I’m less than half of what it would cost in NY and LA.

Linda: What’s your success rate?

Sheree: It’s great, I find matches for the gold members faster, because I am searching for them specifically. Silver members are brought onboard as possible matches or because they want to participate without a lot of expense. I don’t search for them specifically, for that price, I couldn’t possible afford to. They do however have a great opportunity to be matched with an above average partner who is searching for someone like themselves. Another strong point is that people only come to me when they are ready for a one on one relationship, so the timing is always good. You don’t get that advantage with online dating they tend to want to date everyone online. They also don’t have the opportunity to misrepresent themselves as they do online. I also I have an event once a month and everybody gets to attend so they can be proactive. If they’re interested in somebody, they tell me and I can make arrangements for them to get together again. My next one is at Bogart’s Chophouse in a few weeks. I’ve had 30 people and I’ve had up to 50. It can get a little too big, once you’re going past 50.

Linda: Don’t people feel embarrassed about showing up at something like that?

Sheree: No. It’s a nice, comfortable atmosphere. It’s a warm, inviting bar. It’s suitable for people from 25 to 65. The feedback from the events I’ve had has been really good. There’s no pressure. It’s just about socializing and it allows me the opportunity to see how they interact socially. I learn a lot about by clients my watching them at the events.

Linda: What were you doing before?

Sheree: I came from the film industry and television.

Linda: What was your childhood like? I’m imagining you sang Matchmaker Matchmaker all the time.

Sheree: Not really. I didn’t have the typical upbringing, but I did have some amazing role models in my life. I had two favorite aunts that were very good to me and a few wonderful teachers.

One such woman was, Jessie Sinclair, she was the mom of a dear friend of mine Deb. She gave me unconditional love and referred to me as her adopted daughter. She was tiny, not even 5 feet tall with a huge smile and a huge capacity to love unconditionally and I was so grateful to have had her in my life. She brought me to tears many times when she told me how proud she was of me. Twenty-seven years ago, shortly after I met her, she got remarried and I was so happy to arrange her wedding flowers and recently I did her flowers for her funeral service. She had a huge impact on my life. When you grow up with parents with unconditional love, I don’t know that you always appreciate it. I really appreciated her, because I didn’t have it. She didn’t have to take me into her family or love me, but she did and I’m forever grateful for it. I never called her by her real name I always called her mom.

Linda: What did you do after high school?

Sheree: I went into banking but I just didn’t feel there was enough there for me. I loved working with people and I learn really fast. Then a friend suggested I should go into film and become an actor. I thought I’m not glamorous and I was thirty at the time but I took my first course on a dare. I never intended to do anything with it but by the end of the course the instructor who was also an agent signed me.

Linda: Wow, so you worked as an actor?

Sheree: I worked as an actor in film and television. The first thing I started on was “ 21 Jump Street” with Johnny Depp, “The Commish”, “X files”, “Davinci’s Inquest”, “Cold Squad” I worked as an actor but I also did stand in and background because I was raising two kids by myself. In the last few years I have worked more in Commercials.

After 9/11, I realized that I needed to go and get another job because the film industry had died off and I didn’t know really where to go. As luck would have it I went into print publication, writing, advertising, sales, and my last job was a Director of Marketing networking all the way.

Last year, within the same week, I left a company I was working for and broke up with the guy I was seeing, who I had met online. He was one of those serial online daters who never deals with his own issues and was back online the next week.

I went to L.A. and Mexico and read “Rich dad, poor dad”. I knew my career was about to change. The only thing I knew for sure was it had to be working with people.

When I got back, I was walking the seawall with a girlfriend. She wanted to talk about my relationship ending. I did not. She asked if I would go back online. I said absolutely not. We talked about the other options. I said the only thing that would work in Vancouver is a true matchmaker, someone who personally gets to know you, someone that actually searched just for you, but that there wasn’t anybody like that in Vancouver.

As soon as it came out of my mouth, I went: “But there isn’t anybody like that in Vancouver.” My girlfriend looked at me and said: “but you’d be perfect at it.”

Linda: So that was it?

Sheree: Yes. I’d already been matchmaking or acting as a wingman for my friends for years. I must say I love my job, I love working with people and helping them with possibly the most important search of their life.

Linda: What would you tell someone who is dating online?

Sheree: Well if they go to my blog at and look up my post “why online dating does not work for relationships” they would understand a lot more.
I also co-host an online radio show with John Barson at www.relationshipshow.com, we interview guests on dating and relationship issues.

I would also say that when they’re tired of dating the world and want to actually have a relationship that works, then come to me.

Vancouver Observer Article by Linda Solomon © 04/17/2009

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