My name is Julia McCurley and I am a Professional Matchmaker. For the past 10 years, I have had the privilege of working with hundreds of singles on their journey to finding love. If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that there is a special someone for each of us out there and sometimes love just needs a little direction. And that’s where I come in. I have been called many things such as a headhunter for love, cupid (of course), love broker, a yenta (although I am not Jewish!), and even the “Love Goddess”! I don’t think I have almighty powers but what I know from over a decade of matchmaking experience is this: Matchmaking is an art, not a science, and no computer algorithm or swiping on dating apps can predict good old fashioned chemistry. At the end of the day we are meant for human contact, not a computer screen.
To be a good Matchmaker, you must have an innate desire to help people. And that’s why I decided to become a Matchmaker in 2009 and founded my company, Something More, in Austin, Texas. I heard first hand from my friends, coworkers and family about the frustrations of looking for love online and the resulting unintended consequences such as having too many choices, a hooking up culture, ghosting, you name it. Enter a radical new concept, take your dating life offline (oh heavens no!) and hire a Matchmaker!!! Well, maybe it’s not so radical…..
In fact, Matchmakers have been around since the 1600’s when parish vicars played a crucial role in matching their parishioners with a spouse from the same social class. During the Victorian era, Matchmaking became a pastime for women who were already married, and often their sole occupation as exemplified in Emily Bronte’s novel Pride and Prejudice. Whether it was the village matron, an Ashkenazi Jewish shadchan, a Hindu astrologer, or some sort of shaman shuffling tarot cards, Matchmakers have long been seen as essential advisors when it comes to creating this most important of unions.
Let’s talk about the title of the book. If you think about it the game of tennis really sets the foundation for a successful relationship. Just like in the beginning of a good singles tennis match, when the score is even at zero and both players are perfectly matched in effort, ability, and initiative, love happens.
Like in the game, on a first date, you need to hit the ball back and forth; meaning she asks you a question you answer then you need to hit the ball back to her, and then it’s her turn to talk. At the beginning, it is all about learning as much as you can about the other person so you can determine if there is enough of a connection to continue. You also need to have a strategy. Are you going to hit it down the line, take a short ball at the net, or smash it? You know that for each play, you can anticipate how and where the return ball will be played. One wrong move and you could lose the game. Beginning a relationship is very similar. You need to think through what you learn about the person and begin to anticipate how you can advance the relationship successfully.
Once you are in a relationship, you need to be a great doubles partner. This means you have to talk to each other, find out what the other person needs to be successful. Just like on the court, if the opponent hits the ball over your head when you are at the net you need to tell your partner it’s their ball. Successful doubles partners are always great communicators, the same as people in a successful long-term relationship. And, like in tennis, great partners anticipate their partners’ needs and are there to support them.
Commenting on this similarity, the tennis legend Andre Agassi said, “It’s no accident, I think, that tennis uses the language of life. Advantage, service, fault, break, love, the basic elements of tennis are those of everyday existence, because every match is a life in miniature. Even the structure of tennis, the way the pieces fit inside one another like Russian nesting dolls, mimics the structure of our days. Points become games become sets become tournaments, and it’s all so tightly connected that any point can become the turning point. It reminds me of the way seconds become minutes become hours, and any hour can be our finest. Or darkest. It’s our choice.”
So why a book, you ask? Well, I have been both providing advice to my clients individually and through articles since I started matchmaking. Countless people have told me that I should write a book about my experiences and advice, and I realized I already had a great start. So, I took a look through what I have written over the past decade, and realized there really is some GOOD advice in all of them. Having said that, this book isn’t intended to be one of those page-turners that you read from cover to cover (feel free to do so, if you like, though!). Rather, I intended this book as a reference guide. A collection of timeless advice that you can keep on a shelf and bring down when you have questions about dating or relationships. Questions like: when is it okay to keep a secret from your partner, how to be more attractive, how to get through the holidays alone and many more dating dilemmas my clients have come to me for advice on over the years. And it’s not just dating advice. Many of the articles are about keeping, maintaining and repairing relationships. Since much of this information was originally released on my website or various blogs.
it’s been available online for some time. But, just like my offline Matchmaking Service, you now have access to the offline collection of advice!
Oh, one more thing about me. I am happily married to my husband of 14 years. We have a blended family of 6 kids ranging from age 11 to age 35 as well as 5 grandchildren. As my husband likes to say, never trust a skinny chef, and never trust an unmarried Matchmaker! (Don’t tell anyone but this is my second marriage. So, I have lots of first hand experiences about getting past old relationships my clients can relate to).
So there! Sit back, pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy reading my best advice as seen in the Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, She Knows, Emlovz, and many other dating and relationship sites. I hope you find it as helpful and entertaining to read as I did putting it together.