Well from the amount of warm emails I received and the buzz at the venue last Thursday night the Matchmaker For Hire/Church and State Singles Event was a total hit. I had a great time loved the food, loved the wine. I had a lot of fun reading  your responses to the question “What kind of wine would you be and why”  prior to the event when I was doing the matching, there were some truly imaginative narratives. Kim Pullen featured some very good tasting wine paired with some amazing appys created by Church and States Candace Hartley (the deep fried shrimp was my favourite , followed closely by the Lamb slider(s), I had a couple I couldn’t help myself.)




A shot of Jill and I just before heading to Church and State winery. I was a little nervous about the speech I was going to give that night, I’m not a natural public speaker, but I got through it none the less.





Kim Pullen helped us understand the wine parings and  little history of the origins of Syrah/Shiraz debate.



The best part of the night was watching as people went through their lists and searched out their matches.




Then watching as the magic happen as people got together.



Thanks to April Ponsford and Birgit Piskor for their gallery showing.







We even had a raptor

Here’s some more random shots of people mingling :











We are sad to announce the passing of Helénè Falardeau, a beloved dear friend and colleague of Jill and myself for some years. She is now at peace from her 5+ year courageous battle with cancer. Helene’s life was a great source of pride and inspiration thru her art, her attention to detail and her creative talents.  We will remember the fun we had at the office matching and writing bios as a team. Although she was the size of a minute, she had the heart and strength of a lion.  She always ceased to amaze us and was a source of inspiration and knowing when it came to the spiritual realm. Never afraid of what was waiting for her at the end she was happy and content at returning to where she belonged (home).  We will miss her deeply.

Due to popular demand, we have finalized details around a return of our Singles Event in Victoria.  I have once again partnered with Kim Pullen, Proprietor of Church & State Wines.  This is a unique opportunity to meet, mix and mingle with other singles, make friends, and have fun with the possibility of meeting that special someone.

Taste the award winning wines of Church & State,  paired with food prepared by the head chef at Church & State, meet the relationship pros, participate in a fine art silent auction, have a chance to win some fabulous door prizes, and much much more……  all taking place among an elegant cocktail party atmosphere.

Here is the promo ad that will run next weekend to launch the tickets which are very limited to singles 45+ (our last event sold out in  7 days)……watch for more details and the invite over the next week, or better yet call now to reserve your ticket.

Here’s an article featured in the Victoria Times Colonist Healthly Living Section, Sunday September 18th, 2011:


Are you paralyzed at the thought of a first date? Do all sorts of “I’m not ready to date there’s no one out there for me anyway” excuses flood your consciousness? Would you rather sit safely behind your online persona editing witty responses to profile enquiries of potential suitors as opposed to dating them? And let’s not forget that first date fears compound the longer it’s been since you’ve dated. If this sounds like you, you may well still be single but you are certainly not alone.


Everyone feels slightly anxious at the prospect of a first date, these feelings are completely normal, what separates the stress free first time daters from the rest of us is how they deal with anxiety. In this article we will take a look at what produces your anxiety and how you can deal with it. There are basically three main facets to dating anxiety: placing way too much emphasis on the first date, fear of the unknown, and fear of rejection.


It’s easy to say that you need to place less emphasis on the first date, but in practice it’s a little harder to do. And, if you’re looking for marriage material on your first date you increase the pressure dramatically and you are most defiantly setting yourself up for disappointment. No one will fulfill everything on your marital wish list. When you’re stuck in a “marriage material” mindset every miss match on your check list will count as points against your date leading to a negative vibe that taints the rest of the encounter. Keep the first date light, don’t pin all of your hopes and dreams on a single first time encounter, relax and let the experience unfold as it will.


Fear of the unknown is also a big anxiety generator. The best way to conquer this fear is to get out there and date, you’ll find the more you date the less scary it becomes. If this fear is what’s holding you back in the first place you need to do a little more homework.


Visualization, a technique used successfully in the fields of medicine and professional sports is one way over come the fear of the unknown. Find a quiet place and a few 20-minute blocks of time to dedicate to this exercise over the course of a couple of days. Imagine going on a first date; visualize all aspects of this date and all the things that could go wrong. At each stage of the date and each calamity that you image befalling you, judge for yourself if these potential disasters -worrying about a lull in the conversation, am I attractive enough, who will pay the bill etc. – are really worth the paralyzing fear you experience.


Another benefit of this technique is that you will now be mentally prepared to deal with each of these imagined events in a positive way before they happen. For example, an office acquaintance sets you up on a blind date. When you get to the restaurant and see him for the first time you immediately know there is no chemistry. Working out a strategy before hand, you could decide to tell him right off the bat that you don’t feel the spark, politely excuse yourself, get in your car and drive home. Conversely you could choose to enjoy a meal together and see where it leads. The worst that could happen is that you make a new friend who may have a single friend who is your Mr. Right.


By far the granddaddy of all first date anxieties is the fear of rejection. The fear of rejection will keep you on the couch, behind the computer or making up excuses longer than any one thing in the dating anxiety arsenal. The harsh truth is that even if you’re Jennifer Aniston or Mark Anthony, you will face rejection in your quest for a lasting relationship. The more you date, the more rejection you are liable face. For every successful relationship there are many many unsuccessful first dates but just like first dates the more rejection you experience the easier it is to take. The good news is that the more you date the closer you are to meeting the person you will spend the rest of your life with which is your ultimate goal.


In their 2004 study for the State University of New York: Traits and the State of Curiosity in the Genesis of Intimacy, Todd B. Kashdan and John E. Roberts concluded that equal feelings of anxiety and curiosity where garnered when individuals faced a social situation foreign to the participants’ experiences (much like a first date). In the study the participants that displayed curiosity when dealing with the unknown were perceived as being more likeable and moved to intimacy in their burgeoning relationships faster than their anxiety based counterparts.


The lesson here is that curiosity was the key to likeability, intimacy and positive outcome to uncertain social interactions. Curious people engaged in conversation more deeply, listened to what the other person was saying more intensely rapidly establishing positive lines of communication.


Use curiosity to over come your anxiety on a first date, remain optimistic, don’t let your negative thoughts into the dating process and try to enjoy the moment for what it is: a chance to meet someone new and what it isn’t: a life and death situation that can only end in a wedding or complete personal devastation. Focus on the other person, make eye contact, and really listen to their words and what they have to say. All of these techniques will increase your likeability and quickly establish a more intimate tone to the relationship you are trying to develop.


Being curious opens you up to receive the message your date is trying to convey, they will, at the very least teach you something very valuable about yourself, what ever the message may be. Curiosity tips the scale of anxiety. Yes, you will be anxious on your first date. Let curiosity guide you, practice visualization, and make the encounter a time of exploration, playfulness and fun as opposed to filling a checklist, dating can be an enjoyable experience unto itself. With any luck, your “first date” will put you on a path to finding the relationship you have always dreamed of. Think it’s time to get up off the couch?

Jane Carstens is Canada’s favorite matchmaker; she is the founder of Matchmaker For Hire a boutique matchmaking firm located in Western Canada. You can contact her to comment on this article at [email protected]

Here’s an article that ran in the Vancouver Sun a few years ago that still rings true. The gentleman in the article is still happily matched with the girl I introduced him to.

“Dad It’s Time You Started Dating”

As with all life changing moments, John’s did not reveal itself as such at the time.  He was sitting in a Tsawwassen ferry line-up waiting to travel to Victoria completing work on his laptop. His mood matched the February weather: dark, wet and cold. John had just completed a long and drawn out divorce eventually winning custody of his two children, a teenage daughter and an eight-year-old son. As a survival technique John threw himself into his work and the duties of a single father. He felt he was coping well.

It was then that the rear doors of his car opened and his life altering moment began. The quick double slam of those rear doors brought him back to the here and now. His daughter and son, wet and cold, had returned from the terminal, a rain soaked woolen mitten handed him a hot cup of coffee. The unusual silence that followed was broken by the voice of his daughter, dark haired, blue-eyed Katie 17,  “Dad we’ve been talking, we know you’re unhappy, we think you should move on, we think it’s time you started dating”.

“It was an incredibly touching moment, ” says John,  “Seeing my situation through my kids eyes helped me realize that I deserved happiness in my life, just coping wasn’t enough. Their insight coupled with their acceptance of my situation radically changed the path I was on.”

“I’d half remembered seeing Jane’s ad for her matchmaking service in the Vancouver Magazine, found a copy and called her up the next day”. John continues: “We booked an appointment, Jane came out to the house and conducted a very through interview narrowing down what I was looking for in a partner. It was the science of the whole thing that appealed to me, the fact that I could sketch out the qualities of the person I was searching for. I could guide the process along as apposed to settling for whatever fate happened to bring my way.  Time was another consideration. I’m extremely busy, up early, wearing an apron cooking breakfast and getting my kids ready for school and then dropping them off. I am also a business owner, I generally work around the clock, and in my mind from a time perspective, using a matchmaker made complete sense.”

“Normally it’s a little more complicated when your matching someone with children” says Jane Carstens a Vancouver Matchmaker, ” Not only was I matching John for a potential partner, but more importantly when the time was right, how would he feel about introducing her to his children. In John’s case I had two women in mind that I thought would be perfect for him, both were mothers one with fairly young children.”

“I met with Jane’s first pick and although she was very nice, there were no fireworks,” says John, “The second match was a hit. The sparks were there from the first time we met, she has two kids, is a fantastic woman, and a great mom. We’ve been together for a little over a year now, and the six of us of spent the Christmas holidays skiing in the interior of B.C.

Thanks to my kid’s insight Jane’s expertise and the new woman in my life, Christmas was fantastic and I know that 2007 will make me an even happier dad.”




Here’s an article that I wrote and was published in the Vancouver Sun and the Victoria Times Colonist:

 You’re single, profiled on multiple Internet dating sites and still you’re facing the prospect of another month without a successful date or relationship. You can always hire a professional matchmaker like me to find you your soul-mate, but with a little work and a little knowledge there’s no reason you can’t be your own matchmaker. As a professional matchmaker I’ve learned a lot about finding, interviewing and matching the right people for long and satisfying relationships. The biggest secret to finding the right mate is the ability to be proactive.

There are basically three steps in finding a successful relationship proactively, you:

* Create a soul-mate wish list

* Get the message out to the world.

* Pick from the respondents and start dating

The first and most important step in the process is to decide what you want in a potential mate. This may seem obvious but most people have only a vague idea, if at all, of what it is they want in a mate.  Take some time and write it down, then list which qualities are negotiable and which are not.  One way to kick-start this process is to begin by making a list of all of your past relationships. Write down the role you played in each relationship, what your responsibilities were, how the relationship ended, and lessons learned. With this information, a picture will emerge of who you are and what you’re looking for in a potential mate; this list of qualities will be your Soul Mate Wish List.

When building your Soul Mate Wish List, make sure that the criteria you choose for your potential mate are reasonable:

* Unreasonable expectations include: non negotiable requirements of physical
appearance; you refuse to date someone unless they have a certain amount of
money; the insistence that your potential mate share all of your interests or
that they live a short distance away.

* Reasonable expectations include: some sort of spark between the two of you,
you want someone who finds you amusing and exciting, you want someone that
shares both your basic view of the world and a willingness to be in a long term

Now that you have your Soul Mate Wish List, you need to get it out in the world. You do this by utilizing your existing network of family friends and co-workers.  Write a short note telling your personal network (friends, family, workmates,etc.) what you intend to do, i.e. “I’m single and I’m actively searching out a new relationship” and include your Soul Mate Wish List, then email everyone in your address book, post your soul-mate wish list on Facebook, or Twitter.

Ask your network to read your Soul Mate Wish List carefully and ask them to get back to you if they know anyone that fits your wish-list and then ask them to forward your email to their network of family and friends and so on.

Another way of getting your message out to the world is to place and ad in the local paper. Costs can range anywhere from fifty dollars for an ad in the personal section, to a thousand dollars or more for a stand alone ad in the front section of a newspaper. A thousand dollar ad shows that you mean business, and who knows the papers or radio and TV may pick up the story.  The secret to writing a compelling ad copy is honesty. State your intention in the first line of the ad, go on to describe yourself, describe what you are looking for in a mate, and end it with a call for action statement. Check out the Private Partner Search <http://matchmakerforhire.com/services/private-search-services/>  section of  my website for examples.

You’ve written a Soul Mate Wish List, told the world of your intentions; the replies start to come in, now it’s time to pick who you’ll go on a date with.

  • One of the big lessons I’ve have learned over the years is to never make a decision on a  picture of a potential match.
    I have numerous examples in my work of couples that would never have met the people they are married to today if they had followed their first instincts and not met because they saw each other’s pictures. The truth is 99 percent of us take a less than flattering picture.
  • Don’t discount a potential partner because of their phone manner; I always insist that the people I match meet each other, even if their initial contact on the telephone did not go well.
  • Don’t start an online email or chat type relationship. It can be a huge waste of time. You tend to project your needs much more in an online relationship and when you finally meet your dream forever partner you find that without the mystery of the online component there is absolutely no spark, no chemistry and a huge emotional investment just went down the drain.
  • Do meet the with your potential soul mates after a quick phone call, after all the only way you can gage the chemistry factor is face to face.


Now for the fun part, get out there and start dating. There is no secret in finding the right partner (I do it every day); persistence, and the ability to be proactive are all you’ll need to narrow the search, fulfill your Soul Mate Wish List and meet that someone special.

Here’s an article titled “Finding Love in a  Widow’s Jungle” that originally appeared in the Vancouver Sun and Victoria Times Colonist back in 2004. I just recently touched base with Sheila and she and Merv’s relationship is still going strong, She’s 82 now it feels great to know that I was part of making the past 11 years of her life happy and fulfilling.

In Arizona, seated in her comfortable living room at her winter residence, Sheila is on the phone to a radio station fielding questions about her two extremely happy marriages. The stylish and beautiful 71 year old is currently experiencing her second long term relationship set up with the help of a matchmaking service.” I was on a honeymoon for 11 years” she tells her hometown radio station’s host on his morning show on Valentine’s Day “he was the best thing that ever happened to me”.

Sadly the honeymoon ended with her second husband’s death due to cancer.

Rather than wasting precious time, Sheila went back to what had worked so wonderfully in the past -she hired a matchmaking service.  When first widowed, Sheila went the usual route entertaining perspective suitors from her church group and tennis club.  “When I returned to the dating scene I felt like I was in some sort of widow’s jungle. It wasn’t that I had a shortage of dates; it’s just that I realized that I couldn’t pick the right man; I kept falling for the wrong ones. I had always been a professional woman, so I thought I would hire a professional and let them do the job for me”.

In 2001 Jane Carstens had just moved to Vancouver to open the West Coast branch of a professional matchmaking service. From her office in downtown Vancouver Jane was there to answer Sheila’s phone call; they arranged a meeting in Sheila’s home. “I handle the entire west coast, and I’m on the road a lot through out the lower mainland, the interior, and I usually spend a least one day every week interviewing clients in Victoria and Vancouver Island.

“What makes me so unique is that I’ve meet all of my members in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. When I go to someone’s home I really get a sense of who they are.” says Carstens,  “They feel more relaxed and open in familiar surroundings. Together we go over a detailed questionnaire, I get a clear picture of my client, their lifestyle, and what they are looking for in a partner. I used all this information when I matched Sheila.”

Sheila was impressed with Jane’s no nonsense business like approach agreed to work with her. Jane went back to her Vancouver office, and, armed with the Sheila’s detailed bio she searched her client base and came up with three prospective matches.  Sheila met the first two gentlemen and although they had much in common, there wasn’t the magic Sheila was searching for. “I can qualify a lot, and match similar lifestyles and interests,” says Jane “but chemistry is something that either happens or it doesn’t”.

Chemistry hit on the third date. Sheila: “ The most important part of Merv and my first meeting is that we found out we could communicate on exactly the same level. We took it slow, but after the second or third week we knew we were on to something.”

That first date was back in August of 2002. Merv and Sheila exchanged vows at a wedding blessing at their church in front of a happy gathering of friends and family March 16 2004.

“I am very keen on this approach,” says Sheila in response to Phil’s final question of his radio program, “I highly recommend using the services of a matchmaker, it has worked beautifully for me in the past, has made me very, very happy and I have advised many single friends to go that route.”

Here is an edited excerpt from an article  which was published in the Victoria Times Colonist in 2009:

You say you want to live longer? Easy, forget the gym the vitamins and the vegan diet, just get married. Studies have shown that people in long term relationships and especially those in traditional marriages live on average 10 years longer than their never married, divorced or widowed counterparts. Why remains somewhat of a mystery, however researchers do agree that due to the current trend of double income families, married people tend to be wealthier, receive better health care, refrain from smoking or drinking to excess, save more money and earn more social security when they retire.

All good advice, just get married and live longer, but if you’re single and currently an active participant in the dating game, it seems that all the stress and anxiety related to your quest is taking years off your life. Even a little stress, experts agree, is bad for your health. Anyone who has been single for a while can tell you there is a lot of stress involved in finding the right mate. There’s the stress of finding a date, how? Where to look?  Should you let your Aunt Zelda on your Mom’s side set you up? How about going online? That’s a  whole other set of stress factors. When you finally find a date and will there be a date number two? And if so will it translate into any kind of relationship?

There is a way of removing all this bad stress from the process of dating and veteran Matchmaker Jane Carstens has the answer. “I was searching for a way to enhance the traditional matchmaking business, kind of revamp the model, make it more current when I decided to launch my own business Matchmaker for Hire. In a nutshell, the concept is totally client focused, my clients tell me if they would like to date one of the people I recomend, my clients are also very involved in the feedback process. If they are new to dating (newly divorced, or widowed), we mentor them along providing support every step of the way”.

My overall objective in matching my clients is getting them into long term relationships quickly with the least amount of stress” says Jane “and because 60% of our first dates lead to second dates, I think that the Matchmaker For Hire concept is a great vehicle to do just that”.  So the short answer to living longer: hire a matchmaker to take the stress out of the dating process,
find your soul mate and go get married.

Psychologists say that to some extent the weather at this time of year can motivate us to couple up. Singles are looking for someone to share their favorite activities during these upcoming hot summer days and warm summer nights. Tanya, a proactive 35-year old Island single is a case in point; She’s just hired a matchmaking service to help her find her a mate. “ I love playing beech volleyball, barbeques and watching outdoor concerts, I’d love to have someone to share the experience with.” This is where Jane Carstens of Matchmaker For Hire a boutique matchmaking service serving Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland comes in. Winter is a difficult time for singles but with the advent of the warmer weather singles are pushed outside and pushed to act. Jane says the change in seasons is a busy time for her: “Sometimes when you see couples walking hand in hand strolling through the markets on a beautiful sunny day you realize well, I’m single and I’d really like to do something about finding the right partner”. For Jane matchmaking is not just her job it’s her passion. Jane interviews every one of her clients in their own homes, determining their specific criteria in a partner and then matches them accordingly. “Visiting someone in their own home gives me a good indicator as to who that person is, their surroundings give me a lot of insight into their lifestyle which then helps in the matching process”. The all-important first date seems a lot easier in the summer time as well. “I always encourage my clients to pick some sort of activity for their first date, that way if your conversation starts to stall, you can always concentrate on your short game” says Jane. If like Tanya the warmer weather has got you thinking of a new romance, check out Jane’s website at www.matchmakerforhire.com or give her a call at 778-552-3350