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10 Questions with Matchmaker Kimberly Arico

It’s Valentine’s Day and what better way to celebrate than to sit down and chat with matchmaker Kimberly Arico of Palm & Associates in Newport Beach. Kimberly draws on a wealth of experience in matching Orange County’s finest singles to give us the dirt on her typical male client, dating dos and don’ts and the challenges of being a modern day matchmaker. Go ahead and grab a box of chocolates and enjoy!

LL: What motivated you to get into matchmaking?

KA: I wanted to help single people like my mom and her friends that weren’t going to the bars and the nightclubs. They were giving up on dating just because they don’t know where to go to meet good people. We know there are great guys and girls out there but how are they supposed to meet? I wanted to help connect people that may have never found each other otherwise, so I created an agency where I could do that in a private setting for quality people.

LL: Why do people come to a matchmaker?

KA: The majority of people come to me because they aren’t in the bar and nightclub scene and they don’t do online dating. They’re busy professionals and they’re used to delegating things out in their life. They have an accountant for their taxes, a housekeeper, use a real estate agent; matchmakers do the same thing. It saves them time. When they come to us they don’t have to go through all the searching and screening. We do all of that for them so when they go out on the date they know all the basics are covered and then it’s all about chemistry.

LL: What are the most important qualities you look for when making a match?

KA: First off, hitting all their criteria in what they are looking for in a partner: age range, race, smoking preferences, religion, whether they have or want children and same with marriage. Hitting these first is a must. I don’t believe in setting two people up otherwise and setting them up for disappointment. We also match on lifestyle, activity level and other compatibility factors.

LL: Describe your typical male client. What are they looking for in a woman?

KA: They are business owners, CEOs, doctors, lawyers, professionals, successful people that travel and work a lot; men that have it all and now want a woman to share it with. They are looking for someone who is attractive in their eyes. Men are visual so this is number one! Inside is ultimately more important than the outside, but since the outside is quick and easy to sum up, they start there. You’d be surprised to know they are often concerned with how a women dresses. Easy-going, non-controlling, they just want to have fun and have a good time.

LL: What are your thoughts on online dating?

KA: I think online dating can work, but I don’t think it’s what it used to be; it was better before. There are a lot of scams right now and trickery: old pictures, not being honest about age and bios are often not accurate. That being said, I do believe that it can work and that there are people that do online dating that are truly looking for relationships. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time and can be discouraging for a lot people. There’s this thing we call the online merry-go-round; when people date online they often don’t even give the other person a fair chance because they know they can go back home to 20 messages from other people in their inbox. Did you know we get jail mail? There are guys looking for someone to connect with when they get out of jail and they send us letters. We cannot help them but where do you think they go when they get out? They go online! So you have to be careful if you’re a woman online.

LL: What do you think is the ultimate first date outfit?

KA: Always wear a dress; I recommend black. It’s sexy and a good color for everyone. Most importantly, wear something that flatters YOU. Don’t expose too much. Men are not looking for over-the-top sexy; they want a classy sexy. Heels of course and no nylons. Keep the jewelry to a minimum. Natural make up. Don’t overdo it and don’t look like it took you three hours to get ready. Just look nice.

LL: List of “no-nos” on a first date?

KA: No talking about politics, religion, children, past relationships, exes, husbands etc. These are the basics. Do twice as much listening as you do talking. Relax and get to know the person.

LL: What is one of the biggest challenges in matchmaking?

KA: Getting people to really understand what they are looking for and to stop being superficial. That would be the number one thing. They come in with a huge long list like he has to be a certain height or something silly. At the end of the day you really want someone with good morals and someone that makes you feel good when you’re around them. To get clients to be more open in what they are looking for is a struggle. They can end a date because of the way someone is dressed which is harmless.

LL: Tell us about one of your success stories.

KA: There was a beautiful girl in her 30s that came to me and I wondered why she would be coming here. She had been dating for a while and needed help with relationships. She started reading lots of books and I coached her along the way. After a solid eight months she really changed her perspective in what she was looking for in a man and realized what she really wanted out of a relationship. Now she’s with an amazing guy that she would have walked right past if she had met him on the streets a year ago. She got him to do some reading too! They’ve been together for a while now and are very happy.

LL: What advice do you have for all the single ladies out there looking for love?

KA: Realize that men are visual! Read up on relationships. Do a little research on men, women and how they function in relationships. Lastly, redo those lists and make them realistic!

To stay in touch with Kimberly, follow Palm & Associates on Facebook and Twitter.

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