Jan 23, 2023 - Dating

Charlotte singles are turning to matchmaker Laurie Berzack to take the drudgery out of online dating

Photo courtesy of Laurie Berzack

If you’ve tried online dating, you know it has its ups and downs.

  • I met my husband on Bumble. We agree that we probably never would have otherwise crossed paths in real life.
  • But the time and effort it takes to successfully online date can make the experience feel like a part-time job. That’s why some single Charlotteans are turning to the experts for help.

What’s happening: Laurie Berzack is a matchmaker, relationship coach and the owner of Carolinas Matchmaker. She’s basically Charlotte’s version of Patti Stanger.

  • Berzack has been matchmaking for 16 years. She’s credited with “hundreds” of marriages, as well as plenty of Carolinas Matchmaker babies.

Why it matters: Berzack says that January is always her busiest month. After fielding relationship questions from relatives over the holidays, many people decide to get serious about finding their person in the new year.

  • “Many people start off excited to try the dating apps, but after a few weeks they’re frustrated and ready to quit,” she says.

Between the lines: Along with matchmaking, Berzack also offers a range of online dating services, including an extensive three-month online dating coaching program.

  • Berzack and her team tweak your bio and pictures, help you evaluate potential matches, and coach you as you craft your initial messages.
  • Clients can use the on-staff photographer and stylist as they spruce up their profiles.
  • Berzack and her team also run background checks on the matches that catch your eye.
  • You can also opt for a $250 one-hour online dating consultation, which she says is a “really popular” offering and a “great way to get in front of the matchmaker.”

Berzack says that there are several dating app mistakes that she sees consistently, from both men and women. They include:

  • Using unflattering or outdated pictures: “Anyone who’s done online dating knows that you have literally two seconds to make an impression. You’ve got to present yourself in the best, most authentic light possible,” she says. The ideal picture is casual, makes use of good lighting, and was taken within the last six months.
  • Obsessing about your flaws: “There are so many regular people out there who have found wonderful, sustaining relationships. You don’t have to be a certain height or size for this to happen.”
  • Writing a negative bio: “Many people lead with what they don’t want. ‘Don’t message me if you’re not this or that or if you voted for this person.'” Instead, be positive. Talk about what you do want, and don’t forget to highlight what you bring to the table. 
  • Using the same opening message for everyone: Though it’s more time-consuming, Berzack recommends tailoring each opening message specifically to the person you’ve matched with. Let them know what caught your eye about their profile, and make sure to end with a question to encourage the conversation to continue.
  • Being too serious: “It’s okay to have fun when you’re online dating! Show your personality and add some humor into your messages,” she says.

Of note: If you’re struggling with infusing a little levity into your online dating efforts, Berzack recommends reading Speaking in Thumbs: A Psychiatrist Decodes Your Relationship Texts So You Don’t Have To by Dr. Mimi Winsberg.

If you’re looking to meet your person in 2023, Berzack has one major piece of advice.

  • Get good with yourself. If you’re feeling any kind of depression or anxiety, seek professional help. When you’re not in a good headspace, you’re going to attract in somebody who also isn’t in the right headspace, which creates an unhealthy relationship.”

What’s next: If you’re ready to meet someone but aren’t sure where to start, Carolinas Matchmaker is hosting a singles event on February 11th at The People’s Market. It’s free to join the Carolinas Matchmaker database if you’d like to be considered as a match for one of Berzack’s clients. She also runs the Singles in the Carolinas Facebook group. It’s free to access, but the group is private so you’ll need to request to join.

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