Looking for a casual date? Don’t go to Marriage Minded Introductions. But if you’re serious about getting hitched, you can join the matchmaking service for $1,200 a year for personalized introductions. Owner and director Terry Brussel Gibbons is a fourth-generation matchmaker whose great-grandmother started the business in Russia. She spoke to Jolie Gorchov about the old-fashioned business of matchmaking.
I apprenticed with my father when I was about 15 years old. I listened to him make the matches, then as I got more and more adept, he decided I could handle it myself. In 1975 he put the club mostly in my hands; I was 22.
We have 500 people in our database who are active members, but we don’t rely on the database. I go through my files, we go to trade shows, conventions. I also advertise in various publications like the L.A. Times and L.A. magazine. I’ve found matches at my temple.
I use my intuition. Once we had a booth in the Whole Life Expo, and I grabbed this woman out of the crowd because I got the feeling she might be a good person for (one of my clients). I took her aside and had coffee with her in this case it was herbal tea. We talked for awhile and I decided she was a good match for him. It turned out to be a great match.
I see who has what requirements and what specifics you have that meet them. I tell you all about him in a personal interview, and I tell him all about you. I would give him your name and number, and you would talk to him. It’s very personal.
With a matchmaker, we have an expertise in finding you the right person. An Internet or personals service will follow the same partnering patterns you have had in the past. With our service, you don’t have to go out with someone who’s inappropriate for you. But I’ll help people if they choose to meet people online. I help them formulate a set of questions.
The majority will join for one year. Five percent of our clients will marry the first person I introduce them to. Twenty percent will marry within the first year.
The biggest challenge has been senior citizens. There are so many more seniors these days so many healthy, alive, active seniors. But it’s hard to match older people. My yoga teacher is 70-plus years old, and she really wanted a match, and she said to me, “I believe you can do anything.” So I continued advertising in the same places, but I began accepting men who were in an older age range. It worked: They’re getting married in October.