Kiwi matchmaker's top tips for finding love

Matchmaker Rosie Bowie (62) is in the business of love.

“I always say to my friends that I can’t believe I own my own business! I never thought about what I was going to do all the way into my 50s and 60s, but here I am.
You definitely evolve, so it’s a lesson to everyone that where you are now won’t necessarily be where you are in the future. Anyway, Matchcompany was actually started up by another woman who saw an opportunity to set up her single colleagues. It was then sold to another woman who built it up for six years and then she sold it to me.
In 2003, I was looking for something different to do and it was mentioned to me this business was on the market. At the time, I was running an event management business and I felt the two overlapped a bit. I was intrigued with the matchmaking side of things – the minute I heard about it, I just had to have it.
And here I am, 14 years later!
The main thing that sets my business apart from others is that I meet every person who wants to use my services. I will interview them to see if they’re suitable. I’ve studied psychology and sociology, and it’s about having an innate understanding of human beings. The psychology part is the understanding of the way people think and the way people act. What I really look for is the way a client expresses themselves.
Firstly, I am looking for people who are comfortable with themselves, can be on time, look me straight in the eye and dress appropriately. If they can do that for me, they can do that for the people I will be introducing them to as well. It’s important they have a good work ethic, a good moral code of living and a set of values that will stand them in good stead in a relationship.
Who comes to me? Just about everyone! Everyone who wants to find a relationship that they believe will sustain the highs and lows of life. I’ve got about 450 active members on my books from across the country, and I take on clients between the ages of 27 and 80.
It’s so important a client feels they can come to us for advice and are comfortable with us.
But I always say when there is someone I think you should meet, you will hear from us. And there won’t always be a match straight away – some people wait quite a while. It’s just that there aren’t equal numbers available. And even if I had 1000 men and 1000 women, there still wouldn’t be 1000 matches, unfortunately.
There have been some lovely love stories and I’m so proud of those people because I think it takes courage to engage in a long-term relationship today, because everyone comes with a list of requirements and expectations. Everyone wants a Rachel Hunter or a George Clooney, and they forget to look in the mirror and realise they might not be the person that they’ll end up with!
But we have made some really successful matches – some where I’ve gone to their weddings, and I’ve even had a baby named after me!
So what have I learned about dating through this job? Well, the different ways people treat each other. Things such as respect, generosity, honesty and selflessness need to be challenged a bit more.
The main thing is I’m no longer black and white, which I was when I grew up. My own upbringing was sheltered and safe. I’m more open-minded now about the ways people live their lives. I’ve heard unbelievable stories of grief, disappointment and hurt from people, but then on the other hand there are elements of joy.
The whole culture of dating has changed since I started. It’s very real – people have always dated but never talked about it. Now dating is one of the great occupations of life.
I’ve been married 36 years and without a doubt, this work has had an impact on my relationship. My husband has been very supportive of me and I’m very lucky.
The things you hear through meeting clients make you grateful and it’s definitely made me give my relationship a lot of respect.
But you’re always learning about people, that’s for sure. I’ve just been to India to try and understand about arranged marriages – to understand whether a love match is better than an arranged match. I haven’t quite come to a conclusion yet!
At the end of the day, people deserve to be loved. People should want to find something good for themselves because they believe they deserve it. That’s when they’re ready for a relationship!”
My favourite meal…
Whitebait fritters with a squeeze of lemon, a tomato and onion salad, and raspberries with a scoop of ginger ice-cream.
What do I find most romantic…
Well, I’m a wedding celebrant too and I love getting to marry people.
My favourite way to unwind…
At my beach house in Kaiteriteri, lying on the beach or doing some gardening.
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