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A Perfect Match

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Joseph Velasco met his husband through ‘Houston’s Millionaire Matchmaker’—then went to work for the company.

By Marene Gustin

Joseph Velasco isn’t just a senior matchmaker at Houston’s Rose Matchmaking; he’s also a satisfied client.

“Part of what we do is scout potential partners for clients,” Velasco says. “I was out and about, and this guy gave me his card. He said he had a client he thought I would be perfect for. I thought, ‘Why not?’ I wasn’t meeting ‘the one’ on my own.” So Velasco completed an extensive interview at the Rose Matchmaking office, then went on the date, and that was it. He married the man.

And then the Rose Matchmaking scout who helped Velasco decided he had what it takes to become a matchmaker. Three years later, Velasco has both a husband and a new career. The native Houstonian has a degree in human-resources management, but finds matchmaking fulfilling.

“It’s the satisfaction you get from making a match,” he says. “It’s just a very rewarding job. Sometimes we get invited to clients’ weddings.”

Jamie Rose, known as “Houston’s Millionaire Matchmaker,” founded Rose Matchmaking eight years ago. Velasco says the service emphasizes quality over quantity.

“We match people based on their criteria,” he says. “Our clients are looking for long-term relationships. They are high-end, educated and career-driven, but don’t have time to waste on Internet dating sites or singles bars. We always tell them, ‘We’re not here to get you a date. You can do that on your own. We’re here to find you a partner.’”

Although there is no income requirement, Rose Matchmaking doesn’t take everyone who applies. The company keeps a database of 200 to 500 clients, with equal numbers of men and women. “Mr. Right,” for gay men, is actually a separate subsection of Rose Matchmaking, but interestingly enough, they offer no dating service for lesbians. “I don’t know why,” Velasco says, “but there just isn’t a market for that service here.”

Clients undergo an extensive review, including a background check, and are quizzed about their dating history and relationship goals. The service provides events for clients as well as life coaching and dating feedback.

“We match people based on what they think is important, and also on things they don’t like,” he says. “As a matchmaker, you have to know what is a deal-breaker for someone.”

For instance, Velasco wouldn’t match people of different faiths if they said their religion is very important to them. Likewise, a vegan and a meat lover may not be worth even a first date, unless both say they don’t care what their partner eats.

Velasco says it takes a lot of time to become a good matchmaker. Being current on relationship studies and articles is important, as is being understanding and a good listener.

“And we don’t have 9-to-5 hours,” Velasco adds. “I might be at an event at night, or just out and about looking for a particular person for a client. And when a client gets home from a date at 8:30 at night and wants to talk to me, I take that call.”

One such call came from a man Velasco sent on a date who was disappointed that the woman spent their whole dinner on her phone. “So I called her, and she explained she was talking to her babysitter,” Velasco says. Sometimes it takes an intermediary to connect the dots.

Rose Matchmaking claims an 84 percent success rate within three months. Velasco says that means a relationship of at least six months, an engagement, or a wedding. Not bad odds for people who are seriously looking for a mate and are too busy to find one on their own.

 

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Marene Gustin

Marene Gustin has written about Texas culture, food, fashion, the arts, and Lone Star politics and crime for television, magazines, the web and newspapers nationwide, and worked in Houston politics for six years. Her freelance work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle, Austin-American Statesman, Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Texas Monthly, Dance International, Dance Magazine, the Advocate, Prime Living, InTown magazine, OutSmart magazine and web sites CultureMap Houston and Austin, Eater Houston and Gayot.com, among others.
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