Credit: Lisa Ronis

Dating in any metropolitan city can be tough, especially with one as big as Manhattan.  No matter what your background is, you get to a place in life where you want to find that ideal mate to settle down with and build a life together.  Question is, when the dating scene here can be incredibly tough, how do you go about finding that particular person?

This is where matchmaker Lisa Ronis comes in, who has had years of wonderful experience pairing up people based on her own incredibly expertise.  She started Lisa Ronis Matchmaking over 15 years ago, and has seen it all, and gives some great advice for men and women on what to do and not to do on a first date and beyond.  Check it out.

What got you into matchmaking in the first place?

I was a fashion exec for a bunch of years, but I started to feel like I wanted to do something to help people, something that really mattered and would make a difference.  I knew how hard it was to meet people in NYC, but I was a lucky woman because I was always getting set up, always meeting people through my varied interests and through my charity work.  But I would meet people who hadn’t been on a date in months or maybe years!!   And I would set them up as a hobby, and some people got married!!  That is when I decided to leave the fashion world and start Lisa Ronis Matchmaking.  That was over 16 years ago and I haven’t looked back!!

Are you an avid believer that there is someone for everyone?

I do believe that there is someone for everyone, or as my mother always used to say, a lid for every pot!!  But one has to be open, out there and willing to try.  He/she will not show up at your doorstep, you have to be in the game!

How do you think the dating landscape has changed in the past ten years with dating apps and the internet becoming so prevalent?

The dating landscape has changed drastically…and for the worst.  Back then when someone offered to arrange a set-up, you asked a few questions, said thank you and you met up.  Now people insist on a multitude of photos exchanged, they google each other and if there is one thing that is not perfect…a previous job, a bad photo…if something shows up even if it is insignificant, the deal is off.  And when a man is going to arrange a date he send a text vs calling the woman.  I miss the old days when men were gentlemen and a woman was treated like a lady!!

What do you think is the biggest mistake men and women make on their first date?

Biggest two mistakes men make on the first date is they tend to talk about themselves and sometimes they forget to ask the woman anything about her life, and they can decide quickly that it is not a match, where I feel woman will usually give a man a second date if they are on the fence.

Women tend to “interview” a guy, firing away questions at him.  I appreciate the idea of not wasting time and their focus on finding the “one”, but a back and forth conversation and a relaxed evening getting to know someone is the most natural way and most productive way to date.

What are the best spots for first dates in Manhattan?

Whether it’s a drink date or a dinner date, a quiet, relaxed bar or restaurant is the best option.  Trendy, noisy places are not a great idea.  The idea is to get to know each other.  If you are a guy and want to meet near the woman’s home, it’s ok to ask her to suggest a few places and then you can look them up and decide.  And a woman always appreciates a man with a plan!!

What has been your biggest success story?

My one biggest success story…wow, I have so many!!  I do love when two people are not jumping up and down with excitement to meet, but they figure it’s worth a drink….and they wind up falling in love and getting married!  I do try to encourage my clients to go outside their comfort zone a bit, and often times the results are great!

Who do you think are a perfect match in Hollywood right now?

I have a few perfectly matched, favorite couples: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw and Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon – They all seem to respect, honor and inspire one another.  And they seem madly in love!  I believe in romance and marriage at any age.

What do you think the dating world has to offer going into 2017?

I feel like the dating world going in to 2017 will swing back to some old fashioned ways to meet people vs the internet.  So many people, including those in their 20’s and early 30’s tell me that they are so fed up with online dating.  They feel as though it’s like a 2nd job.  It takes so much time and energy and most of the time people misrepresent themselves and they are wasting precious time.  If you meet someone organically, through a friend or through a dating service, your chances of compatibility are much higher vs meeting on an app where you swipe to the right to meet Mr. or Ms. wrong!

For more information on Lisa Ronis Matchmaking, check out her official site.  Happy dating everyone!