Written by Elizabeth Griffin|

Read 31 times | Like this? Tweet it to your followers!Published in Monthly Features

Many of today’s single men and women live sophisticated, fast-paced lives. They are professionals with savvy technology at their fingertips. Some travel internationally for business, run companies, and own high-rise condominiums. And yet, many report having little expertise when it comes to finding what they are really looking for: someone to share their life with, or even just a decent date.

The latest in techie dating — a mobile app

Chris Klotz, founder and CEO of SinglesAroundMe (SAM), was golfing with friends in 2010 when he got the idea to start a company to create and manage a mobile dating app.

“A guy I was golfing with said, ‘I would love to know if that girl over there is single or not.’ That’s where the idea originated,” Klotz said.

After a decade of managing a successful dot-com that was sold to a large IT company, Klotz was ready to start his own business. Aware of the success of Internet dating, he jumped on board when smartphones came out to “do a new vertical with an established industry,” and formed SAM.

With more than 1 million users, SAM is a leader in the market of mobile dating apps. According to Klotz, the “social discovery” app is changing the way singles meet all over the world.

“SAM uses the GPS capabilities in a smartphone to help people meet one another. It shows where you are and then shows people around you whose profiles match yours. The goal is to make dating real instead of virtual,” Klotz said. “On traditional Internet dating sites you have lots of profiles to look at, and you don’t know who is [telling the truth about who they are] and who isn’t. With SAM, you can say, ‘I’m just around the corner from you; let’s meet at the coffee shop. It’s geo-based, which is a lot more instant and fun and real for people, and a lot less scary.”

The “less scary” claim is due to a new tool on SAM called “approximate location,”  which displaces app users from their true location by a couple of miles.

A sophisticated approach to an old-fashioned method

If finding someone through a mobile app or an online dating service is not your style, and you don’t appreciate your friend’s choices for blind dates, you might consider hiring a professional matchmaker.

“Many people hire professionals to take care of their finances, businesses and homes, and they need to do the same in their love life. The value that my business gives is that I help people make the right decision; I don’t just provide a data base of potential dates,” said Sophia Andreeva, owner of Sophisticated Matchmaking. “Most singles don’t really know what they are looking for in a partner. My job is to help them figure it out.”

To do that, Andreeva uses “the value formula,” which is the value that a person brings to the relationship.

“A person may have a great personality or be good-looking, but if they are commitment phobic, don’t share your values or don’t support your dreams, they won’t be a great partner,” she said. “People often fall for what they think is right, but they miss seeing the person who is truly right for them. It’s fine to want someone who is physically attractive, but we also need someone who will fulfill us on a deeper level, who will love, cherish and understand us, and who we can trust.”

After a detailed initial inventory, Andreeva and a new client make a list of the positive qualities he or she is looking for in a partner. Her feedback often changes the direction of the client’s search.

Preparing a client to date often takes about a month, according to Andreeva,  who runs a program called “100 Days of Greatness” that she describes as an extensive dating camp.

“It’s almost like bringing the car into the shop to get it tuned up. I give a lot of emotional encouragement and help people find the essence of themselves — what makes them happy,” she said.

Ultimately, Andreeva doesn’t determine the success of her business by the number of marriages it brings about. 

“Often the goal is just to move a client from point A to point B, not necessarily to get married,” she said. “Sometimes the goal is met when someone is able to discover themselves again after a divorce, when they understand themselves better, are able to build healthy boundaries, recognize unhealthy and healthy relationships, and have the strength to walk away from the bad and go toward the right choice.” 

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