Your Friendly Neighborhood Matchmaker

Your Friendly Neighborhood Matchmaker

Your Friendly Neighborhood Matchmaker

A traditional method of finding your future spouse demonstrates success in spite of prolific dating sites.

“Men are hunters and women are fisherman”, says Lana Schilling, a Tampa based match maker who has emerged with time honored methods of connecting future couples. “The man wants to go and find his future wife, he is a hunter. The woman is more like a fisherman, she baits a hook and waits to catch him.” Lana shares with a laugh as she explains the differences in her male and female clients.

Lana Schilling - Professional Matchmaker
Lana Schilling
Professional Matchmaker

Lana began matchmaking in her teen years, acting on a natural impulse to connect compatible singles with their ideal counterpart. Originally from Russia, she moved to the United States in 1978, living in New Jersey until 2006 then relocated to Florida. She pursued a successful career as a computer programmer and then owned an IT consulting company that served fortune 500 companies. The happily married mother of two and grandmother had often found herself in the role of making introductions among the people she knew.

She combined her personal and business experience into helping other professional singles find their happiness with the most suitable mates. Now Lana works as a full time matchmaker from her office on Gandy Boulevard in Tampa, Florida.Florida Russian Lifestyle Magazine sat down with Lana to share her views and advice with our readers.

The common attitude toward finding the right person seems to be surrounded with frustration and a sense of futility. Why is that the case when there are so many methods for meeting singles, especially via online dating sites?

LS: First of all, online sites focus on a photo which can never tell you the important attributes of someone’s personality. Photographs can also diminish key features a person has, such as the way their eyes sparkle or how charming they are to talk with. Men are extremely visual and rely on what they see to make their initial choices. However women tend to move slower, evaluating several characteristics about the man before deciding on next steps.


FRLM: Do your clients provide you with photographs to show to potential matches?

LS: I keep photos of each client, but they are rarely shown. A typical first date is completely blind. I arrange the mutually agreed on location, describe them to each other, and then wait to hear how it went the next day.


FRLM: You must get a lot of objection to that method, how do you respond to that?

LS: I remind them that they have to trust me, and that I already know what they are looking for. They are pleasantly surprised when they meet someone they can instanatly connect with based on their criteria.


FRLM: Our readers will want to know the success rate of such a system, compared to the common online process. How many of these first time blind dates move on to become more serious?

LS: Approximately 60% will continue dating after the first date.


FRLM: That’s impressive! Do you have to consult with either side after the date?

LS: Sometimes I do. It’s harder with men than with women; a man will decide everything at once. A woman may give a man a second or even third chance if she isn’t convinced he is right for her.


FRLM: Expectations must play a large role in arranging the right match. How do you go about selecting which man and woman to introduce?

LS: I spend a lot of time with each client, getting to know them and making sure they are ready for marriage. For example, if a client wants to “date” then they are not ready to get married and I decline to work with them. But when someone is truly ready for marriage, they don’t need long periods of time or lots of dates to become more serious, they are looking to take the next step in life.


FRLM: What are the top qualities men ask for, when describing their ideal mate?

LS: Each person is different but in general the most commonly requested features are that the woman be: Attractive, not overweight, of suitable height and have a pleasant disposition.


FRLM: And the Women’s preferences?

LS: Ladies want a man with a good heart, not lazy, able to support the family and not a heavy drinker.


FRLM: That’s an interesting contrast, are there other common traits that clients express in their wish list?

LS: Well, I think men would be surprised by the ladies attitude that “Being a nice man is not a profession”. And likewise the ladies don’t realize that a man will pay close attention to how she talks to him in public, or how she talks to his friends.


FRLM: What advice would you give for those looking to find their mate?

LS: Know what you want before you start. If you want marriage, or perhaps you just want to date or live with someone, be ready to express that early on. Otherwise you could have conflicted goals with someone who is expecting more or less with you.


FRLM: Obviously the more positive attributes are what people ask for, but how do you handle clients who have features, personalities or appearances that are less than ideal?

LS: Everything is relative to the other person. What one person finds attractive may repulse another, and the same is true of personalities. As an example, if someone smokes and I match them with another smoker, it won’t be an issue. But if only one smokes, it could be a deal breaker. Again, that’s where making the right match is so important.


FRLM: Can you describe the process a new client experiences when they come to you for help in finding their match?

LS: First there is a lengthy interview, It takes time to get to know them, and sense how well they understand themselves and what they want. Then I asses how ready they are for marriage or if they want something less serious. If they are ready, then an agreement is signed along with the payment of the service fee.


FRLM: It seems ironic that we have the ability to search through more potential mates via technology than ever before, yet many still remain alone. Since many of your clients have tried online sites and then come to you, how can you explain the apparent lack of success that many of these website users express?

LS: It’s important to understand that technology may have changed, but human needs are the same. We want to love and be loved. We want to share our life with someone and have a family. This is not new, it’s always been this way. I feel technology has stunted people with a blind algorithm that makes matches based on mundane details rather than what it “knows” about each person. Again, you can’t rely on a photo and you shouldn’t!

To learn more about Lana Schilling, visit her website at or via Facebook at
Office: 4707 Gandy Blvd., Suite 17, Tampa, FL 33611
Phone (386) 334-5604
Email: [email protected]