Looking for love in all the right places
Sameera Sullivan is a marvelous matchmaker
Sameera Sullivan was having a busy, busy day on a recent Friday in Lake Oswego.
Sullivan had set up temporary headquarters at a table in a posh restaurant on Kruse Way because she had a series of appointments with Lake Oswego people in need of her special kind of expertise.
Lake Oswego, and the entire Portland area, is a hotbed of single persons seeking not just romance but the right kind of romance, and Sullivan is a matchmaker par excellence with her company Lasting Connections. Her dedication to facilitating relationships is matchless.
I have a 90 percent success rate based on real numbers, Sullivan said. I like to meet my clients face to face and really get inside their lives so I can match them up with just the right person. I love what I do.
Matchmaking has become so popular in recent years that it has shed its negative stigma and become downright mainstream. Internet sources report that in the United States alone there are about 1,500 matchmaking services that generate $2 billion a year and kick-start one-third of American marriages.
Those are impressive numbers, but they also indicate that there is a lot of bad matchmaking out there. Matchmaking horror stories are endless, leaving romantic hearts broken, sour and disillusioned. They have not only received countless negative reviews but even lawsuits. Reading these tales make you shiver.
Sullivan knows about it firsthand because she once briefly worked for a big box matchmaking corporation, where she learned exactly what she did and did not want to do when she went out on her own.
They had no integrity, Sullivan said. They took anybody as a client, even people they shouldnt have taken. Theres a lot of bad stuff out there and you need to stay away from it. There are companies that will take advantage of you.
Still, as shaky as her first experience was, Sullivan was so intrigued by the art and business of matchmaking that she decided to go out on her own. The result has been bliss.
I did OK the first year, Sullivan said. I tripled my business in the second year, and its been expanding ever since. I have matchmaking contacts all over the world.
Sullivan already had a successful career as a recruiter of executives for the defense industry, and her credentials included two masters degrees.
Yet she seemed to have been born to become a matchmaker because she had been doing matchmaking on a nonprofessional basis almost since she became old enough to listen to gossip.
Ive always been nosey, and I still am, Sullivan said. Im just curious by nature. I was always busy matchmaking as a kid. I was always asking, What? Really? When? Friends would come to me for dating advice and whatever I told them would work. I was always right. I always had this weird intuition. Every single time someone would not listen to me, they were sorry.
Yes, Sullivan has gifts for matchmaking that seem downright spooky. But even more important, she works very hard. Even though she has two associates, she looks closely into every single case, and she is extremely choosy about who she takes on as a client. They have to pass the Sameera Test.
I have to be satisfied with the qualities I have vetted, Sullivan said. I meet every prospective client face to face. This is not the Dating Game. Im not a genie who makes magic. I do the best job I can, and the rest is up to fate. When I take on a client I want to be 95 percent sure they find the right person.
Sullivans first client was a Lake Oswego fellow who had been striking out on the dating scene for a decade.
He was a really great person, but he was frustrated, Sullivan said. Hed had two wives and the second marriage was a disaster. He needed a lot of coaching for a year. I found him the perfect match. He has been in a very happy relationship for the past two and a half years.
Perhaps Sullivans biggest success story involved two people on whose case she had worked with the utmost care. When she decided that it was the right time for them to meet, they sighted each other even before they reached the table. Cupids arrows was already zinging through the air.
It wasnt too long afterward that Sullivan was a guest at their wedding.
It was in 2012 that Sullivan started Lasting Connections. That same year she got married. It was an amazing year, she said. When it comes to romance Sullivan is an all-around success, and there is a vast need for her skills in this day and age.
Portland is a very difficult place to find single men, Sullivan said. There are 15,000 unmarried residents aged 20 to 34 in the Portland area.
Why not hire a matchmaker for their love life?
For more about Sameera Sullivan, go to lastingconnections.net.