In Lake Oswego, Cupid has a special assistant
Jacqueline Nichols wants to help you find the love of your life. But first, she's going to ask you to work on yourself a little bit.
The Lake Oswego-based matchmaker and owner of Discover Love Matches, Nichols describes her business as less about finding the perfect fit and more about finding love through self-improvement.
"I focus on an initial step, which is our client discovery form. It's four pages you fill out asking who you are, what you have to offer, what are you looking for. A lot of people go, 'I've never really thought about these things,'" Nichols says. "People just think they're going to trip and fall into love like they did in high school and college. It's different as the years progress."
Nichols started her business eight years ago, and she has found wide success in bringing together singles from all different types of backgrounds. With more than 300 people registered to her agency — and a good mix of men and women — Nichols is able to find compatibility that is focused on lifestyle rather than the minute details many singles tend to focus on, she says.
"People get so caught up in how old, how tall — all these logistics on the checklist they make. You really want to find someone with the same lifestyle as you. That's going to make a huge difference and open you up to what you're actually looking for," Nichols says.
Discover Love Matches hosts events each month for members to meet, mingle and flirt, but the important part is there's no pressure. Nichols also hosts flirting workshops, which help those who haven't been around the dating scene for a while test the waters and learn some tips on how to approach people.
With much of Nichols' approach focusing on self-improvement, her businesses goal is to help you love yourself so that hopefully you will attract that perfect person to your life.
"If you don't love yourself, how can you expect someone else to love you?" she says. "If you love yourself, you're confident and that's what is attractive to others."
One of the small pieces of advice Nichols gives to her clients is to freshen up their look. When you haven't dated in a few years, it's easy to forget that there's someone across that dinner table looking at you. Get a haircut, try on some new clothes and do something to make yourself feel good, Nichols says.
Throughout the years, Nichols has matched hundreds of couples who are now either married or happily partnered. She's even officiated a wedding or two between clients who found their happily-ever-after.
Nichols describes one match she made that helped one woman see that a man who'd been in her life for years was actually the love her life, but it wasn't until she received Nichols' coaching did she realize it.
"People are looking for that gap filler. They're looking for attention, but don't really want to put in the work to create a relationship, so it's really important to know yourself and know what you want. But at the same time, step into it where you meet people, listen to them and hear their story. It takes a few dates to get the walls down and trust people," she says.
Another tip Nichols shares is simply to make time for dating. You make time to grocery shop, you make time to exercise, you make time to visit friends. If you're trying to get back out in the dating scene, she says, you need to make time for it and stick to it.
"You have to schedule it in. You have to make it important to yourself again. That's the biggest challenge," she says. "Unless you make a commitment to actually prioritize dating, it's not going to happen."
Nichols will be hosting a series of events throughout the month of February for clients, new and old, to mix with each other, meet new people and give love a shot.
From 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10, Nichols will host a "Find your Valentine" event at McMenamins in Northwest Portland (1716 N.W. 23rd Ave.) for potential and current clients to meet new people and interact with Nichols herself. Each event is aimed at being a safe space for singles to branch out, meet new people and learn something about both Discover Love Matches and themselves.
For more information, visit www.discoverlovematches.com.
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