Suzanne Oshima Interview – Insights from a Matchmaker & Dating Coach
“Insights from a Matchmaker & Dating Coach”
Jasbina Ahluwalia interviews Suzanne Oshima
As a Matchmaker & Dating Coach in New York, Suzanne has done extensive research in the dating industry, written dating articles and has been interviewed by the following media: Bravo TV, The Today Show, Good Afternoon America, NBC News, ABC News, The Rick Sanchez Show, Neighborhood Journal, Men’s Health, Glamour Magazine, The Daily News, Telegraph.co.uk, AOL Personals, BettyConfidential.com, CupidsPulse.com, TheFrisky.com and many more!
(00:51): Hello everyone and welcome to Intersections Match’s Talk Radio, a monthly holistic lifestyle show focused on the continual evolution into the best versions of our authentic selves. We and our guests discuss relationships and health and wellness, each of which contributes to meaningful and fulfilling lives.
This is Jasbina, your host. I’m a former practicing lawyer and the Founder of Intersections Match, the only elite national personalized matchmaking company focused on singles of South Asian descent nationwide in the US.
I’m very excited to welcome Suzanne Oshima to our show tonight. Welcome, Suzanne.
(1:30): Hi, Jasbina. Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your show.
(1:35): It’s a pleasure. Suzanne is a matchmaker and dating coach in New York City. I met Suzanne when I spoke at her inaugural Single in Stilettos event last year. Suzanne did a great job spearheading the event. I thoroughly enjoyed moderating a panel at last year’s event. I understand that a second event is in the works. I’m going to give Suzanne the opportunity to share some details about the event with you at the end of the show.
Welcome, Suzanne. It’s so fun to interview another matchmaker and dating coach.
(2:07): I’m really excited to share some of my experiences with you.
(2:12): I know that our listeners are very interested in hearing your experiences. What are the top things that you see men look for in a woman?
(2:29): For men, it’s very much about looks and physical attraction. If a guy isn’t physically attracted to a woman, he’s probably not going to take the time to really get to know her if he can’t get past her looks. I know it sounds very shallow, but that’s just how men are wired. If a man isn’t attracted to her, he’s probably not going to ask her out on a date.
(2:56): Attraction comes first. Then he’s interested in peeling back the layers and getting to know a woman. Your clients are men exclusively, is that right?
(3:12): Yes. The men are my clients so I allow women to join my matchmaking service for free.
(3:20): Do you find any patterns with respect to what guys are attracted to? Is it all across the board?
(3:33): It is all across the board. Every guy is different. Whenever someone asks me, “Is someone good-looking?” it’s all relative, depending on the person. Some people find a certain type of guy or woman attractive. Another person might not find that person attractive. It really depends.
(3:57): For our male listeners, what are the top things that women are looking for in a man?
(4:07): I always love this question. I test guys and ask them this question. “What do you think women are looking for?” Guys always think that it’s looks also. When I tell them that’s not the number one thing that women say to me that they’re looking for, they’re always dumfounded. Obviously, there needs to be some sort of physical attraction, but looks are never number one for women. Women always tell me the top two things that they’re looking for in a guy is confidence and a sense of humor.
People naturally like to be around people who are confident and sure of themselves. This is what I always tell guys. If you can make a woman laugh, what woman wouldn’t want to spend time with you? You’re making her laugh and you’re putting her in a happy space. She will want to spend more time with you.
(5:01): It’s the way that she feels when she’s with you. In terms of what men are looking for in a woman, once there is that attraction, do you find confidence pretty high on a guy’s list as well?
(5:19): Yes. Do you mean what men are also attracted to in a woman?
(5:24): I do find that men want a confident woman. They don’t want someone who is insecure about her looks or who she is. They want someone who is sure of herself.
(5:40): That is what I find. Confidence ranks high on both gender’s lists. I think that’s interesting. I’ve heard you mention that people need to be realistic when it comes to their list of must-have’s and deal-breakers. Can you tell me what you mean by that?
(6:07): When people come to me and they say they’re looking for someone with these 10 qualities who doesn’t have these deal-breakers, of course I’m always going to try and match 100% of what they’re looking for. Sometimes that’s not possible. This is what I always tell clients. They need to be realistic. No one will have 100% of what you’re looking for. If someone has 75% to 80% of what you’re looking for, you’re lucky. I think people need to be realistic in the things that are missing. They need to decide how important those things are that are missing. Are they things that they can let go?
Maybe that person can change and would be open to change. I’ll give you an example. A big deal-breaker for a lot of people is smoking. Let’s say that someone is a casual smoker. They’re probably willing to quit if they met the right person. A lot of women will tell me that one of their must-have’s is that a guy needs to be over six feet tall. I get that a lot.
This is for women who are 5’4” or 5’2”. I never understand why women of that height need a guy who is over six feet. Even if you put on heels, you’re probably about 5’5” or 5’6”. What women don’t realize is that only 6% of the male population is over 6 feet. They’re really limiting themselves.
(7:53): I just want to emphasize that. I think it’s great that you have the statistic. I think that comes up often for a lot of us in the industry in terms of height. About 6% of guys are six foot tall or over.
(8:12): That’s right. When women have that as a must-have, they are completely limiting themselves as to the men that they can date. There are plenty of guys under six feet tall that are great guys that maybe have even more qualities that they’re looking for. Maybe they don’t have the extra two inches in height. Maybe they’re 5’10”. Women need to be more open about the height thing.
Another thing that I see come up a lot is people in their forties who won’t date someone with kids. I think that’s ridiculous. You really need to be open to dating someone with kids. If you’re in your forties and want to date someone in their forties, most likely, that person has been married before and has children from a previous marriage.
(9:01): Do you find the disinclination to want to date someone with kids more so with men or women? Is it pretty evenly balanced between the genders? Have you found any patterns?
(9:25): I haven’t seen patterns. I’ve seen it with both men and women. It’s not one side or the other. I try to tell my clients and female members that they need to be more realistic. If someone can make a commitment and has children, I think that’s probably more attractive than someone who has never been married or doesn’t have children. When you’re in your forties, you want to see that they’ve actually made a commitment.
(10:01): Whatever someone’s must-have’s are, oftentimes the deal-breakers are the flip side of the must-have’s. I always ask, “What is the why behind your must-have’s?” The why for someone might really put it in a must-have category for them. Another why, if they are instead more open about something, may allow them to have more of the other essentials that they want. I think if someone explores the why behind each must-have, it gets into what is underlying that and what flexibility is possible there. That’s how I like to deal with the must-have’s.
I find that, sometimes people’s must-have’s are internal inconsistencies. For example, someone wants a guy who is absolutely passionate about their work and a super high achiever. At the same time, they want him to be a complete family man who is there for all of the kid’s games. To some degree, there is some internal inconsistency in the extremes of those. A guy who is that hard-driving at work is probably not going to have the opportunity to be there for all of the personal moments as well. It can be very difficult. Do you sometimes see those internal inconsistencies in what people are seeking in one individual?
(11:51): I do see that. I think you made a great point. People really need to be flexible. They also need to be realistic about it. Like you said, there is an inconsistency by wanting this man who is so passionate about his career but is also the ideal family man. Obviously, he can be both, but to a certain extent, one side has to give so that he can provide one or the other.
(12:23): These are the extremes. Many of us embody them both. It’s to the extent that someone is seeking the extremes of either. Then something has to give. It’s difficult to expect everything from one person in terms of resources of time. Being realistic and flexible comes up again and again in our industry.
In your experience, do people tend to get pickier as they get older? What do you think about that?
(13:08): Again, I don’t like to generalize, but I do see it happen. I do see both men and women get pickier when they get older. They might come to me and say, “Just so you know, I’m really picky.” Some people tend to think telling me that is a good thing. That’s actually a bad thing. It tells me that they are inflexible about certain things. They’re not open.
They really think they’re going to meet someone who has 100% of what they’re looking for. That, to me, is unrealistic. Someone could be the most amazing person and have all these great qualities, but they’re missing one or two things, and they will discount them right then and there because they’re not perfect. I don’t think it’s good to get pickier at any age, whether it’s older or younger. People always think, “I have these standards. They have to meet them.”
Yes, of course you need to have basic standards about qualities and values. There are certain things where you need to see if there is some flexibility. Will someone let go of certain things? Will they change? Are they open to different things? You don’t know until you get to know a person and build upon that.
(14:26): I think that’s a great point. I think a lot of things fall by the wayside when you really fall for someone, get to know them and appreciate everything about them. I know what you’re saying in terms of having high standards.
Generally, all of our clients that come to us have high standards. I think that’s great, but I think there is a fine line there. I tell people, “Having high standards is great, but just be careful that it’s about the right things for you.” That is the challenge. You need to self-audit yourself concerning what you’re being picky about and where your standards lie. They need to be about things that are really going to be relevant in the long term. Be flexible around those that are not relevant.
Let’s talk about first dates. What are some of your top first date tips tailored for women?
(15:56): First, it’s very important what you wear. That’s across the board for both men and women. Living in New York City, I find that a lot of women wear black. They think it’s sexy and that it’s great to wear on a first date. Actually, it’s not the greatest thing to wear on a first date. Men are very visual. You have to catch their eye. It’s very important to wear color.
It also brings out your vibrancy, skin tone and who you are. Black is a very drab color. I think that’s important. Women should wear more color on their first date. Wear something that’s more feminine and flirty, but not too sexy where it’s too revealing. You don’t want to reveal too much on a first date.
(16:50): You want to keep the mystery. What about for the guys on the line? What are some of your top first date tips for the guys out there?
(17:05): For the guys, you only have one chance to make a first impression with what you wear. Men are superficial about how a woman looks physically, her face and body. Women are superficial in a different way. When you’re walking up on that first date and you’ve never met the guy, if his outfit isn’t up to par, that’s where women can be superficial.
She immediately assesses him and decided whether or not he fits into her fashion sense. It’s really important that a guy pick the right first date outfit. He doesn’t want to go too casual or too dressy. It should be something appropriate for where he is taking her.
(17:57): Do you have any tips regarding the conversation on that first date, for both men and women?
(18:19): One of the things that I tell men and women sounds so obvious, but I hear this mistake all the time from my clients and female members after they go out on a first date. Someone tended to talk too much about their past relationship history. Of course, that’s going to come up. I tell my clients, “Just tell the person top line information.”
If you were married for 10 years and you just got a divorce, that’s all you need to say. You can briefly mention why it didn’t work out. Sometimes when someone asks, “Were you married?” the other person will go into everything. I say, “No!” They think it’s a green light because the person asked. Just give top line information. As they get to know you, other things will come out.
(19:21): I agree tenfold. The goal is to get to know that person in front of you. Bringing in things about past relationships can really hinder that goal in that moment. I also suggest that people keep it positive. Try not to go negative. That’s why I dislike that topic of conversation to begin with. If you’re there, chances are that your past relationship didn’t work. It would be easy to go to negative. I think that takes the energy away from the encounter that you’re having.
Suzanne, I want to invite you to share with our listeners about your Single in Stilettos event. You have an upcoming one. Is that right?
(20:23): Yes. I scheduled the next one for Saturday, May 5th in New York City. It’s going to be an all-day event. This is how I came up with the Single in Stilettos event. I interview women all day long for my matchmaking service. One of the questions that I always ask them is, “What else are you doing to meet a guy? It’s great that you came to see me as a matchmaker, but matchmaking takes time.” I always tell the women to be more proactive and do other things. They always tend to tell me one or two things that they’re doing. I find that interesting.
If a woman lost her job today, she would do everything in her power to get a new job. She would contact headhunters. She would go online. She would network. She would call friends and family members. But when it comes to their personal life and they’re looking for the right guy, they tend to just try online dating and see me as a matchmaker. I always found that interesting.
I think, “You’re not really doing enough. You need to do a lot more.” I felt that I really wanted to empower women. I wanted to give them access to the top dating and relationship experts that could help them and give them new ideas on other ways that they could meet the man of their dreams. I did one full-day event. I gave women access to the top dating and relationship experts, you being one of them. It was great.
It really empowered these women. It was such a positive experience. These women came away from the event so happy and feeling empowered that they were going to try new things to meet the man of their dreams. That, to me, was worth everything that I put into the event. That was my goal with the event. It was great. The next one is Saturday, May 5th here in New York City.
It’s something that we’re going to do in other cities in the upcoming year. If people are interested in attending a Single in Stilettos event, they can go to SingleinStilettos.com. It’s going to be another great event. It’s something that people should look forward to in the future in major cities across the United States.
(23:02): That’s exciting that it will be expanding to major cities. Our listeners come from throughout the country. I can say firsthand that the energy in the room was incredible. The whole idea of empowering women speaks close to my heart. The next one will be in New York City but you are exploring doing this in other cities as well.
I appreciate you sharing your insights with us, Suzanne. They’ve been very interesting and insightful. I’m wondering if you have any last thought or take-home message that you’d like to leave our listeners with.
(23:46): The last thought I would like to leave the listeners with is to really be more open when it comes to dating and trying to find the right person. Sometimes when you start dating someone that you thought wasn’t your type, may turn out to be your type. That’s what is so important. People tend to discount someone before they even date them. It’s about trying new things. You never know.
(24:20): I love that. Your partner could come in a very unexpected package. Being open to that can open up so many possibilities. I’d like to thank Suzanne Oshima for joining us today. It’s been a pleasure.
(24:37): Thank you so much, Jasbina, for having me on as a guest. I really enjoyed myself.
(24:43): In case you joined us late or would like to share this show with people in your life, I’d like to remind you that today’s radio show will be archived and available as a podcast on Intersections Match’s website, which is www.IntersectionsMatch.com. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I appreciate you hanging out with us. Do email me with topics you’d like discussed in future shows. Make sure to join us for next month’s show. Take care, everyone.
What do you think?
Would you like to add to the insights shared in the Suzanne Oshima? Share your thoughts in the comments below.