Kerrie Schneider is founder and president of Bella Introductions
, a boutique matchmaking agency specializing in hard-to-find singles.
A Michigan native, Kerrie is the youngest of 10 children. She attended Michigan State University and Oakland University, receiving a B.A. in sociology with a concentration in psychology. Afterward, she spent a decade in various sales roles.
Kerrie lives with her husband and two daughters. She spends much of her free time assisting her 9-year-old with her charity efforts for less fortunate children (www.calenforkids.org).
I used to cringe when people said it's impossible to find true love in metro Detroit versus in a bigger city. Why? Because at that time I was single and refused to drink the Kool-Aid. Remember the Law of Attraction: You will likely attract what you put out there and by thinking positively, you can bring about positive results.
Yes, people are leaving Michigan for greener pastures. Yes, we are vehicle-bound, not simply walking everywhere and making it easier to find true love on the way to grab dinner with a friend. Yes, our community has a preponderance of married couples and older folks, shrinking the pool of available singles in a certain age range. But this simply makes the big D and surrounding areas less date-friendly, not impossible to date and fall in love.
There's a flurry of entrepreneurs choosing Detroit or Ann Arbor for their startups because there's talent, cheap leases, and the typical Motor City belief in the ability to be reborn. Since the 1960s, Detroit has nurtured a kind of we-can-do-it bootstrapping mentality that all of us have deep in our bones and it still very much exists today. This glass half-full mindset is crucial for success in and out of the workplace. Positivity breeds positivity, whether in a business environment or a romantic setting.
We are in a new economy, but nonetheless creating new opportunities, so there's plenty of room for people to blossom. Just as in everything else, if you create opportunities for yourself, there will be opportunities available to you. If you sit back and take a reactive approach, possibilities will pass you by and soon become someone else's budding reality.
Some people say that there is a brain drain effect, where many of our great talents have fled Michigan, negatively affecting the dating scene. While a lot of good talent did fly the coop when the automakers took a hit, there's new talent and singles too, in places and business models we never anticipated.
We are all creatures of habit, but this isn't necessarily an advantage in business or romance if we hope to spread our wings and soar outside of our usual network. Sometimes you have to venture into unfamiliar territory if you wish to gain more personal or brand exposure and open new doors for opportunity. If it means visiting a new city or working out at the gym a few miles outside of your beaten path, do so.
While many companies folded in the recent recession, many did not – in fact many flourished. And those that survived face a wide, open landscape of possibility for growth. The key was their perseverance and preparedness. The same is true for finding love.
The rules of dating are a lot like having a good business sense. Focus on the variables you can control – rather than those you cannot. Keep a healthy mindset, be assertive, be prepared and you are sure to have a leg up on your competition – in both the workplace and your love life.
I started Bella Introductions
after making many successful matches among friends, family and former colleagues and I knew I had that intuitive, innate skill that is required of any successful matchmaker. You have to be able to find and make the right connections for people on all levels – physically, mentally, and emotionally. And as a bonus, I love what I do.
As happens with so many of us, I went through my own relationship hiccups, and realized how hard it can be to find that special someone you want to spend your life with. Life can throw curve balls when it comes to love. After kissing a lot of frogs and refusing to settle in order to settle down, I was lucky enough to find my best match this time around. But not everyone is.
And so, with a successful career history under my belt, an entrepreneurial spirit, and the belief that I could find a better way to match couples, I created Bella Introductions to fill a void in the Metro Detroit area; a 100% confidential, personalized and effective approach for hard to find, attractive singles – to be found and matched to one another using our matchmaking services.
My members and clients go through an extensive screening process before coming on board with our matchmaking agency. Members are placed into our singles portfolio and are matched based on client criteria, while clients elect a more proactive approach. We search anywhere and everywhere in the metro Detroit and surrounding areas to find the right matches. So look your best when you head to the grocery store. You never know when we will approach you in the cereal aisle!
There are many quality singles out there – but it's hard to find them in the crowd. You have to know who and what you are searching for and it takes assertiveness. Even then, you can't be certain that the compatibility factors and core values are intact to endure the next twenty-plus years. Even online dating, which has grown in acceptance and usage, can be quite complicated. Many online daters know that searching through profiles becomes a full-time job. Yes, the business of love is challenging, like finding needles in a haystack.
To help build our matching blueprint, every one of my clients and members fills out a 15-page packet about themselves and what they are seeking in a match. The process is eye-opening. People come into their face-to-face appointment saying, "This is what I want in a life partner," and sometimes throughout the experience, they've revised their perspective. It is through this introspective approach that singles learn more about themselves and who would actually be the right fit.
Being forced to put what you want out of love, on paper, can be scary. It makes it real. We make lists for groceries, birthday presents, places we want to visit. We build bucket lists for all the things we want out of life. But it's not natural to make a list of what we're looking for in another person. When in fact that's the most important list you could ever make – and it could have the single most important impact on your life. Yet we put the least amount of thought to paper, choosing to let our eyeballs oversee the selection process instead.
And just like a company vision statement, this 15-page packet that I have my clients and members complete is often times a living, breathing document, not necessarily set in stone. It's an opportunity to revisit the questions, who they are, and who would best fit into their life-scape. Suddenly dating and falling in love becomes an exciting, reflective journey – the way it was meant to be.
Those of us who start a business recognize that there are rarely new ideas, and there is always competition. But what all entrepreneurs have in common is a belief that the way they do their type of business is unique enough to succeed.
I created Bella Introductions
knowing full well I was up against a lot of skepticism about the art of matchmaking and the "type" of singles that use a matchmaking service – and so I set out to prove those skeptics wrong.
There is often a fallacy that singles sign on to use a matchmaker as their LAST HOPE, an act of desperation. It's embarrassing. Hiring a matchmaker to find your true love screams to everyone that you just can't do it on your own, so something must be very wrong with you.
But the truth is, matchmaking used to be the only way people met. Think Fiddler on the Roof
. In many countries today, matchmaking is still the only way people meet their future spouse, and those countries have the lowest divorce rates. So only if you have a thing against meeting the right person and living happily ever after should you ever overlook matchmaking as a valuable dating option.
In the United States, though, we are consumed by popular culture representations of the whirlwind of love. Movies direct us to think we can find this amazing, divorce-proof connection just by walking down the street. I have known very few people to whom this actually happens.
In a lot of divorce situations, you hear, "We just grew apart." Often times, people get married to the person they find sexually irresistible – and without having a conversation about long-term goals, core values, and shared dreams.
True love and instant gratification are rarely compatible. When the sexual chemistry begins to fade, and it always will to some extent, you better have more in common. Anything good takes time and is worth waiting for. Matchmaking services require patience, realism and a complete openness to the process – which includes receiving feedback and being introspective. This is how you find true love and a meaningful connection.