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Matchmaking Now and Then: Huffington Post Columnist & Debut Author Elise Sax Weighs In

Contrary to popular belief, the first profession was matchmaking. Do you think Adam and Eve merely stumbled into each other in the Garden of Eden? No! They were fixed up.

Ever since then, somebody somewhere has been ready to give their two cents about who should get together or not and why. The universal consensus was that if left to their own devices, if young people decided on their own matches, all hell would break loose.

And perhaps it’s true. I mean, look at Romeo and Juliet. They went rogue on their match, and look what happened to them!

So, enter Yenta the Matchmaker, and to this day, arranged marriages are common in many cultures and religions. Some have rebelled against this custom, wanting the freedom to find love in a more organic way. Indeed, in many arranged marriages, couples are told that love is something to develop later after they are married.

What would Elizabeth Bennett say about that? She waited for her love match, and speaking for every romance fan out there . . . I want my Mr. Darcy, too!

So today matchmakers have to find love for their matches. Complete, instantaneous, soulmate, gut-wrenching, bodice-ripping LOVE.

In Affair to Dismember, the first book in my Matchmaking Series, heroine Gladie Burger’s grandmother Zelda just seems to know who should belong with whom. (She also knows if the phone is going to ring or if it’s going to rain.) But most matchmakers aren’t gifted with Grandma Zelda’s third eye. In the past when we lived in small communities with just a few possible matches, it only took a slice of common sense to know that Janie the ice skater belonged with John the Zamboni driver.

Today, matchmakers depend on databases, mixers, and the all-mighty Internet. They rely on computer programs and complicated algorithms to hook up the next Adam and Eve. And who knows? Maybe if we had all those things back in the day, there wouldn’t have been that whole incident with the apple.

Matchmakers have also become specialists. Patti Sanger, the famous television matchmaker, matches millionaires. Other online matchmaking companies specialize in matches with certain religions and commitment levels. With all the attention to detail, it should be easier to find love than it is to find a great pair of shoes.

But most women have a whole closet full of shoes they love, while men remain elusive. Maybe that’s why I regularly get calls from friends, asking me if they should jump on board the online dating wagon.

“I know so many people who found their husbands on those sites,” one friend told me.

“So do it,” I tell my shy friend. “What have you got to lose? You could meet someone wonderful.”

And just like that, I become a matchmaker, myself.

Elise Sax is the debut author of An Affair to Dismember, on sale January 29, 2013. Click here to download a free chapter of this upcoming release. Be sure to “like” Elise on Facebook, and look for the new “Ask Zelda” column—coming soon to Romance at Random!

Tell us, have you ever been set up on a date or tried online dating? What do you think about this modern form of matchmaking?

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