LOVING IN KAMLOOPS
The trials of making Kamloops couples.
If you’re an older male who’s single and happy, but looking for that special someone to spend your free time with, Tara Holmes has some good news for you. She’s the owner of Holmes Is Where the Heart Is, and she needs men for her matchmaking service. With more female clients than male, it can sometimes be a challenge for her to make a match.
“I just really wish that more men would trust the process because it is really hard and frustrating. I know that there are more women in Kamloops, but I know that there’s guys out there. “Sometimes in one week I’ll hear from 63 women and three men,” she says and laughs.
Though Holmes has only been running her business for about a year, she says she’s been matchmaking for a decade as a hobby. It’s something that just comes naturally to her.
“I set so many people up because I’m just a nosy, inquisitive person, so I’m always asking people questions and saying, ‘Oh, you should meet this person.’ I like connecting people.”
Holmes works with people from all walks of life and all different age groups. Her youngest couple is in their 20s, but many of her clients are in their 70s or 80s, which is where the gender gap can really show itself.
“There’s 2000 more single women in Kamloops than men. And statistically women outlive men, so in the age group of 70s and 80s it’s even tougher. It’s really limiting because there’s a lot of women and not so many men at that point.”
She’s quick to explain that her service isn’t necessarily a good fit for everyone, and that prospective single clients should be sure that they’re in a good place in their life — in her own words, they should be single and happy.
“The reason I say happy is because I’m not looking for lonely people. I’m not looking for sad people. I’m not looking for unhealthy people. Just because someone’s single doesn’t mean they’re a good candidate for matchmaking.”
To date she’s successfully matched 21 couples, which Holmes is proud of accomplishing in such a short period of time.
“Not that all my matches are going to stay together,” she explains, “but one thing that hasn’t happened to me that I like to hang my hat on, and I know it might happen one day, but knock on wood, no one has ever emailed me and said, holy crap, what were you thinking setting me up with this person?
“And that happens with online dating. I always hear these stories where people say, holy geez, I got to the date and I was like, ‘This isn’t what I thought I was meeting.’”
How does she manage to avoid that? “I go on the first date first,” she says.
DID YOU KNOW?
Tara writes a dating column for Kamloops This Week. The archives are available at her website.
Matchmaking is actually a time-honoured tradition. Tara points to the film Fiddler On The Roof as one story that involves a matchmaker.
That pre-screening aspect of her business is a vital part of her matchmaking process.
“I meet every single person who contacts me so I know and I can assure someone, look, I’ve met this person. They’re normal. They’re nice. They’re independent. They’re successful, they’re healthy, I can assure you.
“A lot of people ask me too, how does online dating compare. One guy even emailed me right back, and he says, ‘Okay, so I’ll bite.’ He says, ‘What are you going to do for me that eHarmony doesn’t?’ I said, ‘Well, that’s easy. eHarmony is not going to take you for coffee today.
She explains, “They’ve got the algorithms, and there’s so many times they just look at people in the same city, the same age group, and put them together. That doesn’t make a proper match.”
The best part about working with Holmes, though, might be the fact that you can sit down with her and feel out the matchmaking process without any obligation.
“I always like to think that when I go meet somebody, I’m interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing me. They’re seeing if matchmaking is a fit for them.”
And while it’s not a fit for everyone, she’s always excited to see the ones who have come away happy.
“Seeing these 21 couples together, I get real joy,” she says, smiling, “especially when I’m out in public, and I see a couple going by that I set up.
“Like, ‘Oh my gosh, look at that, look at that, I did that.’ It’s like art. I painted that masterpiece, you know?”