A match made in … Eagle County
If you go ...
What: Singles With A Cause — Singles Mixer.
When: 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Montana’s Smokehouse in Avon.
Cost: There is no fee for this event, but there is a $10 minimum suggested donation benefitting The Youth Foundation of Vail Valley Foundation.
More information: Call 855-622-8743 or visit http://www.cupidscronies.com.
A sign of a true local is knowing the end of this joke about dating in the valley: You didn’t lose her, you just lost your … turn.
While at times it does appear that there are more single men in the area than women, this doesn’t necessarily mean that dating is easy for anyone, even when the male-to-female ratio might be tipped in your favor. Enter Cupid’s Cronies, a matchmaking service that started in Minnesota and has now expanded across Colorado, including Eagle County. Matchmaker Nicole Moritz-Mills, who lives in Eagle-Vail, has been pairing people up locally since 2013 and specializes in helping single folks find love beyond the bar scene. It was Moritz-Mills’ sister, April Davis, who founded Cupid’s Cronies after realizing that there were plenty of men and women out there looking for Mr. or Ms. Right, but they just hadn’t connected yet.
‘CUPID’S’ ARROW HITS EAGLE COUNTY
“(April) had been doing this as a hobby,” Moritz-Mills said. “When she was with her single friends … she wondered, why are all my girlfriends single? They’re high caliber, beautiful women on the inside and out and not able to meet (someone). This didn’t mean there weren’t any good men out there. Her interest grew and she decided to take her matchmaking from a hobby to a full-time career.”
As online dating has become the new norm, not just an embarrassing anecdote akin to a one-night stand, Moritz-Mills said more people are seeking a personalized approach to matchmaking and dating services. Clients of Cupid’s Cronies undergo an extensive interview when they first sign up, in order to help the matchmakers find them a perfect pea to fit snugly alongside them in the pod. Moritz-Mills said they typically interview 20 potential matches for a client before setting them up on a first date.
“We don’t just set people up on a bunch of dates,” Moritz-Mills said. “We meet with a potential candidate to see if they’re a good fit for our client and vice versa … We try to get it right the first time. People who are asking us for their help typically have very busy lives. They don’t have time to go on a bunch of dinner dates.”
Mortiz-Mills said what sets Cupid’s Cronies apart from similar services is that they don’t just partner up clients with other clients. There’s also a free database anyone can sign up for, which the service pulls from to help make the dating pool for a client a bit deeper. This may seem strange in the age of Instagram and Tinder, but Cupid’s Cronies doesn’t show their clients or their dates photos of the other person before the first meet up. Mortiz-Mills said the no-photo policy is partly because of confidentiality, but also because many times a picture can tell a thousand words, but can’t tell you if someone’s The One.
“This is the strategy we’ve used and has been working,” Moritz-Mills said. “Photos can be so judgmental and can close people’s minds to opportunities … It’s not just about a photo, it’s way deeper than this. We do an intense interview, do our research to find someone and spend lots of time talking to them and making sure they’re authentic. I think that ups our success rate.”
SEARCHING FOR THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE
Along with arranging first dates, and hopefully first kisses, Cupid’s Cronies also act as “wingmen” or “wingwomen,” helping clients improve their online dating profiles, upgrade their wardrobe and offering dating advice. Mortiz-Mills said one of the most common mistakes people make on a first date is talking about their exes, which won’t exactly make your date want to do the other word that ends in “ex” with you in the future.
“That’s a real turnoff,” Moritz-Mills said. “(Another mistake) is being too judgmental about the outside before taking time to get to know the inside.”
Locally, Moritz-Mills said her client base is split evenly 50/50 between men and women, which some may find surprising.
“Women come to us because there are so many men here, but they have specific needs and wants and desires,” Moritz-Mills said. “(They want us) to sift through the lift operators and ski bums and find the higher echelon men. There’s plenty of boys here, but let’s sift through and get them the men.”
With her male clients, Moritz-Mills finds some have been burned by bad relationships in the past, or spent their 20s and 30s focusing on their careers and are now looking for that special lady to ride the slopes with.
“Men who have had bad luck in the past, that’s why they’re seeking us out,” Moritz-Mills said. “They’ve chosen the wrong women, their relationships have ended, they’re frustrated, they want help … We (also) have people who are recently divorced and they don’t know how to get out on the dating scene.”
SINGLES READY TO MIX AND MINGLE
Saturday evening, Cupid’s Cronies will host its first Singles With A Cause Mixer, benefitting The Youth Foundation. This is a public event open to anyone looking to hook a fellow available fish in the Eagle County sea. Avon resident Mindy is a woman in her 40s who’s planing on attending the event. After spending her younger years as a successful career woman, Mindy decided to move to the area four years ago to take some time off work and focus more on her personal life. Mindy said while dating in the valley at times she feels like she’s in the “grey zone,” in that most men are either younger and not looking for something serious, or older and already retired.
“It’s a little challenging at my age because I’m looking for a man who’s a bit more settled career-wise, financially and emotionally,” Mindy said. “There aren’t a whole lot of men in the valley that fit that description.”
Compared to other places she’s lived, Mindy said what she likes about dating here is the variety of activities one can do as a twosome.
“You don’t always have to go out for dinner and a movie,” Mindy said. “There’s skiing and hiking, a lot of great adventures. It doesn’t have to be the traditional date.”
No matter where you live, finding that person you’d be willing to sip the same milkshake with while using two straws can be hard. Moritz-Mills said she believes there really is someone out there for everyone.
“Intimacy and companionship is just the way God wired us,” Moritz-Mills said. “I would definitely be a believer in that.”
However, you don’t always have to wait for a signal from the heavens to get lightning to strike.
“All singles gathered in one location — I think that increases the odds too,” she said.