It's Barbie Adler's job to know what people want when the what is actually a who. A former corporate recruiter, Adler now runs high-end matchmaker service Selective Search, which frequently charges clients hundreds of thousands of dollars to set them up with what Adler refers to as "quality people." And, no, Adler isn't just looking for pretty young things for the divorcee in the corner office. There's very little of that. What she does is fact check the make sure that the tangibles are in order so that when the clients sit down with a potential partner they can worry about the intangibles, the stuff that matters.
"If someone tells me they love to travel, I say, 'Let's have a look at your passport,'" says Adler. "I'm paid to make sure my clients don't waste there time."
Most of Adler's clients are men, but a solid number are women with high-powered jobs and a history of ending up with the wrong guy or no one at all. She asks these women what they want and they tell her, a process that can take a bit of time. People who are used to getting what they want aren't generally eager to settle, especially when it comes to a partner.
We asked Adler what a better class of woman is looking for. Predictably, the long and the short of it was this: a better class of men.
Why do these successful women end up coming to you in search of a partner? It seems, if we're to be honest, like that shouldn't be hard for them to find.
People always think it's the other gender that's got a problem. It's an old joke that the prom queen is home on a Saturday night, but it's also true.
Is part of that because these women are less willing to compromise or is it something else, maybe intimidation?
Half of the problem for women is discovering guys who actually want to be in a relationship. With all the celebrities, the stigma has become that no one stays together anymore, but we know what our guys are looking for. We know there are some guys who want something long-term.
So who do these women want to settled down with?
The biggest thing is being commitment-minded, but number two is being bright and having a good sense of humor. There are also expectations that men will care about what they're putting out there. A woman who is beautiful and takes care of herself, well...like seeks like.
So all we need to nab a CEO is a toned body and some decent material?
People need to be really careful of bad motives. We sniff it out for a living and, let me tell you, "Gold Digger" knows no gender. The women want us to protect them. No one wants to be used for anything.
When you think you've found someone for one of your clients, do you ever give them hints? Let's assume we want to date someone a bit out of our range, what would you tell us?
Whether it's a bit of tooth whitener or something else, it's normally just little stuff. But it's part of the added value of what we do.
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