James from Manchester asks…..

Why is friendsfirst’s matching done only on age and not other criteria that are important to me?

Debbie says……

Thanks James for this question – it’s really useful and I’ll do my best to explain.  We send profiles out to members selected solely on a matched age criteria (i.e. both the person we’re sending the profile to and the profile of the person being sent must want the same age) because our experience shows that matching on other criteria would lead to people ‘missing’ each other.

I suppose the easiest way to explain the reasons behind why friendsfirst match on age alone is to think of distance as a criteria. In the last edition of Cloudnine, we mentioned that to choose to only contact people who live close to you severely limits your choices and might lead to missing contact with someone who could ultimately be right for you. Similarly if you restricted your choice to somebody who was the same denomination as you, and refused to consider anyone who was a different denomination, you would be restricting your choice and as such the number of contacts you could make, and you would probably miss out on someone who might be perfect in every way but just happens to have been brought up or worship in a different denomination.

You’d be amazed at how, over the years, we’ve gathered stories of couples who’ve got married through us to people who didn’t fit their criteria.   Had we matched based on their criteria – i.e. had we selected out people with  a certain characteristic or lack of shared interests or a slightly different level of faith, then these couples would never have met because they would have ‘selected each other out’. There’s lots of stories on our website of this happening to couples. For example read about Ian and Rachel, who met through friendsfirst.  Rachel originally didn’t want to meet a smoker or a fellow vicar, yet Ian was a vicar and an occasional smoker. Of course Rachel’s criteria all changed when they met and she ended up marrying him.

So James I hope that helps.  The best advice I can give you is to take head of successful couples that have gone before you. Don’t take your own ‘criteria’ too seriously and keep yourself open to meeting all sorts of people.