Matchmaking 101 - Office Hours with Lisa Clampitt

Can I work with a client who is “separated”?

Can a matchmaker work with a client that is separated?

Wondering if you could give me your opinion on this Lisa– I am a matchmaker, and from time to time get a client who is separated from their spouse, but not divorced yet. How do you handle clients that are separated? Do you work with them? Wondering what the industry standard is. 

Thanks for writing in. This is a really great question, and actually relatively controversial among matchmakers. There is no industry standard, but here is where I stand on the issue.

From my experience, the period of time when someone is going through a separation and an eventual divorce is when they need someone the most. They feel alone, unsure, and are looking to meet new people who can show them the great possibilities of the future.

The most important thing to keep in mind if you are going to match someone who is separated from a spouse, is that you have to make sure they are willing to be completely honest with both you and those you match them with. You will need to find out how long they have been separated from their spouse, where they are emotionally, and about their living situation. If they are still living in the same home with their ex, then that is probably not be the best situation to start dating in. My rule is that they have to be living in separate homes and working towards their divorce in order to go out on dates.  

Another extremely important aspect of matching a client that is separated is to tell them that you will only be able to introduce them to people who know about their marital status. This will ensure that everyone is honest from the start, and no one will be put in a situation where they are uncomfortable. You don’t want anyone to be surprised on the date by this information, or to become upset with you as the matchmaker for not withholding important facts about their date.

I also always let my client know that not all individuals will be okay with the fact that they are not yet legally divorced. I make sure they understand that I have to be forthright with all potentially matches, and if a person is not okay with dating someone who is separated or currently going through a divorce, I have to respect their feelings.

The best advice I can give you is to figure out your gut feeling, and stay true to it for each client you work with. If you are prepared, you will know how to deal with it in the moment. Be honest and kind, and expect full honesty back from your client.


Keep in mind that if you ask another matchmaker this same question they may have a different answer. I love hearing how other matchmakers and date coaches work with clients. A great way to meet, network with, and learn from key players in the matchmaking and date coaching industry from all over the world is to attend the Matchmaking Institute’s Matchmakers and Date Coaches Conference. This year the conference will be held in New York City, April 25th and 26th 2014. For more information, click here. Hope to see you all there!

As always, you can email me at with any questions/comments. 


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