The Business of Love

The Business of Love

We talk about it, dream about it, write about it, worry about it. LOVE. It bedevils us all. But a few local people are here to help.

| Published:

Matchmaker

Photo by Stephanie BraggLeora Hoffman

55, Bethesda
Leora Hoffman Associates

When Leora Hoffman started her business 23 years ago, personalized matchmaking was a new concept. Today, Hoffman still provides that personal touch, and offers clients annual memberships instead of a fee for a number of referrals. That’s because Hoffman doesn’t want clients doing the math and worrying about whether each date is worth the cost.

Her main advice: Go out with a match more than once, even if there are no sparks the first time. “People are making very instantaneous judgments…and often they’re wrong,” she says. “I’ve seen some situations where it may not be the bolt of lightning at first, but it developed into something very enduring.”

Hoffman says the Washington, D.C., area is fertile ground for successful matches; she has a list of 67 marriages and hundreds of long-term relationships to prove it. She maintains a small network of clients because she also is an assistant attorney general prosecuting child protection cases for the Office of the Attorney General in Washington, D.C.  

One of Hoffman’s favorite matches: a successful attorney who had beaten a drug addiction and a single mother of a 6-month-old son whose husband had abandoned her while she was pregnant. “These two fell in love in 20 minutes,” Hoffman says. The couple is still married 21 years later, and they have another son, who is 17.

Hoffman, who is divorced, finds that being single helps attract clients. “People relate to me better as a single person,” she says. “…I’ve been on the front lines myself; I’m not speaking from an ivory tower. I’m still searching for my own partner.”

What she has learned about love: “Real love does take time…and involves two people being committed to a process.”

—Mary Clare Fischer

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