July-August 2012 | Features

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.


Photo by Stephanie Bragg

Michelle Jacoby

46, Bethesda
DC Matchmaking

Bethesda’s Michelle Jacoby believes there’s someone out there for everyone. It’s the guiding principle behind the matchmaking business she started in July 2009.

With a roster of 17 clients, Jacoby dedicates her days to the details of matchmaking: performing background checks on possible matches, conducting multiple interviews with clients and then debriefing them after dates. She wants to make sure that clients know what they want in a partner.

“The worst is falling in love with potential and thinking that someone’s going to change,” Jacoby says. “People don’t freaking change! You should focus on who they are right now.”

She also cautions against being ?blinded by instant chemistry. Couples will find that “the more someone meets your true emotional needs, the more chemistry grows because intimacy grows,” she says.

Although Jacoby has facilitated only one marriage (the bride was Carrie Keener, who participated in a Bethesda Magazine matchmaking experiment in 2010), she says she has left a “wake of couples behind.” Jacoby recalls one 2010 match between a man and a woman with very dissimilar backgrounds. Jacoby says the woman once asked her, “Does it make sense that he’s nothing like what I ex­pected, but had all the qualities I could have hoped for?”

“We put so much stock in people’s résumés,” says Jacoby, who was planning to get married herself in June, “but the heart is much more important.”

What she has learned about love: “People are focusing too much on idealistic, romantic comedy-type love instead of the partner who will have your back and love you and accept you just the way you are.”

—Mary Clare Fischer