Love guru shares her secrets

Published 12:00pm 14 February 2024

Love guru shares her secrets
Words by Moreton Daily

When it comes to helping people find love, Linda Prescott is a guiding light, leaving nothing to chance.

The Ideal Introductions owner and Clontarf Beach State High School alumni has three decades of experience and a passion for forging connections and leading her team of matchmakers to find healthy, lasting relationships for their clients.

She witnessed the evolution of the matchmaking industry, which changed dramatically, but is now coming full circle with people craving genuine dating again.

Changing landscape

Love guru shares her secrets
Images: DOMINIKA PHOTOGRAPHY taken at Emporium South Bank

“Online dating absolutely reshaped our industry, making it now completely socially acceptable to outsource your relationship needs.

“Finding your special person doesn’t just happen organically any more.

“Twenty years ago, online dating was really only people who had a computer at home, so mainly professionals.

“There was a lot of integrity around creating your profile, being approved and having genuine intentions.

“These days people are online for all different reasons, the checks aren’t in place, so you can be anyone you want – 20 percent of online daters are in relationships already.”

Linda, who lives on the Peninsula, joined Ideal Introductions at 23 as a trainee matchmaker and three years later, in 1996, bought the business, with her parents throwing their support behind her and mortgaging their home so she could live her dream of helping people.

She repaid their faith by paying off the loan in five years.

Since then, Ideal has more than doubled in size and is Australia’s largest introductions agency with seven staff.

Rigorous screening

When she first started, it was as simple as putting two people together, but she says now there is a strict code of conduct.

“Everyone is interviewed, profiled and feedback and evaluation is given after every date, ensuring we are on track with clients’ criteria and everyone is dating well.

“The way you date directly relates to someone getting into a relationship.”

Ideal Introductions matches have led to more than 1300 weddings and countless love stories that Linda knows of.

“It’s probably double that, but if someone meets their person early into their membership, we may never hear from them again.

“If we’re working with someone for a while, we develop a relationship and they often send us updates – I love, love the baby pics!”

A guiding hand

Linda says having a special person beside you for life is life-changing.

“It’s all about relationships…if we ‘get’ who our clients are, we will ‘get’ who is compatible …there’s a lot of instinct, intuition and understanding of what people’s needs are, rather than just their wants.

“And I once had a psychic tell me I was a White Witch in the 1400s in London who used to make love potions,” she laughs.

“Maybe there is some element of truth there…”

Linda says each client receives an extensive “how to” guide because girls and guys have very different expectations.

“Having a lasting relationship is not about just hoping for the best.

“People need to understand dating to have success.

“We educate both sexes on how to date - which I know most people would say it isn’t hard or they don't need help.

“If you’re single, you probably do.”

Trusting the process

Love guru shares her secrets

Linda says male clients must make the effort to plan the dates and phone their match.

“They both know what time the call is happening, she knows he is going to ask her out, tell her about the date he’s planned and he knows she’s going to say yes.

“It sounds very structured, but it works.”

There’s also rules clients are expected to follow – including no kissing on the first date, committing to Ideal’s dating guides, and filling out evaluation forms.

“Their match doesn’t see the form, but it helps us know if we’re hitting the mark – and it makes them think about what’s really important.

“A lot of people date in the real world, walking away not really understanding why it didn’t progress.

“Real chemistry takes time. When people are nervous, guarded or shy they find it harder to connect quickly and others find it difficult to connect quickly with them.

“Every person we match we know there’s enough compatibility, but we just need them to follow the process and see if a chemistry grows.

“We have a ‘three date rule’ – ask yourself did you have a good time? Would your friends or family like them? And did you find them at least pleasant-looking?

“If you get the three yeses but you’re not feeling the romantic connection, have a second date.

“If you again get three yeses but you’re still not feeling it, have a third date, spend the day together and if you’re still not feeling it, you never will.”

Keep an open mind

Linda says it’s important to manage people’s expectations.

“When the heart is open we will look at the reasons to date someone, rather than the reasons why not.”

She says many people who aren’t ready have long wish lists of what they want in a partner.

“The list is always unachievable as there is no perfect person.

“This is them self-sabotaging any potential person because they’re scared of getting hurt again.

“Our clients are not going to like every person we introduce, but they are going to like characteristics about them…every match is a stepping stone until we find the right fit.

“Think of it like real estate. You might want a four-bedder, three bathroom, 30 minutes from the city.

“You may end up with the three bedder with a large study, 45 minutes from the city which needs a little bit of work, but once finished it’s more amazing than you imagined.

“Often people start with online dating very early with being single, or even before the break-up because they’re looking to fill a void and get attention.

“Once they’re ready for something more meaningful they come to us.”

Linda says Ideal Introductions is more than a match-making service.

“We educate people about how to have healthy relationships and we find people who are compatible for them.”

People who seek support from Ideal Introductions come from all walks of life, but she says they all have one thing in common.

“They all want to share their lives.”

Click here to find out more and complete a free compatibility match.

Exclusive advice

Discover the secrets to unlocking your own love story.

Linda’s expertise has transformed thousands of lives and redefined the way we think about dating and relationships – and she’s onboard to share her knowledge with our readers.

Whether you're navigating the dating world, strengthening your current relationship, or simply looking for heartfelt advice, Linda will be here to inspire and guide you in a series of exclusive columns.

From First Date Disasters: And How to Recover; The Art of Flirting; and Dating over 50: Finding Love in the Golden Years, From Ghosting to Breadcrumbing: Modern Dating Lingo; and All You Wanted to Know About Sex and Dating but were Afraid to Ask, Linda has practical advice on how to get your love life humming.

Stay tuned…


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