Courtney Hawkins knows first – hand how hard the dating game can be. “I met a lot of frogs be – fore I met my fiancé,” she confesses. Meeting the right person and falling in love takes time, Hawkins affirms. It’s tough. So for Hawkins, who honed her skills helping “train-wreck friends with bad boyfriends” get back on track, offering to be cupid’s arrow is one way to make life easier for others. Her company, Omaha Love, is aimed at getting singles exposed to quality candidates that may be The One. At Omaha Love, consultants get to know every member, set up the dates and even offer coaching sessions for rusty daters. Her efforts have brought countless people together.
“Taking a single person, watching them evolve and watching the end product – which can be marriage – is a very cool thing,” she said.
An Omaha native, Hawkins founded Omaha Love at age 25 after she realized she could run a better dating service than the company she worked for. Despite naysayers, she quit her job amid a historic recession and struck out to build a company that would blow away the competition. Unlike typical online dating services, Omaha Love’s match – makers meet each client in-person. (No fudging the truth on age and appearance here.) Instead of requiring singles to sift through hundreds of profile pages, Hawkins’ matchmakers do the work – complete with background check. They set up dates for the couples they feel have the best fit.
In other words: Less time with frogs. More time with potentials. Contrary to the stereotype, Hawkins says her clients are often incredible catches. They seek a matchmaker not because they’re desperate, but rather because they have limited exposure to the types of people they are seeking to date. “We help people who are at a place where they have everything going and they are outstanding catches, but there’s still that void,” she said. “Life can get a little lonely, even with all the money and friends in the world.” Hawkins helps the middle-aged divorcee feel ready to date again and the 30-year-old young professional hoping to be married for the first time. She can deliver tough medicine, too – like dialing back unrealistic expectations, or counseling one client to avoid licking ketchup off his arm during a date.
The ultimate payoff is watching clients find happiness. Hawkins remembers one wheelchair-bound man in his 70s who came to Omaha Love seeking a soul mate. Hawkins wasn’t sure she could find him a match. Then, she connected him with a 60-year-old beauty. She later became his happy wife.
owner and matchmaker, Omaha Love