SOUL MATES UNLIMITED® Date Coaching and Jewish Matchmaking Service

Judith Gottesman, Matchmaker and Dating Coach for Singles in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Arizona, Chicago, New York, New Jersey, DC, Boston, Florida …

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Expert Panel: What Makes a Couple Work?

Online Dating Sites questioned a panel of well-known professional matchmakers with the aim of getting a better idea of what it is that brings couples together, and keeps them together in the long run. We put these experts to the test with the question:

“When looking for a long-term partner, what important factors do laymen most commonly overlook? What aspects of compatibility are often emphasized more than they should be?”

Everyone knows what they want, but sometimes what they need is another question entirely.


Online Dating Sites Compatibility Expert Panel:


Ashley Kaylor


There are no coincidences in the world of love, therefore it is no shock that Ashley Kaylor, coined as the Dating Diva USA was born on the celebration of love, Valentine’s Day. Destiny had placed Ashley into the industry of love and into the hands of mentor Janis Spindel, Professional Matchmaker to the rich and famous for over 21 years.

As Spindel’s protégé, Ashley has been able to learn the inside tricks of the trade and has traveled the world meeting and greeting thousands of men and women, hoping to find them their perfect match!

The perfect combination of Ashley natural intuition, experience, and education has allowed Ashley to step out on her own as an exceptionally talented apprentice of the next generation!For more dating/ relationship tips, please contact

Janis Spindel Serious Matchmaking Inc.

Read Ashley’s Response Here


Judith Gottesman


Judith Gottesman earned her BA in psychology at UC Berkeley and her MSW at Yeshiva University in New York. She has almost 20 years’ matchmaking experience. She currently runs Soul Mates Unlimited® Personalized Matchmaking, which serves all ages and backgrounds for the West Coast Jewish community. She can be reached at (510) 418-8813 or [here]. For more information, go to

Read Judith’s Response Here

Michelle Frankel


Michelle Frankel is a professional matchmaker, dating coach and relationship expert.

Not long ago she was single and facing the same dating frustrations you’re experiencing. Now happily married, Michelle is using what she’s learned to help other people achieve their dreams. Her marital status distinguishes her from many matchmakers.

Michelle graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and lived in Japan for a few years before earning her law degree from George Washington University Law School. After serving as a director of an international law firm, she decided to pursue her true calling of connecting people. Michelle founded NYCity Matchmaking—and never looked back.

Michelle believes anyone who wants to get married deserves to have a sacred union with the right partner. An established authority on relationships, she has been featured in numerous media outlets and is currently the relationship expert for a weekly online publication. She has also written for a leading online dating website and was highlighted on a dating show on the Discovery Channel. Clients trust her warm demeanor and professionalism.

For more information or to register in NYCity Matchmaking’s database please contact 917.387.5957 or or

Read Michelle’s Response Here

Ziva Kramer

Ziva Kramer, MA has been an international matchmaker, dating coach and spiritual advisor for professional singles for many years. Known for her honesty, candor, and for passing out wisdom that people trust.

Ziva’s name is a buzz word in the Jewish dating world, particularly in New York City. She is known for her inspiring, standing-room-only seminars and her “no-nonsense” approach to the art of romantic fulfillment. Her witty, enthusiastic, dynamic, funny, controversial and extremely entertaining delivery tells it like it really is. She makes her audience laugh and cry, leaving them with a newfound clarity.

Ziva Kramer

Read Ziva’s Response Here

Sherri Murphy and Tammi Pickle


Sherri Murphy and her daughter Tammi Pickle have been working together for the last 24 years. Sherri is the CEO and founded the company in 1994 after meeting her husband through a matchmaker on her very first date. Tammi was Sherri’s mini assistant when she was in real estate at six years old. She has been working part time for Elite Connections since she was 15. She’s helped with the Christmas fundraiser (link and children’s events all 12 years. When she got her Bachelors in Psychology she walked into the matchmaking profession full time and has been a tremendous asset to the company ever since. She is now VP of the company, meets clients daily and has put some amazing couples together. She became a matchmaker by accident when Sherri joined a small company 18 years ago and brought home the five men’s bios she thought she might like. Tammi picked out Bill and said, “This is your future husband.” Tammi was right, and Bill and Sherri have been married for 15 years. Tammi and Sherri have traveled the world together. As close as any mother daughter could be, they’ve been to a client wedding in Scotland, canopying in Costa Rica, snowboarding at Sundance and have been in each other’s weddings. They are a perfect pair, a great matchmaking team, are successful in their business and take much pride in the work they do together. If you’d like one-on-one advice (link to advice from the Elite Connections matchmaking team they can be reached at or 800-923-4200


Read Sherri and Tammi’s Response Here

Ashley Kaylor:

“I find that many people often look for the “here and now”, rather than a possible future within the relationship.

For those that are younger, causal dating should be encouraged. One needs to explore the trials and tribulations that come with meeting new people and dating. Casual dating gives you an opportunity to learn about yourself. You can then establish what you are looking for and what your “non-negotiables” are. This gives you a stronger foundation for the start of a committed relationship.

However, if you’re on the older side of the spectrum, you should be moving on from the spontaneous dating routine that has gotten you nowhere at the age of 40!

Stop focusing on the physical attributes that will change over time, instead discover your commonalities, trust and most importantly a friendship that will carry on in a stable manner.”

Judith Gottesman:
I like to consider people’s non-profit interests and whether they are into volunteering and charity to match them with someone who shares their views and causes or lack of. I also consider sleep patterns like nightowls and early risers. I often hear from my divorced clients who aren’t religious that religion ends up being a much more important difference than expected, especially for those who have children. I also see diet as something people won’t budge much on, whether it’s those who won’t give up fast food or those who are kosher, vegan, etc. People into health food will find it tough to live with someone who’s into junk food, for example.
The best love matches come from similarity, not differences. It’s as simple as that. Opposites are fun for the short term, but successful long-term matches share a lot in common, from daily lifestyle to deep-rooted beliefs and values.
I try to encourage people not to be so set on height, age, weight, education levels, and income, which often get in the way of people finding a great match. Your true love may turn out to be very different from whom you imagined and it’s important to be open to possibilities.

Michelle Frankel:

“When looking for a compatible partner, what important factors do layman most commonly overlook? What aspects of compatibility are often emphasized more than they should be?”

The most important factor commonly overlooked is “are you heading in the same direction?”; “do you envision the same lifestyle”. Often with the excitement of a new relationship many people forget to ask (or want to avoid) the most important questions. Do you want the same things? Forget about convincing your lover later on, it rarely works. Before making a huge time and emotional investment..make sure you ask what matters. Confirm you both want a family (or don’t). That you both envision a city lifestyle verses a suburban. If married, the division of responsibilities- would both work? All too often the serious topics are not addressed until you are already sucked in and have given both your time and emotion. It is best to discover this compatibility factors within the first month of dating (not necessarily the first date).

Regarding compatibility too much weight is given to both “similar hobbies” and “sexual chemistry” in looking for a long term relationship. As hobbies go, it is a very good thing to have something that is your own private escape. I don’t agree with the adage couples that play together, stay together. As a married couple you are together a lot, independent hobbies and spending alone time with friends is a good thing and should not be overlooked. When I was in my 20s, I thought my perfect guy would love to dance and travel the world. But the reality of the situation is how many times a year do you really going to go dancing or travel the world?? It is not what binds people together in a long-term relationship.

Yes, chemistry is important, and being attracted to your partner is essential. However, holding out for an elusive “amazing chemistry” is not wise or realistic. I have worked with many clients who had average chemistry when they started dating and they are in very strong marriages and very happy. You work at it and it chemistry continues to evolve. How you feel in one’s presence should supersede physical chemistry.

Sherri Murphy and Tammi Pickle:

When looking for a compatible partner, the most important factors that most people commonly overlook are the basic core of the person. People meet someone extremely good-looking and they overlook the fact that they are rude. Being mean to anyone including the waiter, is a huge sign that they are probable not a nice person.

The Elite Connections matchmaking team also says that singles worry too much about prospective matches not having enough in common with them. Studies show that people with too much in common do not match up well and tend to get tired of each other quicker. It’s interesting to be with someone that knows and does different things than you do. It can be boring to be with someone just like you. If you like to ski and work the stock market, someone can always become interested in that with you and learn from you. The matchmakers say that of course you need some things in common but don’t miss meeting someone wonderful just because they play more sports than you or are more educated.

The elite matchmakers have been giving singles advice for 18 years and know that everyone who has been single and dating for any length of time knows that finding that special person, even in a busy city, can be extremely hard. But, it can be even more impossible if you repeat the same mistakes and don’t notice the red flags in the beginning. There are a few significant changes you can make in your dating life to help you move towards finding “the one”.

1. Look at people, for who they are, not who you hope they will become. Life’s too short and you need to pay attention to the signs. Unless you can live with bad behavior on a daily basis, move on.

2. Don’t jump into a new relationship too quickly; it’s a recipe for disaster.

3. Look deeper than the surface. If they are a nice person get to know them and give them a chance, even if they don’t seem to be your dream date. A nice person looks better every day while a mean person gets tough to look at quickly. Remember there’s no such thing as the perfect person.

4. Don’t worry if you don’t have a ton of interests in common, a few things are adequate. Opposites can truly attract and make a fabulous couple.

Ziva Kramer:

When looking for a compatible partner, what important factors do layman most commonly overlook?

Every person has biological needs as well as a more noble humane spirit, a “soul,” that rises above the physical. This combination is what makes a person a human being, and distinguishes him or her from other animals. In many cases the instinctual behavior of man has him stalking his prey and pursuing his desires single-mindedly and without logical thought. You will see this side emerge if you are still at the bar at closing time: The bartender turns on the light and men become frantic, looking for a girl to take home.

There’s a constant struggle in men between the extremely powerful biological drive and the soul. Often, the biological drive tries to wrestle the soul into submission. The soul is trapped in a headlock, screaming that he wants to love you, wants to make a life with you, but the biological drive just tightens his grip and screams, “Shut up! There will be no marriage! There will be no commitment! There will only be instant gratification!”

But a man’s soul can take over if he is forced to get to know a woman. After talking with her, listening to her stories, learning her quirks, and falling in love with her laugh, he is still thinking about physical intimacy, but he has connected with her on a deeper, more noble and humane level and can keep the carnal desires under control and (inside him) at bay. In the dating world, physical intimacy often comes too quickly; it’s a connection on a base physical level unlike the humane type which has greater depth and consequence to rise above mere lust and desire. In other words, it’s a quick fix, not a lasting relationship.

You don’t want that. And deep down, despite what men tell women, men don’t, either.

At its core, my message is: Tap into man’s true humane and noble soul, not into his carnal urges.

What aspects of compatibility are often emphasized more than they should be?

Being compatible does not mean that you both like puppies, lasagna, and Wyclef Jean. Those are shallow interests that you have in common. Common interests are a bonus, but by no stretch of the imagination do they make two people compatible. It’s also a bonus—but again not a measure of compatibility—if you come from similar backgrounds.

Compatibility has more to do with whether or not your future goals line up, what his religious values are compared to yours, and whether or not you have similar values and views on family.

Don’t delude yourself into thinking that your Prince Charming will be flawless. Everyone is flawed. The question is: Are his flaws manageable or are they deal-breakers? For example, if you want children and he hates children, that’s probably a deal-breaker. If he has a tendency to get drunk and abusive, that’as a deal-breaker. If he chews too loudly or interrupts when he gets excited…well, those are probably things you can work on.