Dallasite Brooke Fitzpatrick is always going to parties and events. Professional mixers, meetups, a friend’s friend’s birthday. She’s probably attending one-to-two events a week. While there, she’ll chat up the other guests. She’ll take a genuine interest, asking them about their lives here in Dallas. But while they talk, Fitzpatrick will look for a wedding ring, listen for mention of a romantic partner.
Finally, after about five minutes or so, she’ll hit them with her pitch. “Are you single and looking?” she says. “Because I am a matchmaker.”
Fitzpatrick launched her Dallas-based service, Mosaic Matchmaking, which focuses on couples of color, in 2020. The ultimate wing woman, she’s always loved setting her friends up on dates. Although she met her own husband, Jared, “in real life” through work seven years ago, dating before that was exhausting, she says. “Dating, I felt, like was an endless game of swiping and starting over with each new date.”
It was especially challenging as a Black woman, whom studies have shown receive fewer matches on dating apps as women of other ethnicities. In 2014, OKCupid founder Christian Rudder released data in a since-deleted blog post that men who used his service rated Black women “less attractive” than other women of different races, per an article from NPR.
After she married Jared in late 2016, Fitzpatrick would listen to her friends, many of whom are also Black, tell her horror stories of the dating scene. It was frustrating, she says, because “these were amazing people.” There has to be a better way, she thought.
So Fitzpatrick researched the industry, and realized there were few matchmaking services in Dallas, and even fewer that showcased couples of color on their websites. She knew she had to fill that gap. Fitzpatrick knows what it’s like to date as a person of color and wanted to “create this safe space that people from different backgrounds can come to.” She set up her website, and in September 2020, she got her first client.
Matchmaking is not like a dating app, she says. Nor is she arranging marriages, à la Yente in Fiddler on the Roof. An introductory service, Mosaic “is literally a third person who is coming in to help you meet eligible singles.” Before she sets anyone up, Fitzpatrick takes two weeks-to-a-month to get to know her client and what they’re looking for. Depending on the package they buy from her, she’ll also call their family and friends to get their more honest take on the client’s love life.
Sometimes, she’ll use this period to get real with her clients’ expectations. Fitzpatrick says she’s had many conversations with people who have unrealistic requirements of a partner, coming in with lists like, he must be over six feet, must be college educated, must make six-plus figures.
“[Other] matchmakers and I have this joke,” she says, “where if someone comes to us, and they’re looking for something so rigid, we’ll tell them, ‘Go use a dating app, because you can filter for half of those things.’”
Fitzpatrick wants her clients to be open to dating someone they might not have considered their “type” before. She wants them to focus on shared values and goals. Something like height is just the “cherry on top.”
What Goes on the List?
When going over characteristics in a potential partner, Fitzpatrick has her clients group traits into three buckets.
“These are going to be the things that you absolutely know that you need this partner have,” she says, “because if they don’t relate, there’s no way the relationship can work and be healthy.”
“If they don’t have everything on the should-have list, it might not be a deal breaker,” she says, “but you know that in the long term, it’s going to be important for them to have it.”
“This won’t have a bearing on the health or the vitality of our relationship,” she says. “I don’t want to see any physical preferences until we get to this nice to have category.”
Once she knows what to vet for, Fitzpatrick gets to work finding a potential match. “The beauty of it is I actually go out and find [them],” she says. She’ll look up people on social media, like LinkedIn and Instagram, and scroll through singles on Facebook Dating. Sometimes, she reaches out to other matchmakers across the country to see who they know.
And she’ll hit the town. To go to as many events as possible, she’ll scan places like Eventbrite and the Dallas Observer to find meetups. She gets on as many chamber and organization mailing lists as possible to hear about events. She’ll go to any party she’s invited, too. Fitzpatrick will even approach people at restaurants and the grocery store if she spots someone.
It took a while for her to hone her pitch and get over the nerves of approaching people. But now Fitzpatrick says she has about a 50-percent success rate of getting interested potential partners to join her database when she meets them in person.
After she finds a potential match, she vets them for her client. She asks them about their dating history and goals. Do their values align? Do they have similar lifestyles? If so, then she sets them up on a date.
Since she launched Mosaic Matchmaking in 2020—she went full time and added date coaching to her services in February 2021—Fitzpatrick has worked with 25 matchmaking clients. Most are women, typically aged 35–50. Around 75 percent of them are looking for their first marriage. And about 80 percent of the couples that she sets up are people of color.
Fitzpatrick’s success rate, which she calculates by how many introductions lead to a second date, is 87 percent. One of her first couples just got engaged, and three more are in committed relationships for six months or longer.
The first few months after the introduction, Fitzpatrick is checking in on the couple, asking how the dates are going and their compatibility, giving date suggestions, and even referring other services, like premarital counseling, if needed. “I tell people, I can’t guarantee that you’re going to be walking down the aisle,” she says. “But I can tell you that I’m going to be here to support you throughout this process.”
While not everyone needs a matchmaker (enter her date coaching, where she helps clients learn to date with intention), having an expert third party help is “really beneficial,” Fitzpatrick says. Dating is a time commitment. Finding someone with the same goals and values is hard. “I tell people, sometimes it might just be better for you to try something different,” she says.
Sometimes, you just need a matchmaker primed and ready to catch you a catch.