Didi Edet: The Matchmaker
Didi Edet, a data analyst, debt recovery expert and author, is also a relationship coach at the Matchmakerdidi platform. Didi, who started out as a fashion designer 10 years ago, had her first degree in Economics from Howard University, Washington DC, in the United States, and a Master’s degree in International Strategy from the University of St-Andrews, Scotland.
Although currently based in Lagos, Matchmakerdidi, formerly known as Lagosmatchmaker, has served people from across Nigeria and the world, including the UK, U.S., and the UAE.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Didi Edet shares with Allure Vanguard her journey as a Matchmaker, tips on sustaining love in a relationship, as well as how couples could spice up their love.
How did your journey into matchmaking begin?
Matchmaking for me, started as a hobby. It has always been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I have always enjoyed connecting singles and meeting interesting people. I decided to do this as a business and officially started matchmaking. It was something I have always enjoyed doing. This passion of mine, slowly grew into a business, and we have been matchmaking since then.
After matchmaking a couple, do you follow up on their relationship?
After we are done matchmaking a couple, we no longer get involved in the process when they become exclusive. Our focus is on the dating aspect; when you are getting to know a person. Once you become exclusive, it is now a relationship, which we do not concern ourselves with. We can, however, refer them to relationship experts or coaches if necessary.
Do you have data on the number of couples that got married from your platform?
We do not have the exact data of couples that have gotten married on the platform because, in some instances, a person may not come back to inform you that they found their spouse on your platform. Our current success rate is about 97.4 per cent and this represents the number of clients that are happy with our services, or found what they’re looking for.
What are some of the challenges that come with being a matchmaker?
A challenge that we have as matchmakers is that, sometimes, some people come in expecting magic. They give you a list of things they want in a person and expect you to be able to create that person with clay. Another challenge is in trying to get people to see your point-of-view, and a lot of people are stuck in their ways, which makes it particularly difficult to convince them about certain things. These are some of the challenges we face as matchmakers.
Security has become a huge issue in Nigeria, how do you protect your clients from falling victims?
Security has always been a thing of concern when it comes to dating whether you meet the person online or offline, safety is always important. We do advise people to be careful when going on first dates. Our premium and VIP membership levels verify clients, to make sure that they enjoy the benefits of a safer environment.
What makes you fulfilled in your field?
It’s very fulfilling when you get a message from couples, that lets you know that they are getting married, or that they just had kids. You feel very accomplished, and you feel like you have made a difference in those people’s lives.
What are your plans to make this year’s Valentine’s Day a special one?
Valentine’s Day is usually a very quiet one for us because we do not match on Valentine’s Day as it can cause unnecessary pressure on those couples if we do. If you do match somebody days before Valentine’s Day, there is that question of ‘do I get this person a gift?’
What can couples do to spice up their love this Valentine’s season?
There are lots of things couples can do to spice up their Valentine season. I love the idea of a coupon book which is something we previously had. A coupon book gives you different tasks you can do for your partner or your partner can do for you.
Is love overhyped or wrongly projected?
I don’t think love can ever be overhyped. Love is a beautiful thing, I mean, imagine a world without love and relationships, it would truly be a boring one.
Why are there fewer happily ever after stories, what is wrong with our present-day marriages?
I don’t think there are less happily ever after stories. I think bad news travel fast; so, when people share their stories online about negative relationships, it does travel fast and gets viral. But, there are a lot of happily-ever-after stories out there as well.
From your experiences, do you think love seekers come to the table with the right expectations?
From my experience, I would say love seekers do come with the right expectations, but even with expectations, you have to know when you need to compromise. You have to be smart enough to know when a compromise is necessary. Unfortunately, some people do not and get stuck on the expectations of what they want and what they feel they deserve.
What are the tips for sustaining true love?
I would not be able to tell you a lot of tips for sustaining true love but, I do feel that certain things you could do in my opinion would help sustain true love; things like, being intentional about a person. When you genuinely love somebody, you want them to be happy. So, making sure that your actions are intentional towards making the person happy can help sustain that love.
What is your advice to the younger generation regarding love and relationships?
I would rephrase that as advice to the younger ones on love and dating since a relationship is different from dating, which is what we do. I would advise that you enjoy your dating process, get to know people and be open to meeting new people. Be yourself and enjoy your dating process.
Away from work, how do you relax?
When I am away from work, I typically would spend time with family, go out with friends or catch up on the thrillers that I haven’t watched yet. I am a big fan of limited-series thrillers.
What’s your best holiday destination and why?
Unfortunately, I’m not big on traveling. I have not traveled a lot since I moved back to Nigeria. My idea of a holiday would be anywhere close to the water as long as I have a nice view of the water, I would be totally happy.
Any plans to add new features to your matchmaking services?
Yes, we do have new features we intend to add to the platform. We are constantly thinking of new ways to help people get to know each other better and faster too. We want to help people know each other by going deeper than the surface level. I also have a new book out. It is a two-in-one book. It talks about the dating terms for Nigerians and it also talks about why you’re single. The title is ‘This is why you are single’, in which we just state the different kinds of single people that have signed up for the matchmaking platform, and difference between fact and fiction when it comes to dating.