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The Short Version: Few of us like to admit we need help, let alone with such a personal thing as finding love. Truthfully, though, we could all probably benefit from a little expert help finding “the one.” For successful singles in New Jersey, that expert is Julianne Cantarella, a licensed therapist with over 11 years of experience as a matchmaker and dating coach. Julianne’s background — working with sensitive therapy patients — gives her the intuition and know-how to help her commitment-minded clients forge genuine, successful relationships.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then perhaps laziness is the father — nothing seems to motivate human ingenuity better than the desire to avoid an unpleasant task. For instance, I am sincerely grateful to the nuisance that is baked-on grime for encouraging the development of the dishwashing machine. Similarly, there are dozens of happy couples in New Jersey who are grateful for the horrible New York City traffic that made Julianne Cantarella want to avoid the hectic commute.
When talking about her motivation to open her own dating and matchmaking agency, Julianne is quick to admit the commute was a big factor in the decision. “I didn’t want to schlep all the way to Manhattan!”
Julianne’s spent more than 11 years professionally helping people find partners and opened her New Jersey agency in 2009. Julianne is a licensed therapist, with a lifetime of experience developing her natural instincts and sensitivity. “I’ve always loved working with people, helping people.”
And help them she does. Though Julianne’s success stories are many, she’ll admit to having a favorite among her dating coach clients — Erin, a recent divorcee coming out of a long marriage. Many of Julianne’s clients come to her at difficult times in their lives, and Erin was no exception.
“I found myself suddenly single, and bewildered. I didn’t know where to begin,” Erin admitted. Well-educated and successful in her professional life, she found herself unprepared for the modern dating world. “Julianne’s coaching provided the empathetic guidance and gentle pushing I needed.”
Julianne’s passion for helping people find love is clear. Whether coaching or matching, she enjoys being able to give individual attention to each client. “The biggest part of this is the personal connection that I make with my clients.”
While the digital boom has made it easier than ever to meet new people, it can often seem that forming genuine connections with people has become even more difficult. Julianne’s date coaching program for women gives them all of the tools and skills necessary to identify a quality partner and form a lasting connection.
The secret to her success helping women has been her unique program that marries date coaching with online dating. After getting to know her clients, Juliane determines which dating websites will be the best fit — clients are typically placed on three different sites. She also employs a professional writer to put together eye-catching profiles and has three photographers on call to create knock-out profile photos.
“Selfies are always so distorted,” Julianne said. “My experience has been that photos can determine 90% of their success.” She also provides advice on what to wear and attends every photo shoot. “I’m very, very particular. I know my clients are making an emotional investment as well as a financial investment.”
That investment always pays off. When the onslaught of emails start pouring in, Julianne is there to help. “I log on with them, we go over the men who have reached out,” she explained. “We pursue the profiles together.” In fact, many of her clients end up with so many responses that they never make it to a third dating site. “They typically have a spreadsheet to manage the men,” said Julianne with a laugh.
For women who just want the chance at being matched with one of her clients, Julianne encourages them to become members of her database — a service that is always free. “Even if I do make an introduction, I don’t charge women for that.”
In addition to date coaching, Julianne offers full matchmaking services for her male clients — assisting them in finding, vetting, and courting compatible partners. “I date them before they do,” she quipped. She’s there every step of the way, guiding each client one-on-one through the entire process.
That personal connection is what helps Julianne find just the right match. “My goal is not to throw something at the wall and hope it sticks,” she explained. “I really do extensive vetting of everybody.” Once she’s found a match, Julianne sets up an introduction — usually a lunch date over the weekend. “I don’t do dinner dates,” she said, adding, “I feel it takes a lot of pressure off.”
It’s more than just matchmaking know-how that draws clients to Julianne, though — it’s her empathy, sensitivity, and sincere desire to help. One client named Steve summarized many of the sentiments of Julianne’s matchmaking clients: “Julianne has a way about her that is genuine and non-judgmental. She really listens and her approach to matchmaking is spot on.”
While many of us could use a little dating help, Julianne knows not everyone wants a full coaching or matchmaking program. Sometimes, all we need is a gentle push in the right direction or the answers to a few important questions. For those who just want a little advice, Julianne offers “Pick My Brain” sessions.
Consisting of a 60-minute, in-depth conversation, the “Pick My Brain” sessions can take place over the phone or a video call. The perfect opportunity to take advantage of Julianne’s years of experience to troubleshoot your love life, the sessions cover anything from how to succeed in the modern dating world to how to decode your partner.
While we’ve all gone out of our way to avoid rush-hour traffic, few of us have probably been quite so successful at it as Julianne Cantarella. Business owner, dating coach, matchmaker, therapist — Julianne performs a lot of roles in her new life. And in 2014, she added one more to the collection: wedding officiant.
In an odd twist on love at first sight, when Julianne saw Jim’s profile, she knew it was meant to be — for Jim and Erin. But Erin wasn’t quite as sure.
“She was reluctant to go on the date,” Julianne admitted. While she tries to never reveal her personal feelings to her clients, Julianne couldn’t let Jim slip through Erin’s fingers. So she insisted. “I told her, ‘You can’t tell chemistry or compatibility from a profile. Go on the date.'”
Erin trusted in Julianne’s intuition and went on the date. It wasn’t long before the couple was inseparable. A short time later, Julianne received the news that she was expecting — Erin and Jim were engaged. What came next, though, was a complete surprise: Erin and Jim invited Julianne to officiate their wedding. “You played such an important part in bringing us together,” wrote the couple. “You changed our lives forever!”