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The Short Version: A Texas-based matchmaking company called H4M has filled a niche in the dating industry by catering to relationship-minded singles in the LGBTQ+ community. For the last six years, Tammy Shaklee has taken it upon herself to coach, match, and support gay men and lesbian women from coast to coast, and she has pioneered dating services that champion love in all its forms.
Tammy Shaklee takes pride in her work as a certified matchmaker for LGBTQ+ singles. She empathizes with her clients and genuinely hopes to see them succeed. When working one on one with clients, Tammy told us she knows how to put herself in their shoes — because she has been in their shoes.
Years ago, Tammy sought the help of a professional matchmaker and found love on an arranged date. She’s now happily married and eager to share her success with people from all walks of life.
Tammy is on a mission to bring more love into the world and runs a boutique matchmaking firm called H4M in her hometown of Austin, Texas. She specializes in helping gay and lesbian singles build loving relationships.
“Being a certified matchmaker is not a hobby,” Tammy said. “It’s not just something you may have been good at with friends — it’s a business.”
Since 2012, Tammy has branded herself as the go-to gay and lesbian matchmaker for singles interested in finding the real deal. Her matchmaking business has grown steadily thanks to word of mouth, and she’s now able to serve clients all across the U.S
By working closely with and listening to singles across the spectrum of sexuality, Tammy has been able to hone her services to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ+ individuals in the dating scene.
“I believe in treating all clients equally, and as professionally as they treat their clients in their own careers,” Tammy told us. “If this were easy, as we say, everyone would be doing it.”
H4M launched as a same-sex-only offline matchmaking company in 2012 — the same year that Tinder launched. The matchmaking firm adapted to the fast-changing dating environment by developing flexible and effective matchmaking and coaching services grounded in traditional values.
Today, H4M has positioned itself as a quality-driven alternative to online dating. Tammy said she has spoken with many clients who are experiencing fatigue with online dating and welcome the chance to get back to basics and meet compatible handpicked dates in person.
“Online dating fatigue is real,” Tammy said. “Singles tell us more and more so every week. Compatibility is so much more than what looks or type one is usually attracted to initially and visually.”
The H4M matchmakers offer more than a photo and a byline when introducing clients to one another. They put together detail-oriented personality profiles and arrange dates based on a combination of personal information and gut instinct.
Tammy said that many educated, successful, and busy professionals reach out to her because they are utterly exhausted by swiping endlessly and making the wrong matches. She has added staff members to serve the growing demand among her expanding client base.
The H4M matchmakers also collaborate with and take referrals from straight matchmakers in hopes of making the dating scene a more positive and encouraging place.
“Our industry needs to strive to improve,” Tammy said. “As more and more LGBTQ singles turn to offline matchmaking after online fatigue, we should be transparent in setting clear expectations for this new client base. Let’s match the most compatible singles by working with each other’s clients. It’s a win/win for all of us.”
H4M welcomes singles of all orientations and provides unlimited dating coaching to clients in need of guidance. The matchmakers and dating coaches do whatever it takes to help individuals reach their goals in the dating scene. Whether they’re providing traditional introductions or giving body language tips, these consummate professionals have a lot of knowledge to share with singles.
For instance, Tammy encourages her clients to give new love interests at least two dates to see if they like the person. It takes time for a person’s energy, personality, and character to shine through, and sitting down to have those conversations with another person.
H4M is one of the few matchmaking companies that arranges the first and second dates between its clients.
“I’m an advocate for reducing the swiping and typing, and increasing human interaction and conversation,” Tammy said. “It’s the best way to determine potential lasting compatibility.”
With Tammy’s support, H4M clients put away their phones and open their hearts to new relationships. The matchmaking company endeavors to facilitate face-to-face human connections. This traditional route requires individuals to slow down and really consider the person sitting opposite them. The matchmakers don’t even show photos before the first date.
“More traditional introductions, courting and dating has been our focus from the beginning,” Tammy said. “Gay and lesbian singles have told us for years that it’s the most anticipated third date they’ve ever had.”
The H4M matchmakers love it when they hear back from two clients who met and fell in love on an arranged date. Whether they’re providing post-date feedback or sharing an engagement announcement on Facebook, clients often shower H4M with praise for pointing them in the right direction.
Tammy told us she likes keeping in touch with clients and seeing them grow in their relationships. Some have even returned to her firm for ongoing relationship coaching.
“I am learning so much about myself through this process,” said a 30-year-old client in a testimonial. ” I have enjoyed every date so far and appreciate all that you do. It’s amazing.”
“Because of H4M, I am convinced there really are good, quality singles out there.” — A 63-year-old H4M client
“I am so excited to be working with H4M,” a lesbian client from Boston said. “I love the energy and connection. I truly believe you understand me and what I am seeking.”
H4M helps people of all ages and backgrounds. Tammy has noted a recent trend in middle-aged men coming out of the closet, leaving marriages, and turning to matchmakers for help starting over and entering the gay dating scene.
“Since marriage equality passed, the evolution of societal acceptance continues to expand and give permission for those who are living successful but closeted lives,” Tammy said. “Even with more prevalent dating coaching, I try to be gender neutral, so as to reach and assist as many singles as possible.
After six years of networking and matching, Tammy has made a name for herself as one of Austin’s top gay and lesbian matchmakers, and she has grown a nationwide network of love-oriented singles. H4M is an inclusive matchmaking firm that specializes in building quality relationships between same-sex partners.
Tammy has expanded her business model to support LGBTQ+ singles who are struggling to find their way in the dating scene. Her encouragement and support has been an invaluable resource to daters across the spectrum of sexuality. Now H4M is collaborating with straight matchmakers to spread the word and grow its network across the country.
“My goal is to lead with love,” Tammy told us. “H4M is much more than matchmaking. It’s talking and walking pro-equality daily. As a relationship expert, I hope to provide encouragement and support to all singles.”