This matchmaker doesn’t believe in love at first sight…
Joanna Kiernan, People Magazine, The Sunday Independent: Sunday 27th Jan 2013
Photograph by Tony Gavin
…and if you’re single, she wants you to ditch the romcoms. She is on a mission to mend Ireland’s broken dating scene by fixing up Irish singletons looking for love. “On a night out with friends, I spotted a well-dressed guy in his early 40s,” explains the 33-year-old Kinsealy native. “He was clutching a pint to his chest and I thought he must be waiting for his girlfriend or friends.” Eventually it became clear that this man was alone and had hopes of meeting someone. When subsequent enquiries revealed that many of Rena’s male friends regularly adopted similar tactics, Intro introductions agency was born.
She has been matchmaking on an unofficial basis since childhood. A number of friends and family credit Rena with introducing them to their partner or spouse. “I have an absolutely excellent amateur record,” she says. “I’ve been to two weddings recently of people I introduced at various birthdays. So my birthday and me seems to be a great combination. It’s April 23, if anyone wants to make an appointment for that day!”
She’s all for bringing back the slow set. “I’m only 33, but when I was 18 and I was going to places, there were slow sets, so it wasn’t that difficult to meet somebody. The opportunity was there and that’s missing now,” she says.
She favours dinner over drinks for a first date. “It’s too easy to meet someone for a coffee or a drink, take one look at the cover, gulp down the cappuccino, say ‘not for me’ and run after 15 minutes,” she explains.
She practises what she preaches and has successfully bagged a keeper. “I’m in a relationship and I was actually introduced to my partner by an old friend, so I really believe in the introductions system,” Rena says.
She doesn’t believe in love at first sight. “If there’s one piece of advice I have, it’s for the love of god, people, stop watching romcoms!” Rena laughs. “There is no love at first sight and if you’re looking for the thunderbolt, you probably missed your opportunity at 18. The older we get, the more discerning we become, and the more other things matter to us, other than that immediate physical attraction. It’s about compromising and being realistic, and if you love someone, you’re prepared to take them with the good or the bad.”