When you hear the word “matchmaker,” you might think of Barbara Streisand in her flamboyant performance as Dolly Levi “arranging things” all across New York in the film Hello Dolly. Or maybe you think of Yente from the heart wrenching story of “Fiddler on the Roof” and her not-so-successful matches made within the fictional Jewish town, Anatevka, in Russia. Finally, your mind may wander to another matchmaker noted in fictional history known as Emma Woodhouse, the over-zealous English matchmaker created from the imagination of the one and only Jane Austin.
Regent University, as of last month, has its very own anonymous matchmaker who has taken on the pseudonym “Emma Woodhouse.” You may have received a friend request from her on Facebook or flyers for her matchmaking services. The matchmaking process is free and requires only that you fill out and submit a brief application if you are looking for a date to the Winter Ball, a friend or a date in general. The application has questions about personality, height, age and preferences when it comes to getting a date. Emma also has a blog site as well as a Pinterest page.
After learning about this, I took it upon myself to get to the bottom of it. My curiosity was peaked when I received a friend request from her—so I decided to ask her a few questions and share them with you.
Alyssa: How did you come up with the idea to become Regent’s first matchmaker?
Emma Woodhouse: My friend, you can call her Harriet, and I were bored one afternoon and were pondering our single status, when it dawned on us that we could take matters into our own hands. At first we laughed off the idea, but after discussing it for a while, we decided to act upon our thought.
Alyssa: They say opposites attract; how are you matching people, by similarities or by opposite qualities?
Emma: We use the Myers-Briggs personality test, along with many other things, to match people. An example: a person took the quiz and got ESFJ [Extrovert, Sensing, Feeling, Judging]. He/she could be matched with an ISFP [Introvert, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving] or INFP [Introvert, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving] person. We also look at height and age preference. We do not use superficial interests.
Alyssa: What will you do if there is an uneven number of male and female applicants?
Emma: We focus on the applicants who applied the earliest in an effort to be fair to everyone.
Alyssa: Have you heard feedback from the people you have already matched? Was it good or bad?
Emma: We have not received much feedback yet, however, we will be sending out information to many matches this week.
Alyssa: I have heard mixed feelings about this from the students on campus. What would you say to the students who have had negative reactions to your flyers and idea in general?
Emma: Haters gonna hate. But if they change their minds, I can help!
Alyssa: Are you going to continue this after Regent’s Winter Ball is over? Reconvene for the next Winter Ball?
Emma: Yes, we plan to continue as long as our services are needed. We are very excited for Valentine’s Day! As for the next Winter Ball, we’ll have to wait and see.
Emma and her friend Harriet said they “would like to thank those who have participated in her application process and wish them luck.”