Houston, TX

Q&A with a Houston Matchmaker

Betsy Denson

IJL Houston Director Stephanie OsgoodContributed photo

Stephanie Osgood is the owner and director of It's Just Lunch Houston (IJL), a personalized matchmaking service that has been in business for 20 years. The national organization was founded by Andrea McGinty as a personalized solution to what she saw as the fruitless dating scene of the 1990s. As the owner of IJL, Osgood spends her days interviewing prospective clients, matching active clients and gathering feedback on dates her clients go on.

Q & A with Stephanie Osgood

How long have you been a professional matchmaker?

I come from a family of matchmakers. Both my mother and sister are professional matchmakers as well.

Why did you decide to get into the business of matchmaking?

Selfishly, the reward of matching someone with their person is a feeling like no other. There are babies in this world because of me.

What has most surprised you about the dating scene in Houston?

How difficult it is to meet someone on your own. The city being so spread out makes it difficult to meet someone.

Is Houston a good city to date in? If so, why?

Absolutely! Houston is the melting pot. There is so much culture, diversity, and so many busy professionals. Your match is here!

What is a day in the life of a professional matchmaker like?

First, we meet in the morning and go over feedback from the dates before and do a complete matching session. I spend most of the day interviewing prospective new clients and determine whether I have people for them. Matching sessions occur again at the end of the day, where we as directors go over who we’ve met and what we think they’re looking for. We set up dates all the time. People are ready for that connection. It’s the best job.

What is the process like with It’s Just Lunch?

We continue to set up dates until the client asks to freeze their membership and explore their relationship. My clients go on hold all the time and can freeze their membership for up to a year.

How has COVID changed dating?

People woke up and realized a relationship is a priority, but they are not going to settle. People are craving human connection more than ever - they want to make a relationship a priority, especially if they have to quarantine again. Since the start of the pandemic, we have received so many new clients that we had to expand our office.

Why is it important for people to put themselves out there on dates?

Each date you go on you will learn something. Have fun knowing this is the process to prepare yourself for the relationship you want and deserve. After each date, think about what you liked and what you didn't like. You will learn more about yourself from dating, this all prepares you for future relationships. Be good, be positive, and be you.

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