By Rita Okoye
Didi Edet is an in-house award winning dating coach at Lagosmatchmaker, a privacy-focused matchmaking platform for singles over the age of 25. Among others, Edet is the first United States Certified Dating Coach in Nigeria and has been matchmaking for over seven years. An Economics graduate from Howard University and a master’s degree holder in International Strategy from the University of St-Andrews, Scotland, Didi shares the need for matching making, a matchmaker’s challenges and lots more in this chat.
Can you tell us more about what you do?
I am a Certified Dating Coach with Lagosmatchmaker. We focus on connecting singles 25 years old and above and letting them enjoy the dating process. We focus on individuals meeting and having a first and second date.
Valentine Day is just around the corner, do you think there is too much fuzz about Valentine?
Valentine Day has always had a lot of attention as it deserves. It is like every other holiday or memorable day, it deserves to be celebrated, yes it does.
You are a matchmaker, so how best should a couple celebrate Valentine’s Day?
There are no hard and fast rules. There is no one way to show how a couple should celebrate Valentine’s Day, different strokes for different folks (laughter).
Why did you go into matchmaking?
Lagosmatchmaker is a privacy-focused matchmaking platform for like-minded individuals and was birthed out of the need for privacy in certain aspects of our lives like dating. Many friends I spoke to wanted to search for a date without leading prospective suitors by disclosing who they were.
In this age of Internet fraud, how can one trust online matchmaking?
I don’t think there is any worry about internet fraud with lagosmatchmaker because it is not strictly an online matchmaking platform. We have an office located off Admiralty Way, Lekki, Lagos where clients can come in and discuss the process if they so wish. But we discovered that many people don’t have that time so a lot of our work is done online.
Who qualifies to consult a matchmaker?
Anyone with a busy schedule can consult a matchmaker. I always say that it is the same as outsourcing cleaning or cooking because you don’t have the time to do those things yourself. It is exactly in this same way that matchmaking is a service that helps busy people who have little or no time to socialize and meet people at their convenience.
Why are men shying away from making the first move?
I would not say men are shying away from making the first move. Men for decades have been told that they alone could make the first move but in this new era, women are now able to make the first move hence you might find an increase in the number of women searching for a man because it is new and effective, rather than having to choose a spouse out of just the limited ones that desire you. These days, you have a wider array to choose from.
How should a woman react if she loves a man but feels the man should make the first move?
I would tell that lady to make a move herself because I do believe in communicating what you feel instead of being quiet and hoping in some magical way, he should know how you feel.
What are those things that should be put into consideration before going into marriage or a long-term relationship?
I concentrate on the dating aspect of life and not the relationship aspect. Relationships are too broad to understand so I rarely delve into actual relationship discussions or advice.
Since the pandemic, what has been the better alternative to socializing?
The idea that every social place is closed due to the pandemic can make you feel like social life is over and if you are single, you may feel much more isolated with very slim chance of meeting anyone or growing your network. Luckily, with our social and dating platforms, there are ways to feel connected and in control of your social life while maintaining social distancing.
Would you say Covid-19 brought a new side to dating?
Covid-19 may have changed some dating rules but it has also brought about a new side to dating. Let us face it; we still need human connection. Some people have turned to the global situation we are in for dating inspiration. I once saw a profile that said ‘I have an endless supply of sanitizers and vitamin C, you might want to give me a chance because I could save your life LOL, get to know me.’
What are the types of people on the platform?
We have a wide variety of people from diverse backgrounds. We have singles that have never been married, divorced, widowed and more. Our client base can be described as the working class that may not have a lot of time for social activities hence they outsource a part of their social life to us.
What advice would you give to singles out there?
I feel everything you want in life can be achieved if we put effort into it. If you want a job, you get the qualification and make an effort to apply for it. I feel such effort should be put into dating as well instead of sitting and hoping for things to fall in place magically. I think if you want love, put the effort to search for it. We are here to make that an easy process.