She’s a professional matchmaker who’s responsible for more than 50 weddings and 200 committed relationships.
But now Sasha Madarasz (39), owner of her very own dating agency, can practise what she preaches, after she recently tied the knot with her very own perfect match.
“It’s so comforting to feel secure. I can get on with the rest of my life,” says Sasha, who eloped to Fiji last month with her love Greg Owen (49).
The Auckland woman started her dating business, Two’s Company, 10 years ago, after she felt a need to help lonely businessmen and women find their soulmates.
“Half the reason why people need me is because they haven’t got that work-life balance sorted. My clients would rather die than have their photo on the internet or walk into an arranged dinner and bump into someone they know,” she explains.
“I meet every potential client, talk to them to build a profile and tell them what sort of people we can introduce them to.”
“I can’t promise chemistry or attraction. What I can promise is the opportunity to meet good single people wanting a relationship.”
In the last 10 years, the former talent manager has helped more than 4000 people, and has around 600 men and women on her books annually.
But the most important task on Sasha’s heart-finding mission has been her own search for love. Six years ago, after spending a year as a single woman, Sasha was ready to date and find Mr Right.
“I initially put myself on my own books. I was ready to send my profile out to 12 men,” she explains.
Sasha’s friends disapproved of her mixing business with pleasure and didn’t want her to find love through professional contacts.
“I said to them, ‘If you had a second-hand clothing shop, wouldn’t you pick the best clothes for yourself?’” Sasha recalls with a smile.
Her besties banded together to help Sasha seek romance the old-fashioned way – by setting her up with their friends. She went on four dates before Greg, an IT specialist, swept her off her feet.
“Surprisingly, he wasn’t on my wish list,” says Sasha. “He was previously married with children – things I didn’t want in a partner. But you’ve got to keep an open mind. You don’t know who you’re going to fall in love with. If you’ve got this big list, and you want to tick everything off, then you might find yourself single for a very long time.”
The couple went on a series of dates, and gradually fell deeply in love with each other.
“He had these sparkly eyes and we could make each other laugh. I knew he was The One,” Sasha tells.
For Greg, who has three teenage children, the feeling was mutual.
“She’s got a bubbly personality. She’s a person I have lots of fun with. My life is better with her in it.”
Greg knew Sasha was the one for him and proposed three years ago. It didn’t worry him that her work involved Sasha interacting with eligible bachelors every single day.
“I feel secure in our relationship, so it’s not a big deal for me,” he says.
Because of their busy schedules, the couple hadn’t planned for their wedding until last month, when Sasha suggested they take the plunge and elope to Fiji. She says it was the best decision they have made.
“We got married on the beach. It was perfect from start to finish,” Sasha says.
“I was able to look into Greg’s eyes and hear the words the reverend was saying and really feel it. I don’t think I would have been able to do that with the distraction of other people.”
The couple sent a postcard to all their friends and family to let them know they had eloped.
Returning to New Zealand, the newlyweds were on cloud nine. Sasha, who plans to start a family in the near future, says that being married to her love has given her an extra boost in her professional life, and feels in a better position to help others look for their perfect match.
“I know when some women go on a first date, they’re subconsciously thinking, ‘Father of my children,’ and ‘My future husband.’ That’s too much pressure for a first meeting. I want to teach people to forget about the end goal. Have some fun, enjoy yourself and get to know that person.
“That’s how I fell in love with my husband. We have a strong connection to each other, and to the world.”
Photos: David white • Hair & make-up: Luisa Petch