Venus & Mars Matchmaking
By YP Contributor

A Match Made in Heaven

When you enter the office of Venus and Mars Matchmaking, you know you’re in good hands. The sign on the door is discreet. It says only "Cheryl Bursey," referring to its owner. The initial interview takes place inside a formal boardroom, stocked with black leather chairs and decorated with colourful abstract paintings. Cheryl, dressed elegantly in black, inspires confidence with a firm handshake and a direct gaze. An hour-long interview followed by a detailed questionnaire ensues.

Cheryl prides herself on her company’s personal approach. Unlike other matchmakers, she meets everyone herself. Her clients tend to be eminent, fit professionals who want to take the work and the risk out of dating. Cheryl carefully screens all her clients to ensure the information provided is accurate. But not everyone is slung by Cupid’s arrow: those looking for hookups, and those fixated on their exes, are politely dispatched.

Prior to matchmaking, Cheryl owned a head-hunting company, finding senior executives for ad agencies. But the growing popularity of sites like LinkedIn threatened to make her work redundant. “Also, I wanted something more fun,”  says Cheryl, who figured she could transfer her skill at matching executives with companies to fixing up the lovelorn with each other. And so Venus and Mars Matchmaking opened its doors in 2008.

Bringing happiness to others is the best thing you can do. It's a labour of love. - Cheryl Bursey, owner

A Labour of Love

Cheryl’s people skills serve her well in her matchmaking capacity. She is intuitive and a good listener. “I’m able to read people and figure out what they’re looking for,” she says. “When someone sits opposite me, right away my brain is processing who they would be good with." Afterwards she corroborates her opinion with the information in her database, and matches singles with similar values, socioeconomic status, and interests. “My success rate is incredible,” she notes.

Once a singleton agrees to a date, the “hand-holding” begins.  Many of Cheryl's clients are rusty at dating, and she coaches them on how to make the best first impression. (Be yourself. Ask questions but don’t make it an interview. Most importantly? Don’t sleep with your new friend on the first date!) There are rarely fireworks on first meeting someone, says Cheryl. So if there is even a hint of connection, Cheryl encourages people to meet again.  “I’m a psychologist without the degree,” she jokes.

Venus and Mars Matchmaking - Owner Cheryl Bursey oversees all the matches

Head over Heels

Today Torontonians are head over heels for Venus and Mars Matchmaking., as evidenced by the fact that much of Cheryl's business comes from word of mouth.  One happily wedded client told her, “You’re doing great work – I’ve referred you to three friends.” Another said, “You have a gift.” Cheryl has even expanded her services to other major Canadian cities, including Winnipeg, Calgary and Montreal.

Many clients have found lasting happiness through Cheryl’s efforts. She keeps photos of wedded couples in her private office and their testimonials on her laptop (many clients prefer not to reveal how they met).  Every once in a while she’s invited to their weddings.

Nothing pleases Cheryl more than when clients tie the knot: “Bringing happiness to others is the best thing you can do. It’s a labour of love."

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