“I’ve been matchmaking for free since high school, I’ve friend looking out for my interest. I connected with
always enjoyed doing it, so I decided to pursue it pro- him,” says John, a 37-year-old owner of real-estate
fessionally,” says the Iowa native and former financial investment firm, who declined to use his last name. “I
exec. “I really didn’t need to work for money anymore.” can say things to him I couldn’t say to a woman…I can
have a frank sexual conversation.”
MEET YOUR MATCH (MAKER) But Easton’s paying clients pay a lot. He says he has 25
men shelling out from $10,000 to $100,000 per year, Even though Easton was divorced in 1991 (he has two
depending on what they can afford and how difficult daughters from that marriage) and just ended an en-
the job is. gagement, he calls himself a “total romantic at heart.”
He also has big bucks behind him having sold his EMC
“A man who wants to marry a woman in her 30s but Bank to the Merrill Lynch Group in 1999.
who doesn’t want children is a real challenge, for ex-
ample. And I have a man who wants to run for senator As part of his love-connection duties, Easton acts as a
and is looking for a wife who will help him get elected. I concierge, getting clients into hot spots like Bagatelle
will have to check that woman out as far back as high for brunch and referring them to nutritionists and styl-
school. They pay me well because they are looking for ists who can improve their look.
serious relationships – they could have a meaningless
date on a Saturday night for a lot less,” Easton says. “You would like to have my clients at Thanksgiving din-
ner – not like the men on ‘Millionaire Matchmaker’
Rival NYC Matchmakers – who are all female – admit who just walked off the set of ‘The Sopranos,’” he says.
Richard Easton—The Matchmaker Easton has an advantage that could shake up their in-
dustry. Bill, a 48-year-old Long Island Software sales exec who
By Beth Landman also declined to give his last name, explains, “I didn’t
“My women tell me everything and I always tell my have a hesitation with Richard because he is a serial
May 28, 2010 men that they should talk to me like I’m a man,” says entrepreneur and a successful guy.” Easton set Bill up
matchmaking vet Lisa Ronis. “But the other day a guy with a 34-year-old Belgian woman in the fashion indus-
It’s a rainy Monday evening, and Richard Easton is slip- was afraid to tell me that this woman’s thighs were too try. “We had a three-hour dinner, went into taboo
ping his business card to a stunning Australian hostess big. Richard is part of that boys club.” areas like politics and religion and came out shining,”
at Betel, a new eatery around the corner from his West Bill says.
Village office. In his oxford shirt, skinny tie, black PF And yet Janis Spindel says there’s no way Easton – once
Flyers and Beatles haircut, the man’s man looks like a her client – will muscle in on her business. “He’s a nice Easton says he has empathy for his male clients be-
rock music agent — but rather than aspiring to be pop guy, but there’s not a chance in China he’s a threat to cause he was once a client himself – in between his
stars, his clients are looking for love. Easton, who me,” she says. “He’s just another wannabe and not in divorce and engagement, he signed up with two high-
started his love-connections business in January, my league.” profile New York matchmakers. But it didn’t work.
doesn’t fit into the city’s little clique of upscale mat- “There was a disconnect,” he says. “I was telling them
chmakers. For one thing, he’s a guy. His Web site Tell that to the guys that are signing up. “Rich men are what I wanted and they were sending me Eastern Eu-
boasts a cartoon video of animals having sex, alongside willing to share their deepest predilections with him, ropean gold diggers.”
a news article “THIS DUDE WILL HOOK YOU UP!” and he works with gorgeous assistants,” says Lori Le-
vine, whose firm, Flying Television, is trying for an Eas- At his office recently, Easton worked the phones along-
An unorthodox approach, but one that appears to re- ton reality show. “He’s ‘Charlie’s Angels’ meets Hunter side his two assistants, Greta Tufvesson, 30, and Nikki
sonate with his male clientele, who can confide in him S. Thompson.” Lewis, 22. He was interviewing three women and had
in ways they wouldn’t with female matchmakers. (Eas- just signed two new men.
ton says he doesn’t charge his women members be- With male clients (who come through referrals), Easton
cause he doesn’t think it’s chivalrous and, of course, he performs an initial consultation, dinner and then drinks. “I’m clocking longer hours than I ever did when I owned
needs them in his database.) Female members (he claims he has 200) send photos an investment bank,” he sighs. “But it doesn’t feel like
and bios, and visit for interviews. “He’s like a best work. I have the best job in the world.”