Grace Graham has lived her entire life in St. Louis. Before starting What The Heart Wants, she worked as a wedding planner and was regularly confused by the obviously mismatched couples who employed her. Obvious to Grace, that is.
Meanwhile, she always seemed to have friends asking her for help finding the perfect romantic partners. Grace proved to have such a feel for compatibility that her friends told her she should be matchmaking for a living.
Thus was born What The Heart Wants.
More than thirty years later, Grace has helped hundreds of couples find their forever bliss. “I love this job and wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world,” she says.
Grace lives with her two cats, Hope and Dream, and her French Bulldog, Theo, and loves to devour romance novels.
This interview with Grace appeared on the Modern Love website:
Grace Graham has been matchmaking now for “more years than she can remember.” Her agency in St. Louis, Missouri, What The Heart Wants, is best known for its practice of the matchmade couple sending at least three handwritten letters to each other before they meet or get in touch via electronic means.
“The letters go through me so they don’t know who they are matched with and therefore can’t cheat the system and get in touch with each other until after that third letter. What they write is up to them, but I always recommend they communicate from the heart about their hopes and dreams and what they are looking for out of life. After they have written their three letters, they let me know whether or not they want to meet and that’s when I arrange their blind date.”
The system has resulted in a surprising number of success stories and quite a few weddings. What does Grace think it is about her service that makes it so successful?
“It’s taking the pressure off that initial ‘getting to know each other stage’. No one has to bare their soul face-to-face to find that the other isn’t interested in what they have to say.”
And what about the fact that the ‘pen-pals’ don’t see each other?
“I match them with the information they provide to me on their perfect match. If they also get along fantastically in their letters, then I find what that person looks like physically becomes less important.”
But what about people who want to match with others online in the modern way?
“I’m moving with the times and I’m currently in the process of setting up a website and a modern system with an app! We can have both running side-by-side.”
And has Grace found her own true love? At this point she laughs.
“I’m too busy finding love for everyone else. It’s sad, but true. At the moment it makes my heart happy to match up other people. One day it might happen for me, but I’m in no rush as I love putting couples together. Work consumes me and I don’t think it would be fair right now to ask a man to compete with that.”
So there you have it. The irony is that in matching up other people, this lovely lady has no time for love herself.