I’d like you to meet Siggy Buckley. She was a matchmaker in Ireland and lives here in the US. Next Time Lucky is her fictional account, with some real experiences thrown in, about a matchmaker. I’m interviewing her today.

You are a dating expert. How does one become an “expert”?
The Irish media coined that phrase!  My own experience after my separation from my hubbie of 17 years made me reinvent myself having been a college adjunct professor and start a new life.
I lived in sticks of Ireland, a country that didn’t even have a legal divorce yet at the time. Where do you go to meet a new partner? Especially when you hit the 40 mark? I found many people in a similar situation and learned about the existence of dating agencies. Seeing how they worked, I thought I could do better, i.e., apply higher standards and safety measures. I bought the master franchise for Ireland from a British company. The business was very successful. I brought dozens of people together in holy matrimony or joyful cohabitation and I’m responsible for about a dozen children on this planet. Ireland is a small country and I was able to get a lot of media attention. I was featured in many newspaper articles, on the radio, and even on TV.  They started too call me “Chief Cupid”, dating expert, and even “Dating Guru of the Millenium”. 

How did you know you found the “Mr Right” this time around?  

By pure chance after almost two years of unsuccessful internet dating. New to Orlando, I checked out a nice bar/restaurant where  single people went-supposedly; just to see if it was worth my while to doll myself up on a Saturday to go on the prowl. He had been stood up by somebody else and just came in for a drink, sat at the bar next to me…and read the rest of this story in Next Time Lucky.

Where do you recommend adults over 40 meet other adults over 40? 

My obvious choice is dating agencies with a personal touch that know their clients and hold functions. Or matchmakers- even if it costs some money! Then there is surfing the risky waves of the Internet. I have relatives in their sixties/seventies that joined clubs to play cards, Trivia and went ballroom dancing. That worked well for that age group. So there is hope for everybody.

In your opinion, what is the biggest mistake someone could make on a first date? Are any topics taboo? 
Interrogating a candidate like in a job interview. While it’s natural that people’s past comes up, one shouldn’t dwell on it or complain about one’s Ex.

At what point, do you think, couples should become intimate while dating? Date #3, Date #5, weeks or months later?

That’s a very personal decision, isn’t it? In my experience as a matchmaker, first time encounters often remain one night stands. It’s biological ingrained into men that they like the chase.  Some are just looking for another notch on their bedpost. I like to see a man pursue me, let him make an effort and show interest. By that I don’t mean play hard to get, however. I’m a firm believer in gut feelings. You will know when the time is right.

With the experiences and mistakes the over 40 crowd brings to dating, do you think it’s easier or harder to find someone?
Harder than when? In your thirties? I found it hardest for women in their late thirties who were still single and looking for a marriage partner first time round. I venture to say it’s harder in your forties when you have kids or teenagers than if you were divorced and on your own.

I know Next Time Lucky is fiction with some of your non-fiction experiences thrown in. When we read this book, what is something you’d like us to take away from it? 
I’m taking the reader through a lot of situations where they can decide if they would have acted in the same way and learn from Cherie’s mistakes. That’s the main character. By sharing my experiences online and through my professional work, I hope to give them food for thought and help in making their own decisions. The dating tips chapter that I added to the new edition gives concrete advice on where to go and what to do.

I heard you were working on another book. What do we have to look forward in this one?  
A story called: I once had Farm in Ireland: An Organic Life Story. It’s of a biographic nature as well about the time my life took an unexpected turn when my first husband announced he would opt out of the rat race and go to Ireland to become an organic farmer. I was a city girl who was suddenly hit by a farm. While we had been strong supporters of the green movement and environmental issues, it’s one thing to vote green and another to change your life completely and emigrate to a foreign country for a presumably healthier life style. It was a challenge and a culture shock for me and unfortunately this adventure broke up our marriage. You get an idea about the subject matter on my Irish website:www.InandoutofIreland.blogspot.com.

You can learn about growing your own veggies, raising lambs, plucking gees and even make your own wine, if you’re interested. We almost killed ourselves with work producing healthy food. It’s being edited and will hopefully see the light of day by the summer.

What was your most romantic date? 
Being taken to a park for a picnic. He spread out the blanket, had brought champagne in a cooler, and strawberries. We lay under the Florida sun and looked at the blue sky. Suddenly his face hovered over mine and placed his first kiss on me. Then he fed me a strawberry. Another kiss.
“Do you want to see the sunset on the beach?” What beach? We were in Orlando. “It’s only about an hour’s drive  to Tampa. We may just make it.” And we did. Glorious and memorable.

What is your biggest turn-off? 
Men not shaving, not showering regularly, biting their fingernails. Apparently I have more than one….

When you’re in a bad mood, had a bad day, what is the one thing your husband can do that changes your mood? 
Hug me and tell me we’ll get through this together.

When he’s had a rough day, what is one thing you do for him to lighten his mood? 
Take him in my arms and tell him what a great guy he is, what I admire about him and why I love him.

For a great story and matchmaking check out Next Time Lucky!
Find Siggy at: