we chat with in-the-know love expert katarina nemcova

It's that time of the year - love is in the air. Love and travel are synonymous, with a luxury romantic holiday being one of the best ways to connect and re-connect with your partner. We reached out to professional matchmaker Katarina Nemcova, owner-operator of premium matchmaking agency Find L’Amour, to uncover the secrets of how to find love.

As a professional matchmaker to an exclusive clientele that spans continents, Katarina also gave us some in-the-know tips on how to approach a first date, how to find your soul mate and, most importantly, where to take your partner for a luxury city break

You work as a matchmaker. What is the most common misconception people have about love and romance?

When it comes to matchmaking, the most common misconception is that matchmakers are miracle workers. To some extent, we really are, but our wizardry has some limitations - even if we find you your potential match, we cannot make them love you and we cannot do the work necessary to win and keep their heart for you. Also, some people assume happiness comes from external forces and that someone or something can make them happy. I have definitely seen how finding the right partner can enhance your happiness, but true happiness really does come from within.  

What is the best way to create the perfect date?

It’s all about the right combination of people, the rest is just the detail. When two happy and open people who are compatible and right for each other meet, there is a high chance they will have a wonderful date no matter where they are. But a fine-dining restaurant with great ambience and an extensive wine list certainly doesn’t hurt. 

What is the most romantic city you’ve been to and why?

I have been lucky to experience the romance of many beautiful cities around the world. I am completely hooked on France, and I think the iconic line from the final scene of Casablanca really sums it up - "We'll always have Paris”. Yet if I had to choose the ultimate romantic destination, I would choose the trio Italiano - Rome, Florence and Verona. These cities are home to some of the world’s oldest love stories, such as Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and that romance still reverberates through the city streets. The architecture, the food and the people make Italy romantic and mesmerising. 

How does body language come into play when on a date?

Don’t underestimate the body language. If you’re having a great time, show that you’re completely focused on them by holding a strong gaze. Sit back comfortably and move gracefully, be it while stepping away from the table or while reaching across the table. Be decisive. Indecisiveness is a definite turn off for everyone. It may be cute now and then, but on a first date, taking too long to order food or decide on the wine is a definite sign of annoyance. Speak softly and clearly in a relaxed manner without mumbling. The softer you speak, the calmer and more relaxed your date will feel.  

Why do you think travel and love are so connected?

I think travel and love both have a special power to connect people. Also, both enrich, excite and exhilarate. Travel helps people "find" themselves, and I am a walking example of that! The more you travel, the more you can share stories and memories.  In a romantic relationship some might perceive travel and love as a sweet escape from mundane daily routine, which can be true, but for me love and traveling are all about sharing beautiful moments together and getting to know each other better.

How do you know when two people will be compatible, and what are the key ingredients to success?

I rely on my strong intuition, and I have spent years working as both a head hunter and matchmaker to get a good feel for people and their desires. But of course the compatibility of two people is a very complex thing, and a mutual attraction – or chemistry - is the first key ingredient. Both research and life experience have proven to me that opposites really do attract. If a man brings certain emotional and intellectual skills to the table that a woman lacks, or vice versa, they make a perfect team. So if you're on the shy side, a more extroverted partner will help balance your personality; if you're logical and a planner, you'll make a great team with someone who's spontaneous and creative. 

What advice can you give to people looking for love?

I think in love and in life, it’s always good to be authentic and to be your best self. I think a lot can be said for being real with yourself, so you are ready for someone else's authenticity. Ask yourself: What really makes you happy? What do you really want out of life? It’s easy to get caught in a pattern of pleasing others, and doing what seems popular or "normal" at the time. If you shift your personality, passions, or purpose to please another person, you are not being your true self. Get to know yourself, love yourself, and learn to act and speak authentically. Be confident in yourself, your decisions, and your ability to attract love into your life. If you are being your authentic, best self, this confidence will radiate from within. You will attract someone who recognises, appreciates, and loves who you are.