@IAM—SAS: #mdmw does he floss evryday?? @PaulCBrunson
This isn't a Twitter game of 20 Questions -- #MDMW is the hash tag for Modern Day Matchmaker Wednesday, a project by relationship coach Paul Carrick Brunson that aims to help single Washingtonians find romance.
Every other week at noon, Brunson (@PaulCBrunson) offers a date with a mystery bachelor or bachelorette, providing a few tantalizing clues and fielding detail requests from his Twitter followers (which, at press time, numbered 17,593). At the end, he shares the dater's photo, then chooses one lucky Twitter follower for the date.
"There is no other medium like the Internet ... that allows for such wide access to people," Brunson says. "The matchmakers that can leverage this will be at a much more competitive advantage to those that only possess a few hundred people in their card files."
The social media experiment is just one part of Brunson's matchmaking efforts. As founder of One Degree From Me, the 35-year-old also arranges dates the old-fashioned way, counsels clients one-on-one and organizes singles events across the country.
It started in 2008 when, after initial matchmaking attempts with friends, the former accountant started thinking about going pro. Brunson researched the industry and apprenticed; soon, matchmakers who were having trouble pairing up their African-American clients were referring them to him.
Matchmaking is fun, but it's also something Brunson takes seriously: "When you have someone that comes to you who has had tumultuous relationships in the past and just talks about how lonely she is when she comes home from work ... it just tears at your heart," he says.
His #MDMW efforts, which have been happening regularly since August, have a devoted following. Brunson recently expanded the idea to include a biweekly book club, also conducted via Twitter.
Lauren Wilson, a 24-year-old law student in Washington, describes herself as "painfully shy." She landed a date with one of Brunson's #MDMW bachelors. "Being matched was a great opportunity to practice breaking out of my shell and to learn even more about myself," she says. "I think everyone who participates in #MDMW trusts one another, so people aren't afraid to let their guards down and say what they're really thinking."