1Q) Dr. Frankie, you are a clinical psychologist, a lesbian matchmaker, and a relationship expert. Tell us a little first about how you entered this field and the process.
1A) Yes, I’m busy! My formal training consists of obtaining my doctorate in clinical psychology. For the past ten years I’ve sought out a very diverse clinical experience. I’ve worked extensively with LGBT clients, trauma clients, couples, and families. A few years ago I decided to branch out from clinical psychology and connect with people in a less formal setting. My own long-term relationship with my partner brought so much happiness to my life and we were absolutely thrilled about having our twins. Meanwhile I saw so many of my friends trudging through the online dating world and having difficulty meeting other compatible, relationship-minded women. I wanted them to experience all the joys that a relationship and family can bring. It suddenly occurred to me that I could put my formal training, experience, and natural gift of connecting with people to help our beleaguered dating community. Little Gay Book was born and I never looked back! My service is unique because my staff and I personally screen every client and potential match. We don’t use algorithms and formulas to match people, just good old-fashioned intuition and common sense. I also offer relationship coaching, which several of my matchmaking clients use to fine-tune the relationships I’ve helped them find! It’s a great combination. If you’re interested or even curious about the process, fill out a confidential profile at littlegaybook.com. There is absolutely no cost to join my database and you might just meet your match!
2Q) What inspired you to want to work with others on such an intimate level?
2A) By nature I’m a people person. It’s what drew me to psychology and what led me to matchmaking. I made my first match when I was about 13 by introducing my single father to my single eye doctor. I’ve always found myself thinking about my single friends and who’d make a cute couple. I also got so many fulfillments from my own relationship and the connection I had with our children, that I wanted to share it with the world! At the same time I discovered there was an absolute void in the LGBT community in terms of resources to help us find lasting love. There were countless cocktail parties and mixers and clubs and bars for hookups and social encounters but none of these scenes really panned out for people seeking relationships.
3Q) When and what made you decide to focus exclusively on helping the lesbian community, in particular, to find loving relationships?
3A) I started out initially as a matchmaker for gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals seeking same-sex relationships. I was already balancing family life with my career as a psychologist, my private practice and my relationship coaching practice. Also, as a lesbian I have more connections and insight into our community. Within the first year I made the decision to focus my matchmaking business in the lesbian community so I could provide the highest level of service to my clients.
4A) Tell us a little about the mission of Little Gay Book.
My mission is to help strengthen the lesbian community and LGBT community in general by helping form stable, loving relationships and families. As a Jewish woman with a large extended family, I believe that relationships and especially families make the cornerstone of a strong and healthy community. The religious right likes to portray our community as some type of alien life form, but ironically many of us are seeking the very things like love, partnership, and family, that the right likes to claim as their own.
5Q) What has been your most successful or heartwarming match so far?
5A) Well if I had to quantify success by years and offspring, I would have to say my father and stepmother. They’ve been together for over 20 years and have three incredible children. Of my more recent matches I’m quite proud of matching two introverted coaching clients that were both looking for introverts! That is a match that would not have happened organically since they don’t travel in the same social circles, don’t have overlapping careers, and would not have stepped out of their comfort zone to approach one another. I’m really proud of that match and of both those women for taking a chance and making things work.
6Q) What are some of the main themes you encounter over and over again with relation to lesbians trying to find their perfect match, as well as in their relationships themselves?
6A) I commonly encounter women who are fed up with the superficial nature of the club and bar scene. This of course is not unique to the lesbian community. A common stumbling block is the six degrees of separation in our community. It can be kind of a minefield trying to navigate the who’s-who of our ex-girlfriend’s-best friend’s-ex-girlfriend world. The most common and catastrophic relationship problem I see are women moving too fast, and prematurely (and excessively) merging their lives. During the honeymoon period both individuals are on their best behavior and are each projecting fantasies onto the other. Only after the dust has settled and some time has passed do you truly know who you are with. And ladies, do yourself a favor, when someone shows you who they are-believe them.
7Q) Recently, you made headlines when you spoke out against Millionaire Matchmaker’s Patti Stanger, after she made some off-color remarks about gay men and lesbians. What inspired you to want to want to take a stand and speak up?
7A) Well, I happen to find Patti Stanger and her show really entertaining. But she over-stepped her bounds by making sweeping, and several false, generalizations about our community. I think it’s important to address fallacies when they arise. I’d hate to think there was someone out there wandering around believing gay men had an extra chromosome.
8Q) What are the major differences you have found between matchmaking and being a relationship expert for the lesbian community?
8A) The two really pair nicely together. Matchmaking appeases my Yenta urge and gives me a chance to work individually with women. As a relationship expert I get to reach a larger audience who may not be familiar with my work. I love matchmaking and coaching and believe the crossover between the fields makes me better at both.
9Q) You have been in a loving and monogamous relationship for many years now and have two kids. How did you meet your partner and what is your relationship like, especially having to juggle it with your full-time business?
9A) My partner and I have been together almost ten years now. We met through mutual friends at a soccer tournament of all places. I found out years later she was actually eyeballing my rotisserie chicken! We have a great relationship built on mutual respect and love. Like any couple we’ve been through rocky patches, but I am convinced that if a relationship is built on the right foundation there is no problem that’s insurmountable. In my situation this includes navigating a more-than full-time work schedule, children, field trips, little league games and my partner’s own full-time work schedule. It’s hectic, but we make our relationship a priority and we are committed to maintaining a happy family.
10Q) What is the one tip you would give a single lesbian who is trying desperately to find a partner?
10A) My number one piece of advice is to not limit yourself by creating excessive must-haves, obstacles and deal breakers. Understand the difference between a “must-have,” a deal breaker, and a preference. For example, if you are a very accomplished athlete hoping to date someone similar, dating a rock climber, a gymnast or a cross-country skier is a preference. To maximize your chance of finding someone really compatible, think of the broader category as athletic, and place that in your “must-have” column. And on a side note, finding love is not a race, it’s a path of self-discovery that will hopefully eventually lead to love. So if you’re ambivalent about your feelings after one date, give it a second shot and see where things go. As Oprah says, women are slow cookers and it takes us a while to warm up. Maximize your chance for success by keeping your heart and mind open.