Chicago Tribune

Redeye - Can't Hurry Love
"Some Chicago couples are A-OK with a very long engagement. For many Chicago sweethearts, it isn't uncommon to find couples that prefer to hold off on marriage but still have loving relationships and children. Why not marriage? Well, it seems that when it comes to walking down the aisle, Americans today are waiting a lot longer than they were 50 years ago. What has caused this decline?  'Women in this day and age have a lot more options at their disposal than women back in the '60's and '70's' says Christie Nightingale, founder of Premier Match, an east coast matchmaking service with clients in Chicago. Amoung the options are greater access to higher education and medical advances addressing fertility. Nightingale continued by stating that many people are taking their time to establish themselves in their careers, pay off student loans and generally get on their feet financially. 'They're going through the steps of checking off boxes before they get married rather than afterward.'

Cougars, Hot in Hollywood, Endangered in Real Life
"Cougar relationships may be hot in Hollywood – from ABC's 'Cougar Town' to celebrity couplings like Ashton and Demi and even a reality show, "The Cougar" – but few women are married to men who are significantly younger. Dating experts say they have seen a rise in older women seeking younger men, though not necessarily the other way around. And they say those matches don't tend to turn into long-term relationships.

Christie Nightingale of the matchmaking service Premier Match said she has seen an increase in the past six months of women requesting younger men. A 48-year-old woman used to want a man between the ages of 45 and 60, she said. Now she wants a man between the ages of 35 and 50.

'The women say they are so youthful and so full of energy, men their age or older can't keep up with them,' Nightingale said. But she has not seen a change in age preference from her male clients, many of whom are still reluctant to date older women. While a few of them are willing to try it, she doesn't believe they are serious about it long-term."

Careers – Make me a Matchmaker
“Those who’ve succeeded in the Matchmaking industry say the market for it is ripe, noting the growing number of people fed up with online dating. What does it take to have a successful career in Match Making? After learning the ropes from a matchmaker friend in California, Christie Nightingale opened Premier Match LLC in 2001. She asked her single friends to sign up and placed ads in newspapers and magazines. The response was overwhelming. ‘In the beginning, it was insane,’ says Nightingale, recalling long days in the office and out interviewing prospective clients. She adds, ‘Matchmaking may sound glamorous and easy, but it can be a thankless job,’ noting that her clients are depending on her to get them into a relationship. With offices in New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. and alliances throughout the country business is growing 30% a year and couples are marrying.”