We've all been there. A friend set you up with somebody they know who's "just perfect" for you. You're excited...but guarded...you've been here before. You have a time set for your friend to call with a potential fake emergency in case you need to make a quick exit. You arrive to find the person who's appeared in zero of your dreams. With whom you have no chemistry. And you can't bear to spend another second with them.

As far as Adelaide Matte's concerned, dating doesn't have to be this way. It should be fun. And never scary. She's got a strong track record of pairing friends who click and stick together. That's why this successful founder and owner of Adelaide Matte Designs Creative Birmingham, Alabama graphic designer and has launched a new matchmaking venture for singles in the area. We talked to Adelaide to find out why Set Me Up is unlike any other dating service you've tried!

You stay pretty busy with Adelaide Matte Designs, why launch a dating service?

If you would have asked me that a year ago, I would have said there is no way to start another business with my work load at AMD. As an entrepreneur, there is something so invigorating about starting a new business. It brings out your wildest creativity and problem solving skills that you felt when you started your first business. When I see a problem in society, I want to fix it. I believe that having a creative agency allows you to create any type of business, especially in our digital age. It is all about branding yourself. I saw the need and I am here to help as many people as possible with my new service.

How does Set Me Up work?

The Set Me Up process is very simple. You sign up online, you fill out our questionnaire, then you get matched! I am doing the first rounds manually. This is so I can make as many meaningful matches as possible. I am in the process of building out my digital application to make the process even simpler. That can be expected to launch in 2021!

What can couples expect on the date?

Couples can expect to be set up on a date with someone who shares the same outlook on life as them. The best part about this service is that you are able to put in your available dates and just show up to the chosen date and location. The date will take place at a bar, brewery, or coffee shop. I want to make sure the matches are able to sit down and have a face-to-face conversation.

Why is your process better than nationwide platforms like Tinder?

Tinder focuses heavily on volume. How many matches can they make? Tinder also focuses heavily on "hooking up." I want to focus on creating a meaningful connection between two people who actually meet in person, and go on a date first. What happens after that date is up to the matches. I do not allow the matches to communicate before the date. Only in a controlled way. All you get is a photo, location, and time. All you have to do is show up and get to know each other in person. If you ghost, you get penalized. This is an experience to put yourself out there and talk face to face and get off your phone.

Are you competing against other personalized dating services in Birmingham?

I have not seen any other matchmaking services come out of Birmingham. There may be some, but not that I know of. I want to start a movement in the dating world. I want to help people find love. I see a trend in our society, where we are inundated with too many options. We need to simplify our way of life. Less options, more purposeful actions.

What if the first date isn't a match?

The date will always be a match. But a life-long love connection is not guaranteed. It is up to the matches to determine how they move forward. What is promised is a date you will never forget.

How much does it cost?

The first date is free! From then, I plan on making each match $20.

Do you plan all the activities for the date?

I plan the location and activity. I am working to partner with local businesses around town to be "hosts" of Set Me Up. Right now I am sending the dates to places around town where I know and love the owners.

Who pays when it's time for the date?

That is predetermined before the date in their questionnaire. I want to have as many expectations taken care of before the date. They can choose: I pay, you pay, we split.

Can you preview some of the questions that set your service apart?

I take the things we want our partners to look like/physical attributes, what they believe/morals, and what your biggest deal breaker/boundary is in a relationship. I have seen, from personal experience, that these are the top three things that end relationships. If I can match that, as well as their hobbies and interests...there is an opportunity for the matches to go on a second date.

Why do first dates fail?

In my humble opinion, I believe 21st century first dates fail because we set these unrealistic expectations for the person. I have found myself looking at their mother's Facebook profile before the date and seeing that she loves baking. I love baking. Then I start thinking about how I'll fall in love with her son and he will be everything I ever wanted. See, this is how we spiral by having SO much access before a first date. We create a fake version of the person in our head that does not actually exist. No wonder we are disappointed when we actually get to know each other.

What goes right when a first date leads to a second date?

When you come in to the date with an open mind. I believe that having unrealistic expectations will only hurt yourself in the long term. Always stay true to your standards, but be willing to get to know someone first before you throw them out.

Do you coach clients on what to do after the date?

It is specific to each client. If they need a little more confidence to go on their first date, or some tips, I will help them out!

What do you recommend girls wear on a first date?

Girls should wear whatever makes them feel most confident. If that is jeans and a T-shirt, then wear jeans and a T-shirt. If that is a full face of makeup and dress, then put it on! I am all about confidence, so whatever helps the girl feel most confident and like her authentic self, she should wear it.

What about the dress code for guys?

In all seriousness, same thing for the guys. Whatever makes you feel most confident! Oh, and girls love a nice smelling & clean guy!

What else do you want people to know?

In COVID times, it has become even harder to meet a potential romantic partner. I want to change the way we meet people. I want to optimize our dating world in a safe way. I also think dating should be fun. It should help us grow as individuals to become the best version of yourself, where we can be a great match for someone, and be happy.

The number of spots available is limited for each round of Set Me Up connections. Participants fill out a questionnaire and get personally matched with a blind date. All you will know is place, dress code, location, and time. Each person is individually vetted to ensure a respectful date. Participants receive the name, photo, and cell phone number of their date 5 minutes before they meet. The first round is taking place in Birmingham only for ages 22-35, but Adelaide hopes to expand future rounds to additional age groups and potentially bring the service to other cities. Visit setmeup.io to learn more and to sign up for a future round!