Dating coach and matchmaker David Cruz, 41, grew up on Guam before moving to Los Angeles 10 years ago. Getting his start with Patti Stanger on Bravo’s “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” he now runs his own dating advice company, Finding Cupid, and works with the matchmaking outfit Three Day Rule. Desert Outlook caught up with him to find out why he can’t help setting LGBTQ people up to find love.

Sorry, but we have to ask: Are you single?

I am not. I just got married a year ago.


Why do you care so much about setting people up?

A long time ago I was at a West Hollywood party and somebody asked me what I did. And I told them. Somebody said, “Nobody cares about relationships. We’re gay men.”

As I threw myself into the dating scene in LA, I quickly became aware that everybody was very jaded. There was nothing out there to support the average gay man in the way they needed to be supported. What I really wanted to do was to say, “It’s OK for you to be a romantic. It’s OK for you to believe in love and want a long-term relationship, to want to get married.”

What makes you qualified to help people create successful relationships?

Working with, and being under the tutelage of, Patti Stanger, I think I really learned a lot about relationships and what it takes for a matchmaker to make connections. In addition to that, between podcasts that I host and the different people that I’ve interviewed, as far as experts, I’ve really learned a lot about the different kinds of relationships and dating and love. All of that is cumulative [in terms of] my expertise and talking about relationships and love, and helping people be successful at them.

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How do you describe to other people what you do for a living?

I feel like I coined this term, and at some point I should just trademark it because someone might steal it from me, I like to tell people I’m a “love enthusiast.” When it comes to all things love — including rom coms — I kind of go crazy for all that stuff.

How do you work with a new client?

People get to know me directly through my website to set up a time to talk. Sometimes people reach out to me through social media and say, “Hey, I would love to connect and get your expert advice.” At that point we discuss how I can help them with the advice or direction they need.

What is one of your most helpful tips for gay men who want to date successfully?

The most successful thing that I can tell anyone, especially gay men, is to really take inventory of what you’re dating for. Are you dating because you want a long-term relationship, or are you dating because you want to go out on Friday night? We have to be dating with intention. If your intention is to find a long-term relationship, let’s look for like people, similar people that have that same frame of mind. If we’re only going out there, dating without purpose, or with no real destination, then we’re not really gonna be meeting the right people. We’re just going to be dating and wasting a lot of time with the wrong people.

What are some of the most common mistakes gay men make when dating? What gets in their way?

The easiest one is that we can choose a lot of these apps that are out there. Oftentimes I’ll ask, “Where do you go to find other people to go on dates with?” People will say Grindr. Well, that’s not where that’s gonna happen. It’s not a dating app. This is very controversial. Some gay men will tell me, “My friend found his long-term partner or boyfriend through [Grindr].” And that’s fine. But it’s an exception to the rule. Is it a great way to meet people? Absolutely. But is it an app people used to find a long-term relationship? No.

The most unusual/surprising/amusing moment in doing your kind of work?

[I] had a client that was not listening to me. [Laughs] We ended up with the same results all the time. He kept bringing a list to the table that said “I want A, B and C. I want six-pack abs. I want superman.” But the list doesn’t necessarily lead to the kind of wonderful person you’re going to end up with. My client was so beautifully surprised after [I yelled] at him so much … the person he eventually ended up marrying, it was somebody he didn’t expect. That’s always the funny thing, too. We end up finding someone completely different than who we thought we’d end up with.

What is the difference between being a matchmaker vs. a dating coach?

A matchmaker will go out on bad dates for you! Do the vetting, find people in their day-to-day. If I’m going out on a weekend and I’m working with a new client, and I see someone or engage with somebody, I’m like, “Oh my God! You’d be so perfect for this guy that I’m working with.” I’ll seamlessly say, “Here’s my card. Give me a call if you’re single.” A matchmaker does all that. If I meet someone, and they turn out to be horrible, you’ll never know.

What a dating coach will do is enable you and help you go through those motions. But it’s all on your end. We’ll talk about the best ways to go out on dates … to find dates. And then you’ll go out there. Then we’ll sit and we’ll recap.

What might people just not know about your type of work?

That this is a resource. If you want to learn more about a certain skill set at work, you’ll go take a class. If you want to get better physically, you’ll hire a trainer at the gym. In the world of dating it’s the same. A lot of us don’t realize that there’s a support system out there … and matchmakers are those people. So why not sit down with a matchmaker and have them help you in your dating life? It’s definitely something that I would’ve done had I thought about it.

What brings you the most satisfaction in your work?

Just the simple idea that two people can come together, and I helped make that happen, is really beautiful to me. There is no greater joy in life.

What allows you to be successful/keep going? Who and what inspire you?

My husband really inspires me. He constantly challenges me and somehow raises the bar in our relationship and how to be more thoughtful. I feel like I have to know it all, but he’s always reminding me that there’s so much more … to being that second party in that relationship. Because, once you get married, really, what people don’t understand is once you get into that long-term relationship and you decide that you’re going to get married, there’s this whole other journey ahead of you that people don’t realize is still coming. Just finding one person is the start of it.

If you could wave a magic wand and create any kind of change in the world, what would it be?

Just for everyone to be more kind. I was raised by a strict Catholic mom and military father, and I’ve always been raised to be as polite as I can to as many as people as possible. Even just the simple act of holding a door, or saying please and thank you, or giving somebody a hug. You’d be so surprised at how many people out there are so needing that in their lives.

Three adjectives most people would use to describe you…

Happy, for sure. Positive. And, let’s see … maybe inspiring.

Best perk of your job?

My office is a coffee shop or a restaurant, so I get to know a lot about traveling and going to the best date places.

What were you like in high school?

[In] freshman and sophomore years I was very quiet and shy. In my junior year I realized that I could join clubs and enrich my life. I was very participatory … and I liked that.

Your message to LGBTQ youths starting their careers today?

It’s important to be completely comfortable and confident in who you are. That no matter where the journey is taking you … there’s still a lot of opportunity for you to be bigger, bolder and more beautiful. Find a career that’s going to make you happiest … find a career that’s going to use all of your talent. Keep going until you find that really perfect place.

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