The Scoop: Maureen Tara Nelson of MTN Matchmaking, Long Island and New York City’s go-to upscale matchmaker for more than 20 years, is not the sort of person who rests on her laurels. She’s now establishing MTN as a national presence after matching thousands of extraordinary singles in the New York metro area and winning award after award. She frequently appears at MTN’s new office in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, while remaining connected with MTN’s long-time location in Melville, Long Island. One thing hasn’t changed: Maureen and MTN’s dedication to selectivity through her rigorous assessment of personality styles.

When you’ve been making matches — and winning awards for doing it — for more than 20 years, it might be understandable if you thought there were no more mountains to climb.

People might cut you a little slack if you put your renowned matchmaking service on autopilot and coast for a while.

But Maureen Tara Nelson, matchmaker extraordinaire in Long Island and New York City for two decades, isn’t that kind of person. Her labor of love, MTN Matchmaking, has gone national. That means extraordinary singles everywhere now have a better chance at finding a successful match than they might through any other service.

A lot goes into a decision to up your game after two decades of success. For Maureen, the catalyst was seeing her two children establish careers for themselves. She considered downsizing her life with her kids settled in Brooklyn and Maureen an empty nester in a five-bedroom home.

But the lure of helping people get together proved too strong.

As of summer 2023, MTN Matchmaking has a national office in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to accompany its long-established location in Melville, Long Island.

“It’s wonderful, and I love it,” Maureen told us during our latest sit-down with her. “We now can help everyone throughout the country.”

How? Now that she has no more little ones in the house, Maureen plans a dual-location lifestyle, splitting her time between Myrtle Beach and Melville while she and her dedicated team work with singles nationwide via Zoom and Facetime.

But there’s one thing that’s still nonnegotiable with Maureen. As a former pharmaceutical professional who has staked her matchmaking career on integrity, displays of narcissism or controlling behavior are always out.

“I don’t care how good-looking a man is,” she said. “I’ve learned to spot that, and I don’t take them on.”

Expanding Connections with Certified Colleagues

That said, you’re not going to find a more engaging personality in the matchmaking industry, which may be the key to Maureen’s success. MTN Matchmaking has received extensive award recognition for delivering high-end, personalized, executive matchmaking services.

MTN is the long-running annual winner of the Best Dating Service award from Bethpage Best of Long Island and Bethpage’s winner in New York City all four years they’ve held the contest.

“We really don’t try to win in New York, but there’s a spillover effect from working with Long Islanders,” Maureen said. “Some people just insist on working with us.”

As an executive-level certified matchmaker who personally hand-selects singles for matches that last, Maureen is also a stalwart in her professional community. She’s been a constant source of Long Island referrals for her colleagues.

mtn matchmaking logo
MTN Matchmaking meets every client where they are to provide a stellar matchmaking service.

“If they had someone from Long Island, they would come to me, and I would provide them with choices,” she said. “I did that for years.”

What’s different about the new arrangement with MTN going national is the referral process now works in the opposite direction. MTN’s head matchmaker, Peter Tarantino, who started as a client, combines skills learned from Maureen with past professional and business experience to help clients who may have business success achieve the same in their love lives.

Maureen’s niece, Tricia Jensen, who has been with MTN for 13 years, was recently promoted to district manager. Matchmaking assistant Sasha is a dedicated dating coach.

Long Islanders and New Yorkers who have counted on the MTN team for years can continue to rely on them as the business expands.

“I’ve always had it in my head that we needed to do more because people would have a sister in California or a brother someplace else,” Maureen said. “I knew I wanted to do it. I just didn’t know when.”

The Value of Elite Matchmaking

Maureen said it’s important for folks to understand that not everybody needs a private, upscale matchmaker. Affordability and choice are always hallmarks at MTN, but Maureen has created many videos and blog posts that anyone can access for free.

She feels she needs to get the word out however she can about modern dating and how eligible singles can set themselves up for success.

“Dating nowadays is horrendous — we hear the horror stories about internet sites where there’s no screening process or just the challenge of meeting people on your own,” Maureen said. “If you do things the right way, it’s less dangerous.”

She said she plans more videos and a dating manual where she’ll summarize her method for singles wanting to connect.

Maureen of MTN Matchmaking urges single people to seek certified matchmakers.

“I definitely recommend that you try it yourself for six months,” she said. “But if you don’t find that’s enough, then it’s time to go to a professional matchmaker. If you’re going to do that, make sure they’re certified.”

Maureen said it’s much better to work with a matchmaker who has undergone a certification process than one who starts a business on a whim.

Certified professionals are for people in a position to take advantage of them and who are serious about forming a committed relationship and want to speed things up.

Matchmakers like Maureen put applicants through a rigorous screening process. MTN takes things further by requiring all parties participating in the service to pay, ensuring everyone meets singles who are equally serious.

That’s not always the case, but it works for MTN. Maureen and the team credit themselves with facilitating more than 1,000 marriages.

“New clients are sometimes nervous in the beginning — until five minutes into it when I’ll begin to see a totally different person in them,” Maureen said. “They’re happy because they realize there’s hope.”

A Loving Legacy of Respect for Relationships

Ironically, Maureen hasn’t benefited from the MTN approach herself — yet.

Over the time she was raising her children, she knew it wasn’t her time for romance, but things would click when she occasionally practiced what she preached. Then she’d realize she wasn’t ready and was just testing the waters.

She learned about human behavior and personality styles during her pharmaceutical days. As a specialist in controlling behavior and narcissism, she places a great deal of importance on MTN’s extensive screening process based on three compatibility aspects. More than 3,000 singles are on the exclusive MTN platform, which doesn’t accept database members.

mtn matchmaking team
MTN’s team takes great care to cultivate a high-quality client base.

Maureen credits her powerful Irish mother for her success. With her second child out the door and expansion to Myrtle Beach underway, MTN sought an additional avenue of development, working with the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival in Ireland, where, years ago, her mother held court as part of a well-known family in County Meath.

She took half her team to Ireland to meet with Willie Daly, the patriarch of Irish matchmaking, and arranged to match Irish singles interested in living in the US. Although many Irish expats to the US gravitate toward Long Island and New York, MTN’s national footprint means they may find their match anywhere.

“I did that for my mother in heaven as a thank you for the help I know she’s given me as a matchmaker for 22 years,” Maureen said.

Meanwhile, work continues to build MTN’s national presence. Contact the team if you’re used to excellence in everything you do and want the same in your love life.

As for Maureen, she is again finding time to try dating on for size, this time with the idea of permanence in mind.

“I started two weeks ago — this whole process of manifesting, being your best self, putting out positive energy, and being approachable,” she said. “And yesterday, I was walking out of the bank, and it worked.”