New Columbus matchmaker, certified by the Love Doctor, is here to help you find ‘the one’

Sav McKee

These days, finding a partner organically can feel draining and challenging. It’s no wonder that 70% of Americans have turned to dating apps or websites in their quest for love. However, relying solely on these apps, which the New York Times refers to as “fruitless searching,” is leading to a burnout of its own – studies show that endless swiping takes a toll on mental health, ultimately leading to less intimate partnerships and an epidemic of loneliness.

Fortunately, Rachel Joy Barehl, Columbus’ newest, certified matchmaker, superconnector, and dating doula is here to alleviate the Hinge fatigue, and is here to remind us that we’re worthy of deep love. Her mission is to empower her clients to embrace their quirks in order to develop intimate relationships with themselves and others through face-to-face connections and meaningful conversations. 

As an established photographer in the Columbus community, Rachel has honed her skills in capturing love, which she believes has made her a better matchmaker. “I love reflecting an individual’s beauty back on them,” she emphasized. “When I show up at a photoshoot, I let my clients know that ‘everything you are is as you are, and is good.’” Rachel possesses a keen ability to identify and capture the most beautiful parts of a person and make them feel valued. Now, her aim is to help individuals discover those qualities within themselves, and ideally, help them find a partner who appreciates them, too.  


She’s invested significant time attending the Global Love Institute’s matchmaking courses, where she studied the science of building successful partnerships. Additionally, she’s received a validated matchmaker seal through relationship coaching by the world-renowned Love Doctor, Dr. Terry Orbuch.

Chelsea Skaggs, relationship coach, and Rachel Joy Barehl. Photo by Brock DuPont.

Rachel is forging her own path in the field of matchmaking, though. “A lot of matchmakers are just for the wealthy and beautiful, but I want to make this accessiblepeople of all different backgrounds, sizes, and shapes. Mostly, people that are kind and care about human rights. People with good hearts that are good humans,” Rachel explained. “And, the people who don’t necessarily ‘look the part’ have been so successful on their dates that I’ve set up!”

Here’s a breakdown of how Rachel’s matchmaking services operate: The process is divided into three stages to ensure alignment between Rachel and her clients. In Phase One, she takes on 5 clients per month (others are waitlisted for the following month). During this phase, Rachel creates a compelling profile of her client, including quotes from family and friends. She also conducts thorough background checks to prioritize safety. Each client receives a 20-minute phone call with certified relationship coach, Chelsea Skaggs, and participates in a “deep dive session,” where Rachel asks questions about the client’s past, their desires, and their openness. “I’m not scared to ask the deep questions. I want to know what motivates you, what inspires you, what hurts you,” Rachel said.

Phase 2 involves collaboration with local photographers to create headshots that truly showcase the client’s personality. More in-depth coaching is provided in order to help build foundational relationship skills. Niche events are also organized by Rachel, providing opportunities for clients to meet new people and debrief with Rachel and their coach. During this phase, Rachel actively seeks potential matches for her clients, paying close attention to even the finest details to ensure compatibility.

Phase 3 is when things exponentially gain momentum. Rachel provides her clients with options, shares photos with them, and executes a date night (or day!) with ultimate precision. After the date, she sends them a questionnaire with feedback to gauge their initial feelings and mutual attraction to each other. She then sets up the second date, where they can then exchange numbers with each other and continue the dating process if they choose. Throughout this journey, Rachel remains a source of support for her clients. However, she is also willing to step back after the second date if desired.

Rachel’s process not only yields great results, but she herself is well-versed in what makes a great date and fantastic partnership. After all, she manifested her own husband on Valentine’s Day, and through her intentional house parties, engaging questions, and deep conversations, they sparked a genuine connection. She’s a natural at bringing people closer, and she recognizes that authentic, cozy, intimate dates and events, without the boring question boxes and free from the constraints of speed dating, allows people to truly open up more. “I want to create a space and opportunity where people are laughing and having fun – intimate dates where people aren’t just talking, but are figuring out how to serve the world together.”

If you find yourself exhausted from scrolling and swiping through dating apps, Rachel’s approach might be exactly what you’re looking for. Check out Rachel’s website and get the inside scoop on future events by signing up for her newsletter. “Everyone is welcome to sign up for the newsletter, and I mean everyone! Whether you’re looking for love or just exist and know people that are looking for love. I believe that every single person I know has an amazing friend that can help them connect with love.” 

Along with one-on-one matchmaking, Rachel has events planned for the future, including a queer book swap on July 27th, and a straight (ish) book swap on the 28th at 289 W. Walnut St., 7pm-9pm. You can find more info on this event, along with matchmaking q&a’s, client openings, and future events on her Instagram.

The authentic path of love may be arduous, but it can also lead to a sense of self-discovery and fulfillment. The best of luck on your journey!

Want to read more? Check out our print publication, (614) Magazine. Learn where you can find a free copy of our new July issue here!


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