number of articles have been published showcasing Nina Friedman,
both in her professional and personal life!
Matchmaker found herself a match
By KIM MORGAN
Sept. 23, 2010, 2:47PM
You're 42; you have an infant; no one is going to want to date
That's what well-meaning friends told Houston resident Nina
"But I just thought those things made me a better package," said
Nina, now 47.
Nina hadn't given up on love; she simply put it on the back burner
when she became a single mom after adopting a 15-day-old
Everything changed after Nina met Steve Neish, a pediatric
cardiologist, and married him three months later.
"She believes in relationships, that they are an important part of
having a full life," said Steve, 53. "That there is somebody out
there for everybody."
Of course Nina believes that. She is, after all, a matchmaker.
Steve first fell in love with Nina's words after reading an article she
wrote about the Houston singles scene.
Turns out Steve wanted a match with the matchmaker.
"You inspired me to still believe in love," Steve wrote in an e-mail.
"I'm thinking 'Wow, what an awesome guy to take the time to send
a compliment like that,'!" Nina said.
Nina gave Steve her phone number, but when he called, she was
in a rush to get off the phone.
"I had just been given last-minute, second-row tickets to a Chris
Isaak concert," Nina said. "But as soon as I got out of the concert,
I e-mailed him to explain the blow off. He called again the next
The couple had their first date in September, got engaged in
October and married on New Year's Eve — all in the same year. Nina chose New Year's Eve because that's
when her beloved grandparents had married 52 years earlier.
Nina and Steve will celebrate their fourth anniversary this year.
"I had never been married but had been engaged three times and dated like a maniac," Nina said. "I always
knew when I met the right person, I would know that minute. I had things that were really, really important to
For one, someone who would be a great father to Fayth, now 5.
Steve asked to meet Fayth almost immediately.
"I told Nina I'm a really good dad, but I had no idea how to be a good husband, obviously, since my first
marriage failed," said Steve, who raised two children during 20 years of marriage to his first wife.
Like most people who have been through divorce, Steve learned a few lessons to take with him into his next
"It's all about communication," Steve said. "People need to talk, but people also need to listen. You feel
vulnerable when you tell someone what you need, and then if they don't do it … that feels horrible. But if you
don't tell someone what you need, you can never have intimacy."
Steve is "absolutely happy" now with Nina, but he does have one regret.
"He always says he wishes he would have found me 10 years earlier so we could have more time together,"
Nina said. "I'm a romantic, but now he regularly puts me to shame."
Steve dreams of a life with Nina akin to one of the greatest love stories of all time.
Emma hired me in May of 2009. I introduced her to Doug in June of 2009. Doug and Emma just got engaged, December 2010!! Mazel Tov to both of you.
hired me in June 2007, I introduced her to Casey
in June and they were married on September 27th
guys, if you think you're going to scoot through Valentine's
Day with nary a gesture of affection, be prepared to join
the lonely hearts club.
Experts don't agree on what, exactly, sends the right message,
but they do say a gift is imperative.
"Men need to be the ones to pull out all the stops
on Valentine's Day," says local matchmaker Nina Friedman
Neish. "They need to make a grand effort and have a
plan. Women really like a guy with a plan."
Friedman Neish, who married Dr. Steven Neish in 2006 just
four months after their first date, says her Valentine's
Day last year came with a bouquet of flowers, a Coach handbag
and dinner at Mark's.
"He actually handpicked and arranged a bouquet of
flowers and brought them to me," she said. "It's
so nice to deliver the flowers in person. It just shows
Friedman Neish advises crossing candy or anything fattening
off the list — whether the relationship is new or
not — since nearly "everyone is on a diet."
And jewelry, she says, should be reserved for serious relationships.
Giving it too soon can send a mixed signal.
"I knew a woman who just starting dating a guy and
received a diamond ring he purchased during his vacation
in Tanzania," Friedman Neish said. "The man wanted
a casual relationship, but giving her a ring only left the
Flowers are an appropriate gift no matter how long you've
been dating, she says, and other gifts could include theater
tickets or a special dinner at home, but she says forget
the "card with $50 cash inside." That's just plain
Patti Stranger, who stars in the new Bravo series The Millionaire
Matchmaker, says there's only one kind of gift guys should
consider for Valentine's — even if they're not millionaires.
"If he wants to show his feelings for you, he needs
to get jewelry," Stranger said. "Nothing else
Stranger is known for her tough-cookie appeal and brutal
sincerity. She's currently looking for matches for two Houston
millionaires. "When a millionaire expresses his feelings
for someone, he gives expensive jewelry. But you can find
inexpensive jewelry at Zale's," Stranger says. "If
she's an earthy type, get her turquoise. If she's a girlie
(type), get her diamonds. There's no excuse."
Lingerie from companies such as Frederick's of Hollywood
and Victoria's Secret is still popular.
But experts advise considering your sweetheart first. Lacy
teddys, for example, suggest you're expecting a special
night of romance, says company Frederick's spokeswoman Erin
Dominguez. "It's really something for someone a bit
more adventurous and something you know she would wear."
To play it safe with lingerie, Dominguez recommends boy
shorts and pajama sets, since they aren't overly suggestive,
for new lovebirds. She says Frederick's three-piece Valentine's
Heart Pajama set, $29, which includes, shorts, pants and
a cami, is a popular gift.
Of course, if you want to make a steamy statement, there
are plenty of sexy pieces — from short nightgowns
to barely-there underwear.
Here's another piece of advice: Don't wait until Thursday.
"Stop screwing around," Friedman Neish said,
"because you don't want to be stumbling around that
day at the grocery store trying to find a card. That's ridiculous."
Press "Best of 2007"
I always have wanted a husband and kids. But, when
I turned 40-I was still single. I'm a professional matchmaker,
but I had yet to find my match.
I became a court-appointed child advocate in 2002, and started
donating time working on child abuse cases. It was the most
rewarding and frustrating experience I had ever had. One
day, I was sitting in a meeting with CPS workers and attorneys
and adoption agency case workers and one of the workers
said, "Nina you should be a foster parent." I
told her, now way. I could never give up a puppy, let alone
a child. The caseworker said no, you can be a foster-to-adopt
parent, and it would be great.
The truth is, I really wanted a baby. I was having middle
of the night panic attacks that I would never get to be
a mom. The problem was finding the right dad. I'd never
wanted to marry the wrong man, so I was still single.
I weighed the options. Do I get pregnant? Or do I adopt?
Is it right to get pregnant and not have a father for a
child? Do I adopt a child who doesn't have parents, and
then I give her a great mother and hopefully someday a father?
I decided to adopt.
I started interviewing different local agencies: Depelchin,
Spaulding, Lutheran Services and Catholic Charities. I went
through a series of training sessions and parenting classes
and picked Lutheran Charities as my agency. I started the
process in March of 2004 and on Feb. 7, 2005, I got the
call saying they had a baby girl for me to pick at the hospital
the next day.
My baby was born on January 23, 2005 and had been in the
neonatal intensive care unit because her birth mother was
a crack cocaine user. She was born with cocaine in her blood
stream; she had many other complications and there was a
chance that she would not survive but no one told me that.
When I met Fayth she was 4.5 pounds and 15 days old. Fayth's
adoption was finalized on November 16, 2005. She is now
a happy, healthy, amazing 2 1/2 year old.
And last year she got a daddy and two older siblings.
On New Years eve 2006 I married the most amazing man. Dr.
Steven Neish, a pediatric cardiologist with Texas Children's
Hospital, who has two children, Marcus 23 and Alex 21.
Fayth now has a mommy and daddy and a huge group of family
and friends who adore her. Dreams do come true: A single
woman can adopt a baby in Houston, Texas. Who knew Lutheran
Charities would help Nina Friedman a single Jewish girl
adopt a beautiful newborn baby.
Nina Friedman has been matchmaking for 20 years. More than
anything, Nina wanted to be a mother. She was 40 years old
and single when she adopted a baby girl and named her Fayth.
That was her grandmother’s name, but Nina also had
faith in love. She knew that the right man was out there
for her -- and that she was going to find him. Her friends
told her to give up on finding prince charming and to just
settle. Who would want a single mom over 40? She was never
willing to settle. Last summer, after leaving her job as
Romance Director at the Houston Press, Nina devoted herself
to her matchmaking career. While searching for the perfect
match for her clients, she met her own match, Dr. Steven
Neish, a pediatric cardiologist at Texas Children’s
Hospital. The two had a whirlwind romance. They were engaged
within a month and married less than four months later on
New Year’s Eve. Nina’s first marriage, Dr. Steve’s
second marriage, he had two children in college, but was
happy to be a father to Fayth. Nina is a woman who believes
that love is out there for everyone. It’s Nina’s
mission to match up good people with other great people.
Nina believed in love, and love came to her. And she can
bring love and dating know-how to you. This will be speaking
at our June meeting on how to find the right match, and
how to keep the relationship.
Oct. 17, 2006, 9:28PM MODERN-DAY YENTA Nina Friedman
Matchmaker Nina Friedman believes in working hard for love.
And she's there to lend a hand when it comes to the work
of finding it. Friedman develops a kinship with her carefully
selected list of clients, helps them determine what they
are looking for in love and makes some suggestions. She's
not promising a walk down the aisle. "All I promise
is that the people I put in front of you will be really,
really close to what you want."
Feb. 14, 2006,
THE ROAD TO ROMANCE
Matchmakers tip hand of fate: From dance floor to the computer,
love is in the air
By TARA DOOLEY
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
Tales of romance often involve the person
or place that helped make it all happen. These days, the
cupid of choice is often a computer program that analyzes
a series of multiple-choice questions and spits out a set
of names and photos with a promise of electronic harmony.
But whether computer, coach, dinner club,
dance instructor or modern-day yenta, the professional matchmaker
is alive and well this century, finding finds and catching
catches. Rather than delivering brides and grooms wrapped
in dowries, the modern-day cupid works as a romance nudge:
Offering opportunity rather than result.
"I think people need matchmakers,"
said Kelly Howard, who owns dinner club Eight Friends Out
and Houston Single Source, which organize events for singles.
"It is such a big city. People are new here or newly
divorced or newly single. How are they going to meet somebody?"
Is it really so hard to find romance without
help? Well, yes, said Howard, who has created romantic opportunities
that led to 12 weddings last year.
Once upon a time there was help. It was
called family and friends, most of whom lived nearby, said
Hope Nordmeyer, a psychotherapist and life coach. Now people
marry long after their last college kegger ended and live
time zones away from homegrown networks, she said.
So, it takes work, said matchmaker Nina
Friedman, who does this part-time in addition to her day
job at the Houston Press. "Everyone wants it, but they
don't want to do the work," she said. "People
are happy to work 90 hours a week. But are they willing
to do the work to find someone?"
Friedman interviews clients at length, urging
them to be honest about themselves and what they want from
romance. She doesn't promise wedding bells. But she will
produce a carefully chosen someone who, at the least, will
be worthy of interesting conversation.
"I think it is a numbers game,"
she said. "The more people you meet the more people
you are going to have chemistry with."