With the success of The Millionaire Matchmaker and other matchmaker shows, I get asked all the time how I feel about matchmaking. I actually feel pretty strongly about it.

I hate matchmaking. I really do. I think matchmaking is one of the worst ways to meet somebody.

Why? Well think about it. Here is somebody who barely knows you — someone who is really just meeting you for the very first time — and they are going to match you up with someone who they also barely know?

Unless a matchmaker knows somebody extensively or someone is the matchmaker’s friend, then they are matching people up based on nothing more than guesswork. They are basing their matches on what someone tells them in a ten or fifteen minute meeting.

Online dating is a much better way to meet someone, because you’re able to actually cultivate meetings on your own. You can read the profile, you can send the emails, and you can get to know people in the ways you need to in order to see if someone is a match for you.

There’s so much more that you can do in online dating than you can with matchmaking. Not only that, but the fact is that you really want to be your own matchmaker.

So if you’re looking to be matched, then here are six ways to be your own matchmaker.

1. Go To A Singles Event: Go meet other people who are single. Meet them. Talk to them. If you don’t find anyone you really like or you get to know them on a friend basis, then say, “Hey look, I’m going to organize a party next weekend. Why don’t you bring some of your single friends, and I’ll bring some of mine. We’ll see if we can make magic happen.”

2. Be Friendly Wherever You Go: Whenever you’re out, start being friendly everywhere you go. Start talking to the dry cleaner that you know, the cash register person at the market. Start talking to everybody that you know in every single situation and ask them, “Hey, I know you’re single. I’m really looking fo ra relationship. Is there anybody you know that you think would be a good match for me?”

3. Tap Into The Office Friend Network: If you work in an office, get the office people together for an outing. Then when you’re out, you can say, “Hey, why don’t you grab a bunch of your friends, I’ll grab a bunch of mine, and get them together. Who knows? Maybe some of them will like eachother. Really tap into the friend network.

4. Host A Potluck Dinner: Reach out to your Facebook friends and say, “Hey, we’re having a potluck and everyone needs to bring one single person. By doing this you are expanding your network. Make sure when you have it that you get everyone’s email address, so you can add them to your Facebook friends for next time. You can even set up a Facebook page for dinner parties, and get people involved bringing things.

5. Reach Out Online: Look at all the people you may have dated from Yahoo! Personals, and reach out and check in to see how they are doing. Then invite them and a friend to a barbecue or a night out with your friends. The more you reach out, the better the chance is that you’ll meet a whole new group of people you can date.

6. Follow Up: Even when a date is not great, follow up with an email or a phone call and thank them for a really nice night. You may run into them again down the road, and by doing this you leave them with good feelings about you — feelings that may actually get them to want to set you up with one of their friends.

It’s great to be your own matchmaker, because you’re in control of your own life. Think what happens if you are out of work. What do you do? You contact everyone and ask them if they know anyone looking to hire someone with your skill set.

This is no different when it comes to dating, but for some reason people feel that makes them look desperate in a dating context. This is actually just smart networking, and showing that you’re taking control of your life.

That is what life is all about. When you take control, you are actually going to be a great matchmaker for yourself. You, better than anyone else, know exactly what you’re looking for in a partner.