This dating startup founder + new mama is breaking the ‘rules’ and rocking it

“Taking risks can be really intimidating, especially for young women, but I wish I had done it sooner.”

This dating startup founder + new mama is breaking the ‘rules’ and rocking it
Talia Goldstein and her oldest (Max) via Facebook

Motherly @ Work features the stories and insights of modern women growing their careers—and their families.


Dating is hard. Like, really hard. Sometimes it seems like you have to suffer your way through a million frogs to find your prince.

Online dating has been around for a while now, and though it provides the means to meet, and date, those who are “compatible” with you, it’s still a slog. Often it takes hundreds of dates to find someone that you really click with. And that can take months, or even years.

What happens when you want to turn dating norms on their head? What if you don’t want to suffer through the awkward beer burpers and too-long huggers?

Enter Three Day Rule, a mix of traditional and algorithm-based matchmaking that believes antiquated notions like the “three day rule” shouldn’t apply today. What does apply today? For the site’s users: A digital matchmaker to help make a human connection behind the online profile.

In 2013, the woman behind the new app, Talia Goldstein, looked around her and realized that she was surrounded by smart, successful, attractive friends who were stumped at how to find love. Even in the world of online dating. Even though they were all “great catches.”

Hearing her tell it, you can almost hear the “ding” of the lightbulb moment. These people needed help. Partnership, love, and the end of pointless blind dates was a dream that shouldn’t be a fantasy. And she would be the one to make it their reality.

Mom to two beautiful children, Max (3) and Eloise (9 months), Talia juggles work and family in the same way she started her company : with ingenuity and grace.

Seen on CNN, Fast Company, Fortune, Good Morning America, Refinery 29, LA Times and the Washington Post (among other), Three Day Rule is taking the dating world by storm, and helping people find love. Now, with 400% revenue growth in 2015, Three Day Rule is launching in its eighth city with the praises of hundreds of successful matches to back them up.

Disrupting an established industry isn’t easy. How did Talia do it?

So, dating sites and matchmakers have been around for a long time. What makes Three Day Rule different?

Talia Goldstein: We’re a unique hybrid of in-person matchmaking, which has been around forever, and a modern, tech-enabled company, so we use a blend of both intuition and data to help our clients find their perfect match. We also work with clients who are actually ready for a real, lasting relationship, so the mindset is quite different from many of the dating sites and apps out there.

We work with men and women who are smart, successful professionals, who simply do not have time to spend on those sites. We provide a concierge service and help people “outsource” their love lives – we spend hours and hours finding their match, so they don’t have to. Additionally, our matchmakers are all incredible people, who have had successful careers and left them to follow their passion for helping people find love. We do this because we genuinely and authentically love to match singles, and we’re really good at it too.

In such an established industry, how did you know that something needed to change?

Talia Goldstein: A few years ago, I started hosting singles events for fun. My first event had about 20 people and within months, the parties grew to 600 people. At one event at The London Hotel in West Hollywood, I looked around and noticed that all of the guests were successful & attractive but, for some reason, were having trouble finding love. It occurred to me that something was missing in the market so I quit my job in television and launched a matchmaking company.

What made you think that you were the one to do it?

Talia Goldstein: I had built a reputation at work for being the office matchmaker. I was setting my co-workers up left and right. My department was in on the secret, and then other departments started appearing at my cubicle for dating advice and to be set-up. After successfully matching a number of couples, I realized that I had a special talent for matchmaking.

Is stepping outside the box scary?

Talia Goldstein: Yes it is. However, I think the reason that I felt comfortable stepping outside the box was because I had a strong support system. I knew that if I failed, I would still be loved.

That sounds simple, but I think that played a big role in my decision to take the leap of faith, quit my job, and start my own business. Nobody judged me or wanted me to fail. Everyone around me rooted for me, would show up at events, and be there for me through thick and thin. Knowing that you can never really fail because you have people who support you is really liberating as a business owner. And best of all, these people are also the ones who continue to motivate me to succeed.

Where did you find your confidence to start your own business, and live life as an entrepreneur?

Talia Goldstein: Growing up, I was never the best at anything. I always had to work harder than others to achieve what I wanted—to make the varsity tennis team, to be student body president, or to learn a language. And because of that, I learned how to hustle in order to see success.

There are a lot of entrepreneurs who have things come easily to them—whether it’s resources or capital or innate skills, but I’m not one of those people. Because I knew that hard work does pay off, I was confident that I could get from point A to B by hustling, and that it would translate into success. That knowledge, combined with the support from my friends and family, gave me the confidence to start my own business.

What has been the response to this new way of finding a partner?

Talia Goldstein: The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Dating has changed so much over the last few years and in many ways has become harder and more confusing. Our clients are so grateful to have a matchmaker by their side. We help people navigate the treacherous dating world as matchmakers, but we are often also coaches, friends, and more to our clients.

Our matchmakers get to know our clients really well, so the clients know their matchmaker has their back. The matchmaker learns what their client is looking for in a match, and the matchmaker goes out and finds that for them. She goes to events, scours our database, and sets up many, many in-person coffee chats to get to know the potential matches before she sets up a client. It’s sort of like having a good friend go on all your first dates for you, and only sending you the best ones.

We save our clients time, energy, and a lot of the emotional exhaustion that goes into finding a match, and they always end up referring their friends to us, so we know they are loving what we do.

Have you had naysayers?

Talia Goldstein: There are people who believe in the traditional way of finding love—meeting at a party or through a close friend. However, the majority of singles these days are open to finding love through online dating or matchmaking. In fact, 1 in 3 marriages in the past five years now come from dating sites and services!

Some people also initially say they wouldn’t pay for matchmaking, but when they find out how incredible our matchmakers are, how wonderful the matches can be, and how simple we make the entire process, they are swayed, and ultimately many of these people end up becoming clients.


Why do you think innovation and ingenuity are important in business?

Talia Goldstein: Matchmaking is an ancient profession and it comes from an innate human need, which means that it’s ripe for innovation.

Technology is important because it helps us streamline something that has historically taken years and years, and it helps us be better at what we do every single day. In the dating industry, you have to keep innovating, because people continue to want to find love, and the competition can be fierce, but at the end of the day, innovation is about keeping things simple—how can we help people find real love in a crazy world—and solving that puzzle is one of the most rewarding challenges in the world.

How does being a mother affect the way you run your business?


Talia Goldstein: Being a mother is a daily inspiration. My children inspire me to succeed because I want to set an example for them. They also give me perspective. Start-up life is a roller coaster ride and on the not-so-great days, my children help lift up my spirits. Having children also gives you a more forward-thinking perspective so that you think about the future a lot more. I find myself asking these types of questions: How can I create a world that I would want my children to live in? How can I leave the world a better place than how I found it?

Is there any one piece of advice you’d give to aspiring lady bosses?

Talia Goldstein: Don’t be afraid to jump off the cliff. Taking risks can be really intimidating, especially for young women, but I wish I had done it sooner. Quitting my traditional job seemed scary at the time, but it really wasn’t. Often we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to take a traditional career path, but if it’s not right, follow your passion. Ultimately, doing what your heart tells you can seem quite risky, but it pays off ten-fold.


What does the word “motherly” mean to you?

Talia Goldstein: Nurturing, gentle, kind and loving. Making someone feel loved no matter what.

To take control of your own love life (or that of a friend!), visit Three Day Rule and connect with one of their matchmakers.

Haley Campbell is the founder of Beluga Baby and creator of the ultimate bamboo baby carrier. She is a regular contributor to Motherly and is an avid advocate for entrepreneurs, and for the new generation of mothers making the world their own.

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