He is known as the real life, Modern Day Hitch. In 2009, One Degree From Me was born, a premiere matchmaking and lifestyle coaching service for sophisticated, educated and cultured singles. While running a summer camp for his non-profit in 2008, Paul discovered that out of 100 students, not one was living in a two-parent household. So he and his college sweetheart set out on a mission to do something about it, and that is how the Matchmaker came to be about. Oprah Winfrey notes that, “Paul is much more than a matchmaker, he’s a life coach.” He has appeared on two shows on the Oprah Winfrey Network: Lovetown, USA and SoulPancake. There is a whole lot more to his bio than could fit in one blog post, so you can read more here.
We got to chat with this power couple in a more personal setting that most don’t get to see. This beautiful and fun-loving pair recently celebrated twelve years of marriage, and have a three-year-old son named Kingston. We also received some BMWK breaking news, so be sure to keep reading to find out.
BMWK: So excited to be chatting with the Matchmaker and his Match! How and where did the two of you meett?
Jill: Paul do you want to start and I’ll fill in anything that’s incorrect? [laughs]
Paul: [laughs] I guess I’ll start. So we met initially on a summer transition program for undergrads. We were both attending Old Dominion University, and we were both in the same cohort of about 100 people which they split into smaller groups of 20 people. So Jill and I were in the same group. What was interesting about our group was first off, it was all white. We were the only two black folks. So I always look for those who look like me first. And, when I first saw Jill, I was like, ‘Yeah I’m good’. This is the school to be at [laughs].
One of my first thoughts was, ‘Yup I’m going to make this my mission that to make this woman, I mean girl, (she was a girl at that time), into my girlfriend.’ So what’s interesting about the cohort is that we had to take our tests together, get feedback after the test, then we had to empty out into this evening orientation. And I thought not only did she look great, she scored the highest on this test that we took. And I’m thinking, ‘Oh man, she’s smart too. This is perfect!” So I started plotting that evening to make sure I made my move that night cause you know, I can’t wait around [laughs].
But then we reconnected when school started later in the year, and became really good friends. Turns out one of my friends was trying to date her, and she was trying to set me up with one of her friends. So we were trying to matchmake our friends and ended up matchmaking ourselves. Did I say it right Jill? [laughs]
BMWK: [laughs] I love it.
Jill: Yeah, yeah. I think that was all pretty accurate. You did a good job. That was a good test for him also [laugh]
BMWK: So what happened with the people you were trying to matchmake with each other? Did anything ever happen with that?
Jill: No I think the one that I was trying to matchmake Paul with, he was not interested in her, and I wasn’t interested with the guy he was trying to matchmake with me either. But I think the story is a little longer because as the freshman year began, it turns out Paul and I were in the same dorm. There was another guy who was a friend of Paul’s that I kinda liked but Paul had some special tricks up his sleeve, where he intervened and we ended up getting together anyway [laughter].
BMWK: Special tricks huh? [laughs]
Jill: Yeah [laughs].