If you need to know something about going on a first date, ask Rachel Seeker. She calls herself "The Queen of Dating" -- and she's got the stats to back it up.
"Oh, I've been on at least 50," said Seeker. "You'd be amazed at how many abnormal people there are in the world. I've definitely seen it all for sure."
Seeker, long subjected to the random unpredictability of online and blind dating, now has the power. The UMass Lowell graduate, who currently lives in Littleton, is one of three "matchmakers" on the VH1 reality series Making Mr. Right. But the matchmakers on the show aren't setting up two other people -- they're finding guys for themselves.
On the show, Seeker and two other women (Brittany Skipper and Lindsay Marissa) are ostensibly the matchmakers for a group of 15 men, who think they're on a show called Match Me If You Can! What the men don't know is that the matchmakers are actually the ones looking for love, eliminating the men one by one until they find their perfect match.
"I thought it'd be really cool," said Seeker, who worked for her sister's construction company and did modeling work before testing for the show. "I thought it had a neat twist to it. I'd been in the dating scene a long time, and I always had this problem of going on first dates and always finding the negative right away, ready to call it quits. So this gave me a way to actually get to know someone first.
Expert (actual) matchmaker April Beyer, who hosts the show, cast the three women and gave them questionnaires and interviews to learn as much as she could about them and their dating habits. She then selected the men based on the women's preferences. For Rachel, this was a dream come true.
"I've been on a couple blind dates where a friend hooked me up, and the guy showed up bald or with man boobs and was so into himself -- it wasn't what I was expecting," said Seeker. "What better opportunity to find someone than to have a world renowned matchmaker helping you out?"
Seeker and the other matchmakers set the guys up with planted dates who sometimes have earpieces in so the matchmakers can feed them questions to ask. She said that whenever the men seemed like they were figuring out the ruse, the matchmakers would pull back a little by sending them on dates with no interference, with women they had been out with before that they liked.
Seeker won't confirm the results of the show, which was filmed in November but won't be done airing until the end of February. But she did offer some tips for any first daters, especially for Valentine's Day tonight.
"Don't talk about your ex, or about how amazing you are, or how much money you spend," said Seeker. "Don't give me too much info -- keep me wanting to come back by asking questions, normal things that any girl would want on a date."
"Making Mr. Right" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on VH1.
Follow Pete McQuaid on Twitter @sweetestpete.