Could it be that human contact is making a comeback? Is everything that was old new again? Dare we dream we can finally get off these godforsaken apps? The answer is…maybe. Many daters, sick of the madness induced by endless swiping, are turning to good, old-fashioned matchmakers for professional guidance in finding a long-time partner. With online dating, you’re essentially on your own, trying to find a good fit in a wilderness of scams, cads, and creeps. But with a professional matchmaker, an in-depth profile, some curated photos, and carefully selected high-quality dates, your chances of finding true love are significantly increased.
The Rise of Matchmakers
A combination of factors has brought matchmaking back into the social norm. During Covid, most people found that the only resource to meet new people was dating apps, making for complete and total online burnout as they simultaneously conducted all their other personal and business relationships online. Further, if the amount of effort someone puts into finding a partner is a short blurb and a few pics mined from an overloaded iPhone gallery, is it any wonder that the connections made are often shallow and meaningless? And let’s face it, as we get older, the online dating pool seems to all but dry up.
When first introduced, many of us shied away from dating apps, thinking they were too difficult to navigate, too obscure, or a fad like MySpace or Snapchat. Ironically, now meeting in real life can feel stranger than meeting via technology. But with the expert guidance of a matchmaker, none of this matters. All the work is done for you. And all you have to do is show up for a nice meal and the hope of some laughs and good conversation.
How Professional Matchmaking Works
First off, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire detailing who you are, your likes, dislikes, what you want in a partner, and your deal breakers. This will be followed by an in-person meeting which, if your matchmaker is good, could last hours. This is where your matchmaker really gets to know you. Personally, this was my favorite part of the matchmaking process. Finally, you will have professional photos taken, usually by the matchmaker’s own photographer, who will know how to shoot you with your best foot forward. When all is said and done, at the very least, you will have some nice photos!
Then you wait.
Pros of Matchmaking
Here are some of the pros of working with a matchmaker.
- Matchmaking is tangible. You speak with a real human about the kind of partner you want to meet, as opposed to an app with an algorithm.
- The quality of matches tends to be better than matches from online dating sites.
- Often, the woman pays nothing, while the man pays for the service.
- Because he’s often paying a hefty sum, you can feel confident that he’s invested in the process and serious about meeting someone.
- You meet men you probably would not have met otherwise.
- Your matchmaker will often plan your date for you.
- Your matchmaker makes sure you are totally prepared for your date, reviewing even minor things such as what to wear and body language.
- You meet men who want to date women in your age bracket.
- You meet men who have been vetted: who aren’t lying about who they are or their age, height, weight, or hairline.
Cons of Matchmaking
Relying on a professional matchmaker does have some downsides.
- Matchmakers are not for those who lean towards impatience. It could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months to get a decent match. Note: A good matchmaker will tell you this upfront.
- You have to sign a contract which generally lasts from six months to a year, with no promised number of dates.
- It’s expensive. Some matchmakers charge women nothing, making the men pay for the service, while others charge up to $100,000. Matchmaking is a process that requires skilled workers rather than artificial intelligence to do the work, and that can be costly.
- Matchmaking tends to lack transparency. Often, matchmakers don’t share statistics on their success rates. Further, due to confidentiality issues, Matchmakers don’t provide references.
Hybrid Dating Resources
Because of the pros and cons associated with both matchmaking and online dating, a hybrid dating resource has emerged that brings matchmaking and classic dating app technology together. Dating apps like The League and Lox Club use actual human beings to match users with one another or give feedback on a person’s profile. Even Match.com has added a human element to its behemoth dating app. For a small fee, you answer a short questionnaire that dating experts will review in order to match you more organically than the app’s algorithm.
Personally, my experience with a matchmaker brought me zero dates in six months after being promised six dates in three months. My confidence took a beating, and when I tried to get my money back, they made the issue about me as opposed to their service or promises made. It was “difficult to find men my age.” I was “too picky,” as in, I was looking for a man who was breathing, with a job and a car. In the end, the experience did more harm than good. Nevertheless, for every story like mine, there’s a couple walking down the aisle, blissfully in love. So, if you have a load of self-confidence and a bucketful of money, you may as well give matchmaking a try.
But if you’re like me, your best bet is to stick to the norm and meet a man the old-fashioned way… on Bumble.