Is the Ancient Art of Matchmaking Here to Replace Dating Apps?
Finding that absolutely perfect person is a challenge. Unless you’re a character in a fairy tale, there isn’t a clear path to finding them or even the certainty that you’re settling on the right person.
But the solution we’ve all sort of agreed is the best one — online dating — is hardly a solution at all. Most dating apps are closer to a mobile-based video game that occasionally leads to awkward interactions than a genuine shot at lasting love. Sure, some people clean up with thousands of likes, hundreds of matches, tons of dates and lots of sex, but even all that is no guarantee that you’ll genuinely care for any of these people.
It should come as no surprise that people, seemingly faced with a high-tech solution that just creates more problems, are turning to the old ways. Specifically, to a lost art that was once used to facilitate mutually agreeable marriages: matchmaking.
Only, this kind of matchmaking isn’t a wise old lady in a thatched-roof hut drawing on traditional knowledge and understandings of the power dynamics in her village. Yes, it, too, uses algorithms and databases, but it also uses human understanding and thoughtfulness with interest in real-deal relationships, not in keeping you coming back for more swiping.
“Matchmaking is no longer associated with outdated stigmas or seen as a solution for the undateable,” says Barbie Adler, founder and president of Selective Search, which bills itself as North America’s leading matchmaking company. “Just the contrary! Modern matchmakers are headhunters of the heart for those with high standards.”
As Adler points out, these days people go to trusted professionals for all kinds of help — people like “financial advisors, personal trainers, and executive coaches,” she says. From that perspective, is an elite matchmaker any different?
Selective Search’s clients aren’t having trouble finding dates, she says, choosing to hire the service in order to “date smarter.”
“Our job is about getting to know you, understanding what you’re looking for in a partner, do the filtering out for you and introduce you to the right individuals who will lead to lasting love,” states Adler.
Forget swiping through thousands of people with no idea how compatible you might be with any of them. (Adler cites study data that claims that people spend nearly five times as many hours on dating apps as they do on the actual dates.)
“Matchmakers streamline the entire process so that your time is spent getting to know someone who is already a great match, rather than wading through endless profiles trying to decipher fact from fiction,” she says.
Using a matchmaking service is also a way of protecting your privacy. Creating a profile on a Tinder-style app means your pictures and info can be seen by thousands if not more, pulling attention not everyone is looking for.
Ultimately, according to Adler, whether a matchmaking service is right for you “comes down to what your short- and long-term relationship goals are.”
“If you aren’t interested in playing for keeps or are simply looking for a series of hookups, swiping might best suit your needs,” she says. “No judgment!”
On the other hand, if you’re interested in finding Mr., Ms. or Mx. Right rather than Right Now, matchmaking might be a surer path.
“It doesn’t mean that you need to be ready to run down the aisle, but working with a matchmaker indicates that you’re ready to meet high-quality individuals who share your relationship goals,” says Adler.
It’s also a good option if you’re one of the many people who feels like they have a pattern of dating people who are bad for them, noting that clients “often express appreciation for the honest feedback and expert advice they receive from our matchmakers.”
Now, if you’ve been reading this whole article wondering how much matchmaking costs, be prepared to be shocked — in two different ways, that is. That’s because matchmaking services like Selective Search offer two tiers of pricing.
First, the pricey option: “The best and most effective way to find love is with Selective Search’s premium Client Program,” says Adler. “Much like the executive search process, our pricing varies based on the specific needs of each client and is determined through an in-depth consultation process with our seasoned team.”
Adler states that the Client Program begins “in the low five-figures” and averages “closer to six-figures.”
A shocking amount for most people, sure, but Adler puts it into perspective: “It’s important to note that our clients are of the mindset that the level of investment drives results, and they are ready to invest in their love life.”
There’s something to that, though. Dating can be costly, and if you feel like money spent on someone who turns out to be wrong for you is money wasted — to say nothing of time and energy spent — then finding someone who’s right for you ASAP, without a slew of bad first dates or six-month stints, is worth quite a lot.
That being said, the average person simply doesn’t have five or six figures lying around to spend on matchmaking services, no matter the outcome. That’s where the second Selective Search option comes in — so cheap that it’s absolutely free.
“If you aren’t prepared for that level of investment, our Candidate Program is always 100% complimentary, no fees to join, no fees to match, no fees ever,” says Adler. “It offers the same customization and confidentiality as our Client Program. If we believe we have an incredible client to introduce you to, our Matchmakers will contact you for a personal interview.”
Essentially, in return for adding yourself to the company’s dating pool as a potential option for their high-paying customers, the rest of us can get a shot at love, too. Not a bad set-up, and if they do match you with someone, it’s win-win-win.
As Adler says, “there are no guarantees that you will match by being in our extensive database, but you have nothing to lose and the love of your life to gain.”
By Ian Stobber – Askman