Should I Hire A Matchmaker? Are Matchmakers Worth It? Pros and Cons of Professional Matchmaking Services, What Kind of People Use Matchmakers
With the rise of online dating also comes the increased interest in matchmakers. Many people are frustrated with lack of success on dating apps while others are concerned about privacy that they have begun to explore matchmakers as a possible alternative to meeting people offline. Shows like Millionaire Matchmaker on Bravo have popularized the industry and made it mainstream.
Dating App Fatigue Has Led To Increase Interest In Matchmakers
The most common matchmakers up until recently have been for the ultra wealthy as well as Indian and Jewish communities. These days, matchmakers are everywhere – radio ads, fake profiles on dating apps, paid ads on search results as well as news stories driven by the 5 and 6-figure retainers these companies can command.
In my capacity as a photographer and online dating consultant, I often get inquiries about matchmakers from single folks, new publications like the NYTimes, as well as inquiries from matchmakers trying to refer clients to them. I have been hired by matchmakers to take photos for clients and I routinely am asked about whether to use dating apps or go the matchmaker route.
There are several benefits of using a matchmaker but this industry lacks quite a bit of transparency. Google any major matchmaker and “lawsuit” and you will see many disgruntled clients who claim said services did not provide the quality dates they were promised. In this piece, I will highlight tips on how to shop for a matchmaker, what to look out as well as help you decide if matchmakers are right for you.
How Do Matchmakers Work?
Every matchmaker is different in terms of monetization efforts with some charging men only, others charging women only wither others charging everyone they work with. Some matchmakers charge a flat fee while others charge a subscription. Some matchmakers let you see the person’s photo, profile while others do not let you see the person until the date.
A number of matchmakers reach out to people directly offline, online or even on dating apps to get single people registered on their platform as a free member. This is done to create a supply side of single people from which they are recommended to paying clients. Not everyone is single as it is hard to update records and sometimes single folks are asked to go on dates as favors for matchmakers to go on practice dates (whether the paying client knows about this is not known).
Some matchmakers require feedback on dates (paid customers) while others will not allow customers to cancel or not go on a date.
How Much Do Matchmakers Cost? Are Matchmakers Worth The Money?
Fees can range from $2-$5k to upwards of $50k-$500k or more depending on specific preferences i.e. age, ethnicity, career etc. It’s not unheard of to have over the top requirements including bust size, waist, ethnicity, height, and more.
Some matchmakers charge a subscription fee and provide a certain number of dates per month. It’s best to review the fine print before you sign anything as legal recourse is hard to come by after the fact.
Depending on your time, availability, money etc. matchmakers can be a good investment. It’s the reason why wealthy people pay others to do things for them that they can do quicker, faster and cheaper (time is money for them).
Matchmaker Reviews: Who To Trust?
Many matchmakers use internal services or more 3rd party services like Trustpilot. Trustpilot is a service that has come under the microscope for the nature of the reviews, you can read more about that here.
Yelp and Google are generally more trusted but even then there are a few things to keep in mind. Yelp reviews are more likely to be removed than Google reviews for various reasons (one should always read the filtered reviews on Yelp at the bottom). It’s important to make sure services has an adequate number of reviews i.e. 25 or more and it’s also important to analyze the reviewers profiles to see if they seem suspicious.
Many offer generic, vague reviews while others are not even paid members and have a vastly different experience than what a paid customer would have. Others offer reviews based solely on singles mixers which again, offer no insight into actual matchmaking services. A few provide false claims suggesting dates would be interested in relocating or traveling for dating when this is not the case. For this reason, matchmakers in smaller, remote areas should be approached with extreme caution.
Matchmakers Vs. Dating Apps? Privacy Concerns
Matchmakers are typically more private services than dating apps as profiles are only show to select, screened people. Some apps like Match.com allow paid users to hide their profile and only reveal themselves to people they like or are matched with. Apps like The League allow users to filter or screen profiles from people at their work if they choose to (the use Linkedin for this).
What Kind Of People Hire Matchmakers? Why Use A Matchmaker?
The type of people you encounter with matchmakers are the same people leaving them 1-star reviews on Yelp. Do yourself a favor and go read some of them. Yes, some matchmakers are more shady than others (some only advertise on radio and print to screen out people who would use the internet to find unfavorable reviews) but sometimes it’s user error that leads to frustration and lack of results.
Many people use matchmakers as ordering apps. Many are too busy to be bothered with going on dates, some have fetishes while others hate or are fearful of rejection in real life. Many people use matchmakers beyond their matchmaking services for personal growth i.e. being brutally honest with them or for social connections i.e. getting invited to meetups.
Many of these people are looking for a unicorn of some sort through matchmakers and having this overly constrained and specific interest in a type of person is a bit weird in my opinion. Matchmakers can be convenient if you are busy, have kids etc. but even then, dating requires you to be present so if you are bad at choosing good dates, that doesn’t mean matchmakers will screen for things you have a hard time filtering yourself.
Complaints About Matchmakers
Most complaints about matchmakers are around not fulfilling contracts i.e. # of dates, quality of the dates, recurring fees and subscriptions or inability to find dates who want to see them again. In some cases, men are asked about bust, waist sizes where women are not asked about preferences at all.
Matchmakers do not screen users so it’s possible to go on dates with married men as it is a discrete way to meet women without putting their profile out to the masses. Others lie about their financial means or employment. In one case, a user in California claims to have married a man who already married and made off with half her wealth.
The biggest complaint is that many men on the services lack social skills, looks and are using matchmakers as a way to hookup with others by dangling marriage or long-term relationship possibilities. Obviously everyone should be patient, ask questions and use good judgment but don’t assume these services are doing background checks or vouching for users personally.
These blind dates seem to be very hit or miss and if you can’t see your date ahead of time or know that their photos are recent, the desire to go on said dates diminishes it.
Is Hiring A Matchmaker Worth It?
It certainly can be but likely for older guys with money who want to go on a date with a young woman that would not be interested in them otherwise. Like dating apps, using matchmakers requires patience, self-awareness and realistic expectations. Just because you pay someone a lot of money doesn’t mean others will find you attractive, desirable. Focusing too much on wealth, career, looks etc. is a sure way to get burned while dating.
The people who use matchmakers often have inflated egos, are narcissistic or treat people like a commodity on ordering apps and less like people. When you can only screen on physical traits, interpersonal traits are often ignored or downplayed.
Most services don’t and can’t value people on their soft skills, personality, ambition, and trustworthiness. Some matchmakers never meet their clients in person! Matchmakers are not miracle workers – you have to work on yourself, appearance, attitude, communication skills and emotional IQ.
I have done some informal matchmaking with clients I have worked with but I only introduce clients to others that I would introduce to friends, family, colleagues or people I know. I would have to vet the people thoroughly before making any such instructions.
Are Dating Apps Worth It? Are Paid Dating Apps Better Than Free Apps?
Online dating is not without its drawbacks. There are many creeps, liars and emotionally unavailable people. Whether you use a matchmaker, dating app or meet someone at a bar, it’s up to you to use good judgment, learn how to screen people and know how to identify red flags. Dating apps take time and you need to use the right app, have good photos, know how to write well and be patient in order to have any success on them.
In either situation, you also need self-awareness and realistic expectations. At least with dating apps you don’t need to spend 4 to 6 figures for dates and you can see who your dates are before getting ready. Not all the apps are the same nor do all apps have the same audiences, intentions or user count. Some cater to shorter guys while others are more popular for people of SE Asian backgrounds while others have more diverse users than just tech bros.
Should You Get Professional Dating Photos? https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-portrait-photography/
How To Write A Dating Profile: https://eddie-hernandez.com/how-to-write-an-online-dating-profile/
Best Hinge Prompts: https://eddie-hernandez.com/best-hinge-questions/
Bumble Bio Examples: https://eddie-hernandez.com/a-list-of-best-bumble-bio-examples/
Are Paid Dating Apps Worth It: https://eddie-hernandez.com/dating-app-premium-features/
Which Dating Site Is Best For Serious Relationships: https://eddie-hernandez.com/best-dating-apps/
Matchmaker, Ghostwriter Reviews
Most matchmakers use Trustpilot for their main review source. I do not trust Trustpilot reviews. Google and Yelp reviews are more in line with actual results but even then make sure there is a substantial number of reviews from people, with photos, full names from each account.
Yelp actually filters reviews for people who are new to the site, don’t have many reviews, lack photos or activity on the site. Read these complaints about their practices here. You won’t look at their reviews the same way again.
Reasons why you shouldn’t hire a matchmaker or ghostwriter. With that said, most success stories are not publicized for privacy reasons as there is still a stigma around using dating apps, matchmakers, etc. Take each review with a grain of salt.
Tawkify Yelp Reviews – https://www.yelp.com/biz/tawkify-new-york
Tawkify Better Business Bureau Reviews – https://www.bbb.org/us/ca/san-francisco/profile/dating-services/tawkify-1116-874156
Executive Matchmaker Reviews Yelp – https://www.yelp.com/biz/executive-matchmakers-sacramento
Selective Search Matchmaking Yelp Reviews – https://www.yelp.com/biz/selective-search-chicago-2
Silicon Valley Matchmaker Reviews – https://www.yelp.com/biz/silicon-valley-matchmakers-san-mateo
Silicon Valley Matchmaker Small Claims Lawsuit– https://abc7news.com/bay-area-matchmaker-taken-to-court-singles-take-7-on-your-side-michael-finney/3425603/
Three Day Rule Complaints: https://www.bbb.org/us/ca/santa-monica/profile/dating-services/three-day-rule-1216-353909/complaints
Three Day Rule Investors, Three Day Rule Shark Tank, Match.com
Three Day Rule received an investment from Match.com after the show.
Elite Singles Review: https://eddie-hernandez.com/elitesingles-review/
Brotherton Holdings – https://www.kansascity.com/news/business/personal-finance/article177052366.html
Vida / Virtual Dating Assistants Review – https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/9ke9kd/this-dating-service-will-flirt-for-you-but-it-will-cost-you
It’s Just Lunch Reviews – https://www.yelp.com/biz/its-just-lunch-san-francisco-2
It’s Just Lunch Refund Story – https://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/your-money/in-search-of-romance-but-settling-for-a-refund.html
Linx Dating Reviews: https://www.yelp.com/biz/linx-dating-menlo-park
Kelleher International Matchmaking Reviews: https://www.yelp.com/biz/kelleher-international-santa-monica
About Eddie Hernandez
Eddie Hernandez is a professional photographer specializing in natural, candid online dating photos. Featured in the SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle. In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice and date ideas. https://eddie-hernandez.com/contact/
Dating Profile Critique
For those of you who are remote or virtual dating help and are looking for an online dating profile critique you can read more about my services here.
For other helpful online dating tips check out my blog for more helpful advice: https://eddie-hernandez.com/blog/
Online Dating Frequently Asked Questions (Photos, App Choice, Wardrobe, Messaging, Bios and More): https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-frequently-asked-questions/
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