Should I Hire A Matchmaker? Are Professional Matchmaking Services Worth It, Matchmaking vs Dating Apps?

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.

Trying to find the best matchmaking service or even a decent one that is not littered with bad Yelp reviews that are buried in search results can be difficult (tips on how to find those reviews below). Lack of reviews, sketchy profiles and lack of details can be frustrating.

Before you get sucked into these high-powered sales pitches by people are contacting you at your most vulnerable time in your life, take a break, be patient and be sure to get the right info before investing your time and money.

It’s not uncommon for some matchmakers to use stock photos on client testimonial pages, just reverse image search photos and see for yourself!

Related read: Online vs Offline Dating – Which Is Best For Me?


Personal Matchmaking Services, Confidential Dating Services, High End Matchmakers

As a dating consultant (featured in the NYTimes article below), I have helped clients navigate the dating waters whether it’s deciding between dating apps, screening matchmakers, improving offline dating skills and updating style.

Understanding the pros and cons, limitations of each service is key to increasing chances for success. Knowing the trade-offs being efficiency, privacy, cost and transparency is helpful to know before spreading thousands of dollars or wasting years of your life swiping mindlessly.

Related readDating In Silicon Valley | Seattle | Austin  | Los Angeles  | NYC





Are Matchmakers Still A Thing? Why Use A Matchmaker, Offline Dating Apps

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.

Related read: Alternatives To Online Dating, Dating App Alternatives


How Do Matchmaking Services Work? Are Matchmakers Effective? 

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.

Matchmaking services can work but knowing what to expect, how to negotiate and how to approach them is key. Similarly, if you have unrealistic expectations, lack of patience, poor skill sets, bad hygiene, or are creepy, matchmaking services may not work for you.

Related read: Are You Ready To 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).

Related read: Dating Apps For Career Professionals/Educated Professionals


Matchmakers Who To Trust? Matchmaking Services Reviews, How To Find A Matchmaker

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 (look at the example below).

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.

Avoid reviews!

Be sure to note the names on the reviewers, details/specifics (if any).


Matchmakers Vs. Online 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 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).

Related read: What Is It Like Dating A Doctor? Best Dating Apps For Doctors


What Kind Of People Hire Matchmakers? What Type Of Men Hire 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.


Questions Matchmakers Ask Clients? Matchmaker Interview Questions

Questions will range but typically be similar to those on dating apps. With that said, matchmakers are notorious for not divulging all the info to clients.

For example, if a woman wants a guy who is financially secure, taller than her and looking to have a family, the matchmaker may not disclose that the guy is not looking to have kids right away, is located far away, is still going through a divorce or wishes his is willing to convert to another religion.

See these dating profile templates to see what kind of questions are asked, but note not everyone is as exhaustive as they claim to be. If you wish to see some sample questionnaires some matchmakers ask clients, contact me for some samples.


Complaints About Matchmakers, How To Choose A Matchmaker

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. Always do your research!

Related read: Outsourcing Your Dating Life, Pros/Cons

Dating Coach Services

Photos, Profile Reviews, Image Consulting, Date Ideas, Meeting Singles Offline, Social Skills, Screening Profiles, Reading People & More. Clients: Women, Men, Gay & Straight Individuals Seeking Relationships


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.


Ivy League Matchmakers, Personal Matchmaking Services Reviews

There are several matchmaking services catering to Ivy League professionals that promise to deliver top-notch matches. I get the appeal for this selectivity, but Ivy League status means nothing as evidence in this NYTimes article that states they are least likely to get married.

Unfortunately, a lot of Ivy League men do not want to date intelligent women who can challenge them or be the alpha in the relationship. As such, a lot of Ivy League men cast a wider net while women with Ivy Leagues pigeon-hole themselves chasing the men with many options.


Are Matchmakers Better Than Dating Apps? Matchmaking vs Online Dating

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.


Free Matchmaking Services, Affordable Matchmaking Service

Several matchmaking services offer free services to clients such as passive date arrangements. These are dates primarily with the paying customer in mind and no set number of dates promised.

It’s not a bad way to spread your reach but being a non-paid member means that your best interest in mind is not in focus all the time or at least not before the paid client.

Misleading Photos On Dating Apps vs Matchmaking Services

Some matchmaking services do not allow you to view dates ahead of time and the ones that do, well it’s sometimes hard to gauge looks based on a few photos. With more money, comes a higher increase in chances photos on profiles are edited, retouched or photoshopped.

Knowing how to screen profiles, conduct quick backgrounds checks and verifying current appearance will go a long way to make sure you are not catfished during your dates.


Dating Coach vs Matchmaker, How Much Do Dating Coaches Cost? High End Matchmakers

Some high-end matchmakers offer coaching with respect to etiquette, styling, date ideas and what not. These are typically expensive and most people are priced out from such services.

How Much Does A Dating Coach Cost? Some can cost $5-$10k or more. Before investing in either, do your research, ask around. Don’t rely on Trust Pilot reviews, Yelp/Google reviews (especially those with vague comments).

Related readDating In Silicon Valley | Seattle | Austin  | Los Angeles  | NYC

Image Consultant: Wardrobe, Social Skills & Lifestyle

Eddie is an image consultant in San Francisco with clients in NYC, LA, and beyond. He assists clients w/ fashion sense, social skills, hobbies & interests, etiquette, being more approachable around others & making friends.

Professional Matchmaker Reviews, Ghostwriter Reviews, High-End Matchmaking Services

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. 

Quora on Trustpilot | Trustpilot Reviews | Trustpilot Analysis | BBC Trustpilot Watchdog Report

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.

Best Matchmaking Services, Professional Matchmaking Services, Matchmaking Near Me

There is no clear-cut winner. Some act like concierge services while others act as introduction services. Affordable matchmaking services don’t screen profiles as closely as others while others try to get you to date others outside your preferences and deal-breakers.

Free matchmaking services sometimes exist where in you can register as a free user but are not promised any number of dates nor can you specify clearly deal-breakers (you are there primarily to appease paid clients first).

Online matchmakers scour dating profiles and try to match up clients with those on dating apps already which means you might be set up on a date with someone you previously left-swiped on already.

My best piece of advice is to weigh urgency, priority in life, deal-breakers, location, lifestyle, and level of service. Some people prefer to outsource everything including date ideas and reservations which is rather sad but efficient while others are looking to fulfill their quota of dates at any cost. Choose wisely.


Matchmaker Profile Photos, Matchmaking Services Photos For Profile

For those seeking authentic, warm, personable photos for their matchmaking efforts, contact me today to schedule a photoshoot.



About Eddie Hernandez

Eddie is a dating coach for men & women in San Francisco (clients in NYC, LA, Chicago, & beyond ), as seen in the NYT & Bumble). He helps w/ profiles, photos, wardrobe, messaging, date ideas, red flags, lifestyle choices, hobbies, grooming/hygiene, communication, social skills & offline efforts.