What To Know Before Hiring A Matchmaker, Matchmaking Services FAQ’s, Best Matchmakers In The San Francisco Bay Area & Silicon Valley, Are Matchmakers Worth It?

Chances are that you are tired of being single, hate dating apps, or are super busy with your life and are eager to find that special someone. You might have heard ads for It’s Just Lunch, seen paid ads for Tawkify or been approached by a matchmaker on Bumble.

The pandemic has made finding a partner more difficult because of isolation, weight gain, regression in social skills, monetization efforts of dating apps, safety concerns, WFH and relocation as well as motivation to go out.

Related read: Why You Shouldn’t Outsource Your Love Life


San Francisco Matchmaking Services, Pros, Cons, Reviews; Matchmakers Bay Area – Dating Services Bay Area, Matchmakers San Francisco

If you are considering taking the plunge of using dating apps, please keep reading. Many folks sign up for services without reading the fine print, examining Yelp & Google reviews or asking for recommendations from people around them.

It’s a daunting process filled with opaque data, reviews, processes, promises and outcomes.

The NYTimes reached out to me to get my insight into matchmakers given my familiarity with advising folks on their dating lives (deciding between apps vs matchmakers, relocating, grooming advice, image styling and offline coaching for me and women) as well as being hired by individuals on behalf of said matchmakers for their profiles.

Dating Apps vs Matchmakers, Do Professional Matchmakers Work?

San Francisco Matchmaking Services – What To Know Before You Hire One – Bay Area Matchmaking Services

One thing is for sure is that matchmakers have a reputation for being salespeople and utilizing looks, vague promises, allure of dates without effort and results. I have even been approached by matchmakers to have my likeness appear on their site despite never having worked with them.

Have you even been in an uncomfortable situation where you bought something you wish you hadn’t because you were pressured by salespeople? Imagine that with higher stakes and one’s love life.

Before you agree to any terms, make sure you ask the right questions, do your research and perform a self-evaluation on yourself (realistic expectations, preferences vs. deal-breakers, self-esteem and understanding what you want).

Related read: Are You Ready To Date?


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Knowing Your Matchmaker – San Francisco Matchmakers, Dating Agencies, Professional Matchmaker San Francisco

It’s important to know who your matchmaker is. Some matchmakers have more experience than others, while others rely on qualitative measures while ignoring data.

Some rely more on clinical data and theoretical statistics rather than understanding nuance, corner cases and unique situations. 

Not all matchmakers have done well for themselves. Some are on dating apps themselves, others have been single for much of their lives, a few rely on other matchmakers for their dating efforts while some are divorced themselves. Understanding one’s experience is key.

Going on a lot of dates or being married doesn’t mean you are a great matchmaker. It’s easy to help out those who have unique advantages over others, like looks, appearance, wealth, or natural charm.

A good matchmaker should not take on a client if he/she believes said client has unrealistic expectations, is not willing to work on themselves or ready to date or isn’t a good fit for others.


Lack of Data, Information & Testimonials For Matchmakers

If you look at the reviews for matchmakers, they are often self-reported on their site. Very few have public Yelp and Google pages (pro-tip, anyone can make a listing for any business).

It’s not uncommon for reviews to come from non-clients (aka non-paid users who agree to go on dates with paid clients) or from matchmakers themselves. Yes, not all dates are paid clients themselves. Matchmakers routinely scour dating sites for possible dates.

These free users generally agree to go on dates, but lack the ability to provide preferences or deal-breakers. Sure, dates are great but if you never had a realistic chance with the person in the first place, is it really a success? Not all matchmakers operate under this setup, so it is important to understand who you are going on dates with.

Some matchmakers claim to be the best but that means nothing. Having a dozen Yelp or Google reviews doesn’t mean anything. It’s important to ask around and get feedback rather than rely on anonymous reviews by accounts with 1 review only, no photos and vague details.

Getting 5 stars from a user who got free dates will be different from someone dropping $3k, $20k or $100k plus for services. Take the time to read reviews from multiple sources. 


Lack of Preferences, Dealbreakers With Date Choices 

When it comes to being sent off on dates, it’s important to know who you are going on dates with. Many matchmakers let client select a few deal-breakers i.e. age, education, ethnicity, career etc.

What often ends up happening is that clients are unaware of the questions they should be asking. Ladies – forgot to mention you want someone taller than you, lives close by i.e. withing 50 miles or who is single (not separated or going through a divorce) – that might cost you an expensive date.

Men – forget to specify you want to meet a woman without kids or someone who is willing to convert (rather than open to dating other religions) or someone who is conventionally attractive – that might cost you a date or two.

Oftentimes, contacts are based on dates provided, so unless you are clear about deal-breakers, you might waste your time on dates you have no interest in.

With that said, I do believe people need to be more open than they are as it’s natural for people to be more picky online or with matchmakers than they are in person. Using apps or matchmakers tends to curb behavior to the point that people use them like food ordering apps like DoorDash or UberEats.

Some matchmakers rely on blind dates to increase date counts as to not run out based on simple deal-breakers. While it’s important to go on several dates to get practice, it’s also important to not become frustrated with going on many dates that lead no where or go on dates with absolutely nothing in common.


Self-Awareness, Realistic Expectations, Screening Process & Results

Some matchmakers have zero criteria in accepting new clients – if this is the case, huge red flag. If they don’t screen you well, they are likely not screening others well!

Even the best matchmakers can’t help much if you lie, don’t dress well, lack communication skills, don’t know what you want or lack hobbies, interests and personalities to attract the type of person you seek.

Don’t fool yourself, not everyone is a finished product – most people need some sort of help but not all are willing to work on themselves.

Once you do get presented with a match, ask questions. Don’t just rely on looks (some matchmakers work with photographers that take glamour photos that are unnatural, photoshopped or don’t look like the clients. Ask about how old a photo is.

Ask if the person you are being presented is ok with someone like you (not all dates, especially non-paid clients, are aware made aware of details like age, height, job, politics, religion, kids, marital status). 

Anyone can promise dates. If the result or measure for success if guaranteeing a specific date count, that might not help you out. Similarly, be aware of matchmakers that promise ‘unlimited dates’. 


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Final Thoughts – Should You Hire A Matchmaker, Are Matchmakers Worth It? Professional Matchmaking Services San Francisco Bay Area, SF Matchmaker, Silicon Valley Matchmaking Services

Matchmakers can be helpful if you know what you want, are flexible, and are ready to date, but these things take time. Most people struggle with effort, prioritization, attitude, confidence, social skills, availability or ability to make compromises.

Don’t use a matchmaker as a quick fix or hack. If you have never dated, are socially awkward, don’t know how to communicate well or are super picky, you might want to reset expectations. 

Everyone is different, not everyone has the same intentions, advantages, preferences or is in the same place in life to be ready to date. Matchmakers are not a service meant to outsource your dating life. These should be viewed as partnerships that require effort, work and focus.

If a matchmaker promises you to find the one or claims to be the best, runaway. Matchmaking services are people businesses and there are ebbs and flows with clients in terms of number of available dates, specialization and attentiveness.

Find out if you are going to be working with the main person or a junior associate. Ask about deal-breakers, find out if you can view profiles and photos first rather than go on blind dates. Get everything in writing!


Disclaimer – Dating Services San Francisco, Dating Services Silicon Valley

I have no affiliate programs, run no paid ads, have no partnerships and don’t have any incentive or referral fees despite many approaches over the years. 


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About Eddie Hernandez

Eddie Hernandez is a dating coach for men & women and a professional photographer based in San Francisco, servicing clients in NYC, LA, Chicago, Silicon Valley, London, Washington DC, Boston, Sydney and beyond as seen in the NYT, WSJ, SFGate, ABC7News, AskMen, Women's Health Magazine & Bumble.

Former analytics professional and former user of dating apps himself, he possesses unique insight into dating app algorithms as well as a keen understanding of dating cultures across various locations, demographics, ages, ethnicities, cultures, genders and orientations.

He provides guidance on app choice, bios, prompts, wardrobe, messaging, image consulting, date planning, screening profiles, ID'ing red flags, weeding out time wasters & creeps and offline tips including lifestyle choices, hobbies, grooming/hygiene, communication skills, confidence, where to go, sit and meet singles. Whether you are a person of color, short guy, introvert, engineer, successful professional or woman over 40, he can help you be more efficient, knowledgeable and effective in your dating life.

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