Matchmaking Services, What’s The Real Deal?

I recently got a phone call from a guy that expressed interested in my services as a matchmaker. (I’ll call him Jim) He found my website on the Internet and liked what I have to offer. But about fifteen seconds into the call he said,
“You know that your industry has a bad rap right?”
“Ummmm….. ”
He goes on to say, “I was a member of another service, and I got ripped off. I didn’t get any matches.”
“I am so sorry to hear that Jim.”
“Yeah, well, I really got burned. So I want to make sure that you really have the type of women I am looking for.”
“Jim, let me just get clear. So The matchmaking company that you joined, never gave you any introductions? You didn’t meet anyone?”
“They sent me a photo of one woman that I wasn’t interested in. And that’s it. No, I never met anyone. I paid thousands of dollars to this company!”

My conversation with Jim went on for almost an hour. He told me that even though he had been “burned” by another service, he still wanted to try it again. But he wanted some guarantees. He was very wary of trusting another matchmaker and was not about to hand over a large check again without some type of guarantee that he would be meeting quality women. I understood his concern, but this situation makes it difficult for me to do my job to the best of my ability. I need my client to trust that I have it handled, and his best interest at heart. The introductions will be coming, and they will be quality people.

Matchmaker’s have been cropping up all over the place, especially in Southern California. I get emails like the one below all the time from well intending women thinking that since they matched their best friend up with her husband and the spinster in the cubicle next to her at work, that she should now turn those skills into a goldmine and open up a matchmaking service. They have little idea however, just how much patience, people skills and access to a large database of quality singles that they will need.

Dear Ms. Martenson,

I’m wondering if you need any help in the office because I’d like to be a matchmaker myself, and I’d like to learn how you became one. I’m always matching my friends up, and everyone says how good I am at it. It seems like so much fun, I’m sure I would just love such a fun (and easy) job. You are so lucky. Thank you in advance for your help.
Shirley Adams

Dear Ms. Adams, do you have access to many clients who look like and have the income of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and who for some reason are having trouble getting dates? If that is your situation, you will find matchmaking easy. Go for it, girl.

Lately I have had to deal with the fallout from singles that have had bad experiences with other matchmakers. They come to me unhappy and frustrated, not willing to pay my fee, but desperately wanting to meet their soul mate. There are some wonderful, caring matchmakers out there, but remember, it is a business.

Here are some points to consider about matchmaking services from my book.

How a Matchmaking Service Can Help You Find Your Soul Mate

There are a lot of options for finding that special someone. Often, people who want a little help will either turn to a dating service or a matchmaking service. So, what’s the difference between the two?
A dating service lets members choose their own matches. A dating service generally takes on as many people as possible, and you have to go to the office or on line and select someone you would like to meet and who is willing to meet you. Because it always involves photos, usually a small percentage of the “hottest” members get selected the most. That’s great for them, but there are lots of other great people who get overlooked.
In a matchmaking service, professional matchmakers actually match you with other members. They do all of the work for you, which is great for busy professionals. At your initial meeting, they sit down with you and get to know your personality, interests, hobbies and what you are looking for in a partner. Then they take it from there and select someone for you to meet who they feel is compatible. Based on your criteria, she or he rules out people you would not be interested in meeting.

Also, the matchmakers get valuable feedback from both members after the first date, helping them to get closer to a perfect match. It is important to take a good assessment of yourself. Are you someone that others will want to meet? Are you seeking qualities in others that you do not posses yourself? If you are not realistic about your desirability and what you are hoping to attract, then most likely, you will be very disappointed with the matchmaking service. Matchmakers are not magicians.

Top Ten Reasons to Use a Matchmaking Service

1. Dates are screened in advance, so you’re not wasting time with people with whom you have nothing in common. A service screens out what you don’t want and tries to match what you do want (such as faith-based values, a certain age range, income, lifestyle, etc.).
2. Today’s singles seem to have limited time for meeting other singles and dating. Who wants to spend an evening with someone who’s not interesting to you? A service increases the likelihood that you won’t be wasting time with inappropriate dates.
3. Services are great for people who are new to a particular area. If you have just moved somewhere, you probably don’t know where to meet appropriate singles, and you haven’t found any groups to join yet, such as professional organizations and churches. A service can introduce you to the best people in your new hometown.
4. It’s tough these days to find the best places to meet people. Maybe your church, volunteer organization or Rotary group just hasn’t come through for you in revealing suitable dates. It’s time to hand the search over to a matchmaking service!
5. Many people feel uncomfortable meeting singles in bars or crowded events. Sure, “good” people also go to bars and clubs, but you have to weed through a LOT of poor matches to try to find the “cream of the crop.” Why waste your time? Let a matchmaking service weed through the masses for you.
6. It’s expensive to date these days. There is the cost of restaurants, parking, alcohol, clothing, tips, etc. It adds up when you are dating a series of people with no potential. Using a matchmaking service can be easier and cheaper than going on a thousand dates and not finding someone right for you.
7. Once you meet someone, there’s always the “grilling” process where you ask each other lots of questions to find out if you are compatible. Matchmakers can significantly reduce this process for you. Don’t like pets? A matchmaker will screen that out for you right away. You won’t have to spend an evening with someone only to find out she has five cats at home.
8. We are all busy these days, especially with our careers. Often, we just want to go home, relax on the couch and watch TV! Of course, we have to get out to meet people, but if we do it on our own we may find ourselves going home time after time wishing we had just stayed home! Time is valuable. Make sure that the times you do make an effort to go out that it’s with someone who has been pre-screened by a matchmaking service and therefore likely to be worth the time you took to leave your comfy sofa.
9. It’s tough to date when you are shy or cautious, especially for women. When approached in a bar or social setting, you have no idea if the guy is married or just wanting to “get lucky.” People that you meet through a matchmaking service are screened. You will know their marital status is never married, divorced or widowed. They are guaranteed to be single and open to dating.
10. Once you’re past your twenties, it seems like it gets harder and harder to meet people in your age group. More people are married or “hooked up,” and the dating pool gets smaller, or at least it seems so. Matchmaking services have a wide array of members of various ages so you have access to available people in your own age group. When thirty-eight-year-old Ellen went to a singles group at her church, she found that she was the only member under the age of sixty! After joining a matchmaking service, Ellen is now meeting eligible men in her own age group.

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Joining a Matchmaking Service

There are good and bad matchmaking services. Your time and money are precious, so ask questions before you sign up with a service. Don’t be afraid to visit more than one until you find a service that feels right for you. Some things to check out are:

1. Compare prices. Both dating and matchmaking services can be quite expensive, but there are services to fit every budget. You can be sure if a company refuses to discuss price over the phone, it will be costly, usually in the thousands. Be careful and be sure to comparison shop. A benefit of choosing a fee-based service is that it may screen out people who are not serious about finding a long-term relationship with health. In other words, if they are willing to pay, they are more likely to be truly looking for a soul mate. In some cities, there are matchmaking services that do not charge the ladies as long as they meet certain criteria. Usually these services require that the woman look like a model.

2. Make sure that they have members in your part of town. Many services insist that members meet potential matches in other counties, cities, states or even countries! Most people do not want a long-distance relationship.
3. Don’t feel pressured by aggressive salespeople. Matchmaking and dating services are businesses. They want your patronage. Don’t let them talk you into joining before they have answered all of your questions satisfactorily. And don’t let yourself be conned by a salesperson saying that the price is only good if you join right now. That is a sales tactic.
4. Ask how long they have been in business and what their track record is. (However they will never admit if they have a bad track record). Ask for testimonials from satisfied customers. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been complaints filed against them.
5. If you do join, read your contract! Know what you are getting yourself into. Most people don’t even know what they have signed.
6. Make sure that you feel comfortable with your matchmaker. If you don’t feel he or she is really listening to your needs, don’t hesitate to ask to work with another person. Sometimes another personality will be a better fit for you.

Good luck in your quest to finding your soul mate! Comment below and let me know your experiences with dating and matchmaking services!