How to find a professional matchmaker

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If you’re ready to delete dating apps off your phone after years of disastrous dates, or you’re just thinking of dating after divorce, a breakup, a bad dating experience like getting ghosted from someone you felt a connection with, or long, dry spell, a matchmaker can be a great option. In fact, The Wall Street Journal recently reported is soaring in popularity — especially among professional people serious about finding a meaningful, lasting serious relationship.

Matchmaking, a time-honored dating method still popular in some religious and ethnic groups, is emerging as a niche antidote to the agonies of online dating sites.

While dating apps create a sense of abundance, matchmakers emphasize the quality of a few connections. And if apps require people to sink hours into swiping and chatting, matchmakers offer an opportunity to outsource the effort.

Here's what you need to know if you're interested in hiring a matchmaker:

How does matchmaking work?

1. The best matchmakers work with a select handful of people at any given time so they can really spend time getting to know you. They work one-on-one with you to learn your likes and dislikes, your lifestyle, your goals, and your preferences in a partner. Expect to go through a long interview process so that the matchmaker can get to know who you are, what you are looking for, and the type of person who you may find a connection with.

Many services only charge one gender: either only the men pay, and attractive women are recruited to go on dates, free of charge to the woman. Other services offer the reverse, capitalizing on the fear that many women have that “there are few good men out there.”

2. A professional matchmaker will use their proprietary network and the world at large to recruit and source the best matches for you. Matchmakers are constantly recruiting new members — from their social and professional networks, social gatherings, and even approaching attractive people in public places.

3. Matchmakers meet and screen every match face-to-face — essentially going on all the bad first dates for you and allowing you to skip the many “interview questions” required on a typical first date. When they speak to these matches, they’re asking questions about goals, values, personality, the way they raise their children, and what they envision future family looks like. They are asking all the questions you wish you could ask on a first date, only pairing you with the most compatible options.

4. The matchmaker will then present potential dates to you. Depending on the details of the service, you may be sent on a totally blind date, or have a video and other information to review before agreeing to a date.

A qualified matchmaker will set you up with only the matches that are a good use of your time. Those that are compatible, emotionally available, and interested in meeting you. 

5. You report back to your Matchmaker after the date. Your feedback helps guide who your Matchmaker looks for next. She will also get feedback from your date, so if there is any intel or constructive feedback she can offer you to help you improve your dating game, she’ll help you navigate that.

Do matchmaking services work?

Matchmaking services are as old as time, and yes they often are very successful! There are pros and cons of using a matchmaker:

Benefits of using a matchmaker include:

1. Matchmaking services ensure you are anonymous. 

Your picture or any other information is not available online, like in a dating app. This keeps confidential your personal life from clients, colleagues, friends, people you have dated (or were married to!), and your mom :)

2. Matchmakers ensure security.

Quality matchmaking services do background checks on and verify the age and marital status of any potential dates.

3. Matchmakers focus on high-quality dates. 

Especially in services where both parties pay for the services, matchmaking services tend to date people interested in serious connections and long-term relationships, and also tend to be successful and financially stable (a plus of the high fee).

4. Matchmaking services help you outsource the search to save time. 

Instead of spending countless hours swiping right and left, being ghosted even before a first date (or worse: after a meaningful first or second date including sex), and spending hours getting through the basics on a first meeting, a matchmaker cuts through many hours of work to present you with a solid profile of a potential match.

How do I choose a matchmaker? Questions to ask a professional matchmaker

  • What does your price include? 
  • Are there any guarantees?
  • How do you recruit?
  • Are both parties paying customers? Or is one gender free?
  • How do you measure success?
  • What is your success rate?
  • Can you introduce me to some past client referrals? I’d like to speak to both men and women.
  • How do you know the other person is looking for a serious relationship?
  • What is the interview process?
  • Do you do background checks? How do you know the other person isn’t married?
  • How do I know the person isn’t just a golddigger?
  • What are the typical characteristics of your clients?

How much does matchmaking cost?

Matchmaking is not cheap. Typically, matchmaking services cost between $10,000 and $50,000 per engagement and may be based on a fixed amount of time (say, 6 months or a year), a guaranteed number of dates, or a combination.

Often, the women do not pay to be matched with dates — only the men are paying clients of the matchmaker.

3 tips for dating someone with kids, including why kids should NOT come first

Reasons to hire a professional matchmaker 

  1. You have no time. Matchmaking is a great option for women who are always on the go with little time for themselves. The truth about dating is it requires time — time to source matches, time to vet matches, time to go on a bunch of first dates to find the people worth seeing again. You can spend that time, or you can outsource an expert to spend that time. A matchmaker does all the front-end stages of dating by sourcing, vetting, and setting up first dates with men who are more likely to be a good fit. It’s a better option for busy moms like us who barely have time to make breakfast let alone go on 3 bad first dates a week. 
  2. You’re not finding quality. OK, so you make the time. Great! That’s huge. The issue we often come across is women like us not finding our equals online. It becomes hard to sift through the many matches on apps to find ones who are actually our speed, who fit into our lifestyle. Using their network and intuition, Matchmakers make it their mission to pair you with matches who are actually on the same page as you. 
  3. You’re wasting time with men who have unaligned values. When kids are in the picture the stakes feel so much higher in bringing a new partner into the fold. If we are dating with the goal of something long-term, it’s so important to meet a partner with aligned values — whether those values are religious, family, political, financial, or anything else. Often we’re steered away from bringing up these heavy value-related conversations on a first date. So we tread lightly. And then we’re 3 dates in with someone who we finally find we don’t see eye to eye on when it comes to really important stuff. Matchmakers tend to match based on goals, values, mindsets — all the intangible stuff that you can’t really vet for online or often even on a first or second date. This means you’re only meeting matches who share similar values and goals — which makes bringing them around your kids and family that much less stressful when the time comes. 
  4. You’re newly single. Newly divorced or fresh out of a relationship? The dating landscape (and pretty much every other social landscape!) has changed drastically over the past few years. While online dating and apps make it easy to access matches and find a date, it’s a very different world of dating than it was in the past. A professional matchmaker can act as a resource for pretty much all things dating — like having a wingwoman in your back pocket. Having some help navigating the dating scene is a huge ego boost and major relief. A matchmaker can also act as a coach and help you figure out how to become a better dater — and even a stronger partner to your future beau.

11 best hookup sites, including our review of Adult Friend Finder. Or, maybe you are interested in the rules of friends with benefits.

Professional matchmaking services reviews

Executive Matchmakers review

Marketing itself to an affluent audience, Executive Matchmakers’ website says it matches “Bachelors to successful, intelligent, genuine women.” 

Since this service targets men, women would need to look into being considered matches by joining the Executive’s Club. Women can join the database at no cost, and Executive Matchmakers says the database is confidential and discreet. 

To join the Executive’s Club, women can apply on the company’s website. You’ll need to fill out a form, include recent photos, and interview with the service’s professional staff. If you are matched with a client, additional paperwork and a background check are required.

The service follows a six-step matchmaking process known as its Signature Match.

  1. Initial interview 
  2. Client consultation
  3. Personal search
  4. Match selection
  5. Dating 
  6. Feedback and review

Pros of this service, for women looking to be matched with its clients, is that Executive Matchmakers uses the initial interview to confirm a man meets certain criteria before he is selected as a client. According to the website, their clients are “regarded for their intelligence, success, and charisma,” and are “highly sought after, commitment-minded men.” Plus, it’s no cost to apply for inclusion in the database.

One con for women is the matchmaking service doesn’t solely draw from its database, so you are competing with a large pool of candidates for selection.

Executive Matchmakers has a F rating from the Better Business Bureau. There are no reviews on the BBB site, but it does show there were two customer complaints in the last three years.

Because you as the woman are not actually paying for the matchmaking service, there is no timetable or even guarantee that you will be matched. If you’re looking to find a match or a date instead of waiting for one to find you, this might not be the matchmaking service for you.

It’s Just Lunch review

This matchmaking service touts itself as “your dating concierge” and is available in many different cities. With that in mind, its Better Business Bureau website rating varies for different cities. Some reviews on the BBB website did have negative opinions on customer service, communication and actual matches, so if you’re thinking of using this service, check out the rating for your city on the BBB first. 

According to the It’s Just Lunch website, a membership to the service includes guaranteed matches, personalized attention in addition to other services. It’s Just Lunch also offers a blog with articles including tips from its trained matchmakers. Read our It's Just Lunch review.

As mentioned above, It’s Just Lunch guaranteed date packages cost around $2,000 to $5,000. “Some It’s Just Lunch locations are independently owned and operated, so prices vary depending on the city our clients live in and the service level they sign up for,” says Camille Kostin, a Matchmaker with It's Just Lunch Milwaukee.

How does It’s Just Lunch’s service work?

  1. Getting to know you. You’ll get to learn more about the It’s Just Lunch dating process as they learn more about you, your dating history, and what you’re looking for in a potential partner.
  2. Match selection. In this step you’ll learn about the matches chosen for you as well as have the first date set up.
  3. The date. This step is pretty self explanatory!
  4. Sharing feedback. After you’ve gone on your date you’ll share details with your matchmaker. Let them know what you did or didn’t like about the match to help them improve your next match selection.

Pros of It’s Just Lunch include a guarantee of face-to-face dates, full confidentiality and matchmakers who arrange all the date details. And if you find a relationship you want to pursue you can put your membership on hold. On the flip side, reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com say the service can be a bit pricey, and the process can be longer than busy moms may want to commit.

While It’s Just Lunch may have varying reviews, the service has been around for over 30 years. All the matchmakers go through a thorough training program, according to the company’s website. That attention to commitment makes it worth a try.

The League

The League bills itself as very elite, as it only accepts a small percentage of applicants, making those accepted seem very special indeed. Potential members are approved based on data from their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, presumably seeking out daters with higher income and education.

The League has a waitlist, and membership costs between $67 and $399 per month — as well as “Investor” level membership at $999 one-time fee.

The app's homepage boasts: “Are you told your standards are too high? The League offers to be your well-networked friend who doubles as your wingman,” sussing out good matches for you based on a more discerning set of qualifications than your average dating app. Every member is assigned a “concierge” who promises to help vet matches.

The League is available in cities throughout the United States, as well as Canada, Europe, and major cities in Latin America and Asia-Pacific, and some capital cities in Africa.

The League ups its exclusivity vibe with “groups” based on personal interests, including yachting, golf, international travel, brunch groups and women worried about their fertility!

The app has feature not found on other sites including speed dating, a fixed number of supposedly hand-selected matches emailed to you daily (the more you pay for your membership corresponds with more emailed matches), video profiles, and concierge dating, which is a hybrid of a dating app and matchmaking service.

The League has been criticized for requiring members to disclose their race, and allowing them to screen matches by race, but seems to be making efforts to change that. Also, more recent reports are that the app has loosened its criteria, lowered its prices and even offers a free trial — disqualifying it from being so exclusive.

Some Reddit threads on The League dating app:

Ready to apply for The League? >>

Tawkify

Tawkify bills itself as a personalized matchmaking service — not a dating app. The site has more than 100,000 members, who do not pay, singles who are considered for dates and matching. Customers, on the other hand, pay a fee, and meet with a concierge matchmaker who personally selects potential matches.

Tawkify promises a personalized experience for customers, who pay between $99 and $6,000 per year, depending on the level of service. Each customer meets with their concierge, expresses their preferences and dating goals, and then is presented with a list of potential matches. If the member also agrees on a date, the concierge plans and schedules a fun date. Afterwards, feedback from each of you is shared with the other person, and that information is used by Tawkify to connect you with dates going forward.

Tawkify claims that the service works with new clients for 6 to12 months, with almost 80% successfully matched in that time.

Check out Tawkify now >>

Three Day Rule review

Using the tag line “An Exclusive Matchmaking Company,” Three Day Rule offers the opportunity to join to use the matchmaking services or to be considered as a match for other Three Day Rule members. On the website you can request a free consultation and also sign up for a premium membership. Three Day Rule also claims to have “one of the largest, most selective networks in the country”.

Three Day Rule offers three membership options:

  1. A minimum of three matches guaranteed over three months for $6,100
  2. A minimum of six matches guaranteed over six months for $9,300
  3. VIP membership for six months of matchmaking starting at $16,500

If you’re not looking to spend that much and have the patience to wait for a match, you can also sign up for free to join the company’s database to be considered as a match for paying clients.

For paying members, the process is similar to other matchmaking services where the first step is an initial interview for the matchmaker to better understand the client and the client’s wants or absolute dealbreakers. Three Day Rule then does a face-to-face pre-screen of potential matches prior to setting clients up with matches.

Unlike other matchmaking service websites, Three Day Rule does not have an About or FAQ section, so if you want answers you’ll have to contact the company directly. The service only focuses on a dozen major U.S. cities, and does claim to serve the LGBTQ+ community.

Hear more about Three Day Rule directly from a matchmaker on Dating Intelligence the Podcast.

While not an accredited Better Business Bureau company, Three Day Rule does have an A+ BBB rating. The BBB site only has a couple of reviews for the matchmaker, both of which claim negative experiences with the company.

For an in-depth, first-person overview of Three Day Rule, check out this review from BuzzFeed.

With the membership options available at different price points as well as the opportunity to join the free database, Three Day Rule can be worth a try if you want to test the waters without a long-term commitment.

Bottom line: What is the best matchmaking service?

We pick Three Day Rule, as it seems to have the largest database of singles, a transparent pricing structure and the most sophisticated matching system of the major matchmaking services.

Get a free assessment with Three Day Rule >>

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Interested in checking out other dating sites and apps? Here are some dating app reviews:

OKCupidZooskTinder
Elite Singles Adult Friend FinderMatch.com
Bumble

Also, check out our roundup of best dating apps and sites for single parents, as well as 11 hookup sites if that is your jam.

How does matchmaking work?

The best matchmakers work with a select handful of people at any given time so they can really spend time getting to know you. Expect to go through a long interview process so that the matchmaker can get to know who you are, what you are looking for, and the type of person who you may find a connection with.

Do matchmaking services work?

Matchmaking services are as old as time, and yes they often are very successful!

How much does matchmaking cost?

Matchmaking is not cheap. Typically, matchmaking services cost between $10,000 and $50,000 per engagement and may be based on a fixed amount of time (say, 6 months or a year), a guaranteed number of dates, or a combination.

Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.

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