Hiring Professional Matchmakers and Getting the Best Out of Them


There was a time when matchmaking was the pastime of twice-removed aunts whose own children had been married off and who thus all the time in the world to meddle into other peoples’ affairs. Or young people trusted their luck to community socials where they could meet potential partners from their own place and social background.

However with increased social and physical mobility, young professionals now find that though they have more resources at their disposal, time is woefully short to look for that special someone. Or they may have had a hard time with the whole business and now no longer trust themselves to the job. So if you feel the same way perhaps it is time to get introduced to professional matchmaking services who are armed with various ways to hunt out the perfect partner for you.

 TIP: Visit Match.com. Browse photo profiles, filter by zip code and meet someone this weekend.

Professional matchmakers are those who undertake to find a partner for their clients in exchange of a fee. Such matchmaking services usually begin by including their client’s particulars in a database of potential partners that they maintain. Then follows a meeting between the matchmaker and the client in order to know the latter’s expectations of a partner. While a regular client is expected to arrive to a professional matchmaker’s office for the meeting, premium clients can have the matchmaker fly to them for the interview.

After a professional matchmaker gets to know a client’s preferences in a partner, there is a screening of potential partners who fit the specifications. Next the matchmaking service begins a round of introductions over a year or two, all the while fine-tuning its search as more information emerges about the client’s nature and expectations. Depending on the level of the services hired, professional matchmakers also undertake media searches on behalf of their clients. This includes placing advertisements about their clients in top lifestyle or singles magazines and then screening the people who respond.

So how do you go about choosing from the hundreds of professional matchmaking services that all claim to have a mind-boggling success rate in finding the perfect partner for their clients? Here are a few points to keep in mind before you outsource the delicate job of finding a life partner to these service providers.

See how they connect with clients

Professional matchmaking is all about finding two people who are perfectly suited to each other. This means that such professionals should make you feel comfortable and value your expectations in a potential partner. Trust your instinct on this and settle for a service provider who makes you feel positive and hopeful.

Do they have a ‘nose’ for the perfect match?

A good professional matchmaker needs to have an instinct for the perfect match. Two potential mates may look good on paper but might not hit off in real life. On the other hand, couples who are not apparently suited to each other may share a wonderful chemistry when they actually meet. So look for a professional who need not always go by the book but has an instinct for making the right match.

Narrow down the choice

There are several professional matchmakers who cater to specific groups related to age, sexual orientation, culture or profession. If you are looking for something very specific in a partner, it is a good idea to make use of these matchmaking services who deal with particular groups.

Do your homework

Shop around before you settle for a particular matchmaking service. Get feedback from other clients and enquire about its success rate. Many professional matchmakers also offer a free trial period in order to give their clients an idea of the process involved. You should make sure that the service provider has the right credentials and is known for ethical practices. Since the field is not yet regulated, there are a lot of bogus operators who are just out to make a quick buck. So make your choice carefully or else you may find your dreams of finding the perfect partner fast sinking with some hefty fees.

A professional matchmaker’s fees can vary widely. Generally the rates are determined by the cities where the matchmaking service operates and the range of services that the client is looking for. Some of the best known in the business and generally cater to a high end clientele, typically charging clients upwards of $600 for inclusion in a national database of potential matches. For a one-year contract in cities wherethe fee is usually between $5000 and $8,500. It is more for men than women. It goes as high as $10,000 or more for residents of cities where the match making company does not have an office. Some companies offer contracts for more than a year and also undertake a 'media search'. This would set back a client of the agency by as much as $50,000. However if your pockets do not run so deep, don’t be disheartened. There are more affordable professional matchmakers as well but you will need to spend some time to zero in on one which is efficient as well as cost-effective.

Professional matchmakers are often at pains to distinguish themselves from online dating services on account of the in-depth analysis and specialized services that they offer to their clients. While online dating services require their subscribers to pore over hundreds of personal ads, the professional matchmakers offer suitable profiles directly to their clients. Moreover these matchmaking services generally cater to members of particular financial and/or occupational groups. Finally these are also usually much more discreet and expensive than online dating service providers.

Professional matchmaking is emerging as big business in the United States where according to one estimate there were $104 million adult singles in 2003, out of which at least 75% were “seriously” looking for a partner. In between 1999 and 2003 the matchmaking/dating industry witnessed a whopping 300% growth which goes to show that more and more adult singles in the country are hiring the services of professional matchmakers to find their dream partner.