It’s common knowledge among my family and friends that I met my partner Dutch online, using the free dating site okcupid. Several friends recently asked me about matchmaking services, which lead me down the research path. I have not personally used a matchmaker so I looked at matchmaking services like I would look any product I am thinking of purchasing: through internet searches and reviews.
Matchmaking services vary from region to region across the United States and tend to focus on clients looking for long-term relationships. Most of these services are fee-based, ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 per year for a set number of introductions or matches. Based on this data alone, it would appear that matchmaking is an industry that focuses on those with high disposable incomes and that these services may be out of reach financially for some people.
Consumer Affairs compiled a list of the top 10 best rated matchmaking services using a five-star rating system. Three of the services scored four to five stars with two services rating three stars and one service rating two-and-a-half stars. The remainder of the services scored less than two stars, which seems counter-intuitive to the “Top 10” notion and reminds us all to pay attention to details.
Successful Singles, which is based in New England, scored five stars on both the Consumer Affairs list and with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Its BBB rating is an A+ and there are just two complaints filed about this matchmaker. According to Successful Singles’ website, the company started in Massachusetts in 1984, has been under the same ownership for 30 years and is now under new management.
It’s Just Lunch, which has “been making sparks fly since 1991,” scored just over four stars from Consumer Affairs and is not BBB accredited. The BBB rates this matchmaker as an A- business. There are six complaints about this matchmaker. Per its website, It’s Just Lunch operates around the world and has a presence in every state in America.
Events and Adventures, focuses on introducing singles at group social events. This service scored four stars on the Consumer Affairs list and is not BBB accredited. The BBB rates this business as a B due to the high number of complaints, totaling 99, about this matchmaker.
Selective Search utilizes Fortune 500 recruitment techniques to match singles. This matchmaker scored three stars with Consumer Affairs and is an A+ business with the BBB. Selective Search has zero complaints filed against it through the BBB. Per Selective Search’s website, the company has an 87 percent success rate for matches and is located in North America.
Elite Matchmaking scored just below three stars with Consumer Affairs and is not BBB accredited. This matchmaker has an A+ rating with the BBB and has zero complaints on file with the BBB. Elite Matchmaking is only available in select metropolitan areas in the United States, including Boston, New York, Washington, D.C. and several cities in California and Florida.
There are local matchmakers in various cities across the United States. I did not look at any of these services for this blog as I wanted to focus on services available to the majority of singles living anywhere in the United States. It is always a good idea to check local Chambers of Commerce and the BBB for ratings on specific local matchmakers and even national matchmakers to ensure these services are doing what they advertise before a person pays for a matchmaking subscription.
If a single is not financially able or willing to pay the potentially high fees associated with hiring a matchmaker, there are other ways singles can meet potential dates. Utilizing online dating sites, trying something new, such as speed dating or going to networking events, or meeting people through social groups, such as Meetup, can bring new people into a single’s life. It is the human connection that singles need to expand their horizons and to open up their lives to new possibilities, new people and possibly new love.
Let’s think of matchmaking in mathematical terms. The more people a single meets, the more likely he or she is to find the person who will be the other half of a meaningful long-term relationship. It may take thirty-three first attempts, so singles who are looking for love should not give up on the process, be it online dating or a professional matchmaking service.
When singles meet new people, they should practice safety. Use the buddy system by checking in with a friend via a phone call or a simple text message before and after the date. Never meet a stranger at your residence; stick to public places, such as a coffeehouse or restaurant, for meeting places. Do not reveal any personal information that can be used to steal an identity. Be prepared and pack a condom in a discreet yet not-too-warm location, such as a purse or a jacket pocket, in case the sparks really do fly.