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5 Tips For Choosing The Best Matchmaker

Professional matchmaking is a booming industry, with over 100 new services starting up each year. Matchmakers do all the hard work for you - selecting and screening potential dates based on criteria you provide.

Man imagining his perfect match.

If you’re too busy to cruise the singles bars or invest a lot of time in online dating, hiring a good ol’ fashioned matchmaker could be an excellent option for you.

Of course, we do recommend trying our modern alternative to matchmaking at a small fraction of the cost before going down this route. But enough about us… let’s talk about traditional matchmakers.

If you choose your matchmaker wisely, she can significantly increase your chances of finding “The One.” But choosing wisely is key! Why?

Because we’re talking about a highly unregulated industry flooded with shady operations who just want to make a quick buck, and “experts” who really don’t know how to make a match any better than your mom.

Our expert team has reviewed more than 200 matchmakers and their services, delving deep into their operations, cost, success rates, and customer experiences. With over 14 years in the industry, our reviews are built on extensive research and a keen understanding of the matchmaking landscape.

Separating the good from the bad is not easy, but keep reading to discover some insider secrets that will make it a whole lot easier. This essential information on choosing the best matchmaker could save you time, money, and a lot of frustration.

Here are 5 things you must know before signing a contract with a professional matchmaker:

1. Be prepared to spend some $$$

On the low end, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $15,000 a year for a membership.

Some matchmakers, like Laura Bilotta and Single In The City, charge a few hundred dollars to be included in the database, and a small "per-match" fee if you agree to a date.

Three Day Rule guarantees a certain number of dates, with packages that start at $5,900. Jill Dunn, a matchmaker in Connecticut, has packages that start around $2000. Julia McCurley, a matchmaker in Austin, TX, has packages that start around $11,000.

"Elite" matchmaker prices generally begin around $20,000 and can run upwards of $50,000. Bonnie Winston's service for NYC singles begins at $20,000 for a VIP membership. Samantha Daniels, another NYC matchmaker, starts her packages around $50,000.

"Luxury" matchmakers often have packages that run into the hundreds of thousands, with some, like Janis Spindel's Serious Matchmaking, offering a million dollar package to billionaire singles.

Decide beforehand what you’re willing to spend, and stick to your budget. Many matchmakers, especially the ones at large agencies, work on commission and have looming sales quotas to meet. They’re running a business, and if they think they can charge you more, they will.

Constant pressure to hand over more money and high pressure sales tactics are a common theme of the negative reviews you’ll find out there. If a matchmaker seems to be dodging all your questions about costs, proceed cautiously.

It's common for services to not disclose pricing on their matchmaking websites. But reputable services have clear pricing and will provide it up front if you ask nicely.

Do your homework before hiring a matchmaker.

Read the online reviews, check out their BBB rating, ask for references, and interview them while they’re interviewing you.

2. Know what you want from your matchmaker.

When you’re making a list of potential services to hire, have specific goals in mind.

Are you willing to travel to meet your soulmate, or are you only interested in local services? Many international services like VIDA Select, Ksenia Droben Matchmaking, Trea Tijmens (SuccessMatch), and Svetlana Mukha offer matchmaking in large cities across the world.

You'll also find national matchmakers offering services for singles around the US, like Elite Private Search, Caliber Match, Tawkify and Three Day Rule. Some are regional, like East Coast Match, Intermezzo Montreal, Camelot Introductions, and Mirabela Executive Dating.

Some boutique matchmakers like Ali Migliore (Simply Matchmaking), Brooke Wise (Brooke Wise Matchmaking), Monique Le (Seattle Love Broker), Jill Dunn (JillinIt), Yvonne Allen, Genevieve Gresset, and Cristina Morara (Stellar Hitch) offer services in a few select cities, which can expand your matching possibilities if you're open to long-distance dating at first.

And other boutique operators focus primarily on matching within one area, like Ann Parnes in New Orleans, Amy Owens in Indianapolis, Lisa Amador in Santa Barbara, Pat Wright in Calgary, Mike Green in Cleveland and Julia McCurley (Something More) in Austin, TX.

Are you adamant about dating a fellow doctor or lawyer, or someone with a specific religious affiliation?

Some niche matchmakers specialize in a certain type of matchmaking, like Simantov International for the Jewish community and Elite Asian Matchmaker for Asian singles. You'll also find services that specialize in matchmaking for Arab or Muslim singles, LDS singles, Catholics, Christians, etc.

Other matchmakers are known for helping singles re-enter the dating scene, like Donna Shugrue of Perfectly Matched, Peggy Wolman, Linda Miller, Susan Dunhoff, Jill Hinckley, and Paula Pardel.

Some focus on a certain demographic, like Mature Singles Only for senior daters. Darci Roberts helps millennial singles and you'll find an array of matchmaking services for young professionals. You'll even find matchmakers who can help you with sugar dating, like Sugar Matchmaking.

While a hyper-focus can help ensure you meet only the type of singles you're looking for, the narrower pool of candidates could mean you’ll wait a little longer to meet a match.

Opting for a smaller service rather than a larger, franchised operation might save you money. A portion of your membership fee covers costs like rent, employee salaries and commissions, advertising, and other costs of doing business, and smaller companies generally have lower overhead.

You may also want to consider a service that offers short-term memberships, like VIDA Select, rather than requiring long-term contracts. You’re hoping it won’t take her two years to find your soulmate, right?

And lastly, if you know you also want to invest in dating coaching, many matchmakers incorporate that into their approach. Cat Cantrill, Chelsea Autumn, Genevieve Gresset, Ella Scaduto, Kelly Leary (Revolution Dating), and Jennifer Zucher & Lori Zaslow (Project Soulmate) all offer coaching in addition to matchmaking.

3. Be ready to answer her questions.

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During the first chat with a potential matchmaker, she’ll ask you a few questions to determine whether or not she’ll be a good fit for you. And if you get pressured to sign up before having this initial conversation, hang up and move on.

Knowing the answers to these common questions will save you time, and having a clear idea of what you’re looking for is essential for a successful and productive relationship with your matchmaker.

Be ready to answer questions like these:

  • What are your relationship goals?
  • What’s gone wrong in past relationships?
  • Why do you want to hire a matchmaker?
  • How long have you been single?
  • Are you finding it difficult to meet quality people?
  • What has worked for you in the past and what hasn't worked for you?
  • Have you ever hired a matchmaker before?
  • Did something happen recently that made you want to call?
  • How important is it to you to find a long term relationship?

4. Ask her the right questions.

It’s not a one-sided interview process. Hiring a matchmaker is no different than hiring any other professional, like your contractor or financial advisor. You want an expert who’s going to provide quality service, and the only way to make sure you’re hiring the right person is to ask a lot of questions up front.

Before signing on the dotted line, get answers to questions like these:

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • Has the company done business under any other name?
  • What are the qualifications of the person I’ll be working with?
  • Where does the pool of candidates come from, and how are they screened?
  • How many clients are in your database?
  • How much does it cost, and does everyone pay the same price?
  • Can I suspend my contract if I meet someone?
  • Will I see photos of potential matches before I meet them in person?
  • What happens if you can't find enough matches that meet my criteria?
  • How many times have you had to refund a client's money because you couldn't fulfill your promise?
  • Does your company offer other services like image consulting?

Pay attention to the answers, but also note how you feel about how those answers are delivered. Does she put you at ease? Do you like her attitude? Do you feel like she “gets” you? Remember, some matchmakers have genuine ability and want what’s best for you, but others were hired more for their sales skills.

5. Listen to that little voice in your head.

If a service sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t fall for extreme optimism and a file full of beautiful pictures.

Pick a service you have a good feeling about. If that little voice is saying your matchmaker sounded a little sketchy, move on. There’s no shortage of options, and the range in quality is enormous. Hiring a matchmaker is an investment, and you need to treat it accordingly.

Why Choose VIDA Select?

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Since 2009, thousands of clients have discovered true love thanks to VIDA Select’s fresh, modern approach to matchmaking – which has finally thrown blind dates and long-term contracts out the window. This isn't your grandmother’s matchmaking!

Instead of working with a single matchmaker using a small rolodex of potential partners, VIDA Select’s matchmaking team taps into the world’s largest database of available singles. We’ll quickly identify the matches who check all of your boxes so you can finally experience true chemistry. Are you ready to become our next success story? Schedule your complimentary consultation now by clicking the button below!

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