Matchmakers have been pairing couples for marriage for centuries. In fact, it was not until recently that people married for love and ever since, men and women have been seeking for ‘the one’ before they commit.
The number of people looking for love online has also increased since the launch of the first dating website. However, shifting through the vast number of potential partners that may be suitable is a pretty big, time-consuming task. For this reason, many have also decided to engage a professional matchmaker to find them the perfect match.
What is a professional matchmaker?
A professional matchmaker is someone who matches two people together for the purpose of families.
It was not long ago that in many cultures and religions, matchmakers strategically fixed up families for the following purposes:
- Property expansion
- Financial increase from dowries
- Continuation of bloodline
- To form alliances
In modern times, a professional matchmaker who is engaged by an individual might not have to consider these factors. However, their role is still the same. To find the perfect partner for a long term relationship that hopefully leads towards marriage.
Professional matchmaking services
Modern professional matchmaking started as a service for rich men who were wealthy enough to hire someone else to sort through the dating pool for them.
Thus, the standard matchmaking business model was based mainly on the intention of bringing potentially suitable brides to rich, single men. However, many women are now engaging their own matchmakers to find love.
Not everyone may be open to using a professional matchmaker but according to ABC News, about 60% of marriages around the world are arranged, even in these modern times.
If we give it some thought, setups are still very common, with 30% of men and women being introduced by mutual friends. Thus, if you are finding it a little difficult to find a compatible partner, here’s how professional matchmakers can help you.
How does it work?
Matchmakers start by building their client base. Clients are sought through advertisements or word of mouth. Potential clients are also recruited at singles events or other places where single and affluent adults congregate. The internet has allowed matchmakers to throw the net far and wide as they go online to search for clients.
Initial consultations are often conducted to find out a little bit about what type of person and relationship the client is interested in. This is usually followed by the official process of membership.
The client will pay the fee that is due and the matchmaker starts to actively look for a good match. A successful match will require the client to reveal the following information:
- Family background
- Religious background
- Religious observances
- Educational background and job
- Personal values and morals
- Hobbies and interests
- Previous relationships
- Relationship deal-breakers
- Number of desired children
As the matchmaker works to find the ideal partner, the client is prepared for the dating process. Most matchmakers will spend at least some time to get the client ready before setting up a date.
If there is someone who is potentially a good candidate, a date will be arranged. With many online meeting platforms such as Zoom and Skype these days, sometimes couples may prefer to start out with a virtual date before having one in person.
After the first date, the matchmaker will find out from both parties how the date went. If the date went well, the couple might want to move forward and continue to get to know the other person.
However, do keep in mind that finding love may take some time. Things will most likely not happen overnight. Also do try to get to know each other a little before deciding whether that person is not suitable. Trust your gut feelings but also consider your matchmaker’s advice. After all, you did hire them for a reason.
What does it include?
Obviously, the main part of the deal is to help find clients ‘the one’. However, to do so, most matchmakers will also offer several other services that will help up their client’s game.
Among the services are personal image consultation and personal styling so that clients can present themselves in the most flattering way.
You might also find yourself working with a dating coach. Dating coaches aim to teach clients how to start conversations, what topics should be avoided and how to listen actively to your date. They may also point out certain quirks or habits that we might want to work on.
Professional matchmakers will also most likely do a wardrobe audit. While we hate the fact that we will be judged based on what we wear, first impressions do matter. This doesn’t mean that you will have to spend a whole lot of money on clothes but it does mean making sure that your clothes fit you well.
While the truth about the way we carry ourselves might work, we should put in some work to improve the way we present ourselves to the world. This will not only help you in your love life but also in other social and work situations.
How much does a professional matchmaker cost?
In the US, the average cost for a year of membership is between $5,000 and $10,000. High-end, elite matchmakers may even charge $20,000 above. Do remember that you will get what you pay for, and that experienced matchmakers will most likely charge more. Determine how much you are willing to budget for a professional matchmaker before you sign on the dotted line.
There are two main business models in this industry. These models have an influence on the membership fee.
In the first model, women are accepted without charge while men have to pay a very high fee for an annual membership. As the matchmakers focus to find a suitable bride for the men, the women are not guaranteed any dates. This means that the women will only be called up if they happen to match the male client.
For the second model, both men and women are required to pay. This model treats everyone equally and both genders are guaranteed a certain number of dates as per the contract. Annual membership fees can range from $2,500 to over $100,000, depending on who the matchmaker or the company caters to.
Standard Service Matchmakers
Standard matchmakers charge minimal fees thus, accept a large number of clients. While you may match up to plenty of potential partners because of the large database, standard services might also mean low quality candidates. When it comes to finding the best match, you should consider the quality rather than quantity.
As expected, elite matchmakers charge more and are more selective of their clients. Experienced matchmakers who are established in this industry usually fall in this category. Because there are limited clients, they are able to spend time providing quality services such as personalised matchmaking to each client.
Cross border matchmaking
Some matchmakers only focus on finding matches locally, while others offer to find matches from other countries. If you are looking to widen the dating pool to other countries, then cross border matchmaking might be your answer. Do check on prices before you decide to sign up for these as a higher fee may be required if you are looking for a partner overseas.
Regardless of how much you choose to spend, stick to your budget as you don’t want to find yourself in debt all for the chance of finding love. Legit services have clear pricing and you will know exactly what you are getting for the amount that you are paying.
Are professional matchmakers worth the money?
If you are seriously looking for a long term, serious and meaningful relationship, then yes, professional matchmakers are worth it. A professional matchmaker might be a good option for you if you’re tired of the dating scene, or thinking about getting back into dating after a divorce or a breakup.
Here are some reasons why it is worth the investment:
- Outsourcing the search – You don’t have to spend hours wading through a pool of candidates. Your matchmaker will do the work for you and set you up with suitable matches.
- Confidentiality – Unlike online dating where your personal information is available to all potential suitors, you will remain anonymous.
- High Quality – Having to pay a high end fee means that the client is most likely financially stable and really interested in looking for a serious relationship, as compared to online dating where there are an abundance of individuals who are just out looking for a fun time.
- Secure – You can be confident that your information remains private. Additionally, matchmaking services will do all the necessary verifications on potential dates.
Questions to ask a matchmaker
The increasing demand for matchmaking services means there are tons of people who will be offering this service. It’s important to choose your matchmaker because a real expert can significantly increase your chances of finding the one you will spend the rest of your life with.
Separating the real experts from those who just claim to be is not easy, so here are some questions that you can ask before deciding whether or not to engage the person/company. Remember, you will be working very closely with the matchmaker that you engage so it’s imperative that there is a good fit between the both of you.
- How long have you been in business?
- What are your qualifications?
- If it’s a company, how many matchmakers does your company have?
- How do you match clients?
- How do you screen clients?
- How big is the client database?
- How much does it cost and what exactly will I get for my money?
- What happens to my contract if I meet someone I’m interested in dating?
- What’s the minimum and maximum matches that I will receive?
- Are there any photos and testimonials from happy clients?
- How will you communicate with me? Will I be able to communicate with you after work hours?
- How much is the renewal fee?
You should also ask any other questions that you have. You really don’t want to end up with someone who does not understand what you are looking for. Pick someone whom you can trust and feel comfortable with.
Matchmaking in Malaysia
The matchmaking industry in Malaysia is growing as more professionals turn to matchmakers to help them find a serious relationship. In an interview with The Star, Joanne Ng of Dateworks ‘noticed more and more people in their 20s coming to her because they have never been in a relationship before’.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, we can expect that more people will turn to matchmaking. Meeting new people is already hard for most, and social distancing rules only makes it more difficult. You can now find plenty of matchmaking agencies online with just a quick search. However, if you decide to engage one, do make sure that you do your research to ensure that they are certified ones.
Age old matchmaking is making its comeback with a modern touch as many singles seeking long term relationships. While hiring a professional matchmaker might seem costly, the investment is one that is worth it, especially when you find the person your heart longs for. Not only will professional matchmakers save you loads of time, they will also save you the heartache of having to go through numerous dates before finding the right person. If you do decide on hiring someone to help you find a partner, remember to find someone that you are comfortable with as you will be working very closely together.