Should You Stop Swiping And Hire A Matchmaker?

If you've ever swiped through dating apps for your happily-ever-after match, there's a good chance you've suffered through a bout (or 10) of dating burnout. Online dating was supposed to make it easier to sort through thousands of singles in little time, with the goal of meeting "the one" from the comfort of your living room. But, as online dating has become the new norm — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when meeting IRL posed a health risk — more people have found it harder to discover true love. According to the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of single daters weren't satisfied with their love lives in 2019, and since the pandemic started, 63% say it's only gotten worse.


So, if dating apps aren't the answer, what is? That's where the age-old art of matchmaking comes into play. While matchmaking might seem like an über-traditional way to meet your future spouse, it's getting a modern makeover — without having to swipe through photos or worry about being left on "read." You can open your Netflix account and see for yourself by watching series such as "Indian Matchmaking" and "Jewish Matchmaking," demonstrating how matchmaking works, at least in a reality TV setting. There's also the new class of matchmakers on TikTok, such as Maria Avgitidis and Simone Grossman, swooping in to replace your mom and well-intentioned friends in helping you find love.

But is matchmaking really the way to get off the apps once and for all or just another pathway to dating fatigue?


The process is personalized

On most dating apps, the process involves creating a profile, swiping or scrolling to find matches (or to pick through the many matches the app may have already selected for you), sending a DM, and hoping for the best. With matchmakers, the process is totally different, though it can vary between professionals and cultures. You'll usually start by selecting a matchmaker with a specialty that fits your needs, such as opposite-sex pairings, LGBTQ+ relationships, or religion-oriented matches. Sometimes, you don't even have to seek out a matchmaker — they might find you. A matchmaker from Three Day Rule, a matchmaking company, told i-D that they recruit singles for their database on social media websites and in person, even approaching people at grocery stores they think might fit their clients' needs.


Next, there's typically an in-depth consultation or interview before you're matched. "Essentially, a professional learns more about you and what you're looking for and your values and they look for someone who can compliment that for the rest of your life," professional matchmaker Maria Avgitidis explained to Insider. Background checks may also be in order to keep daters safe and prevent catfishing.

Then, you may either receive a handpicked lineup of potential suitors to choose from, get paired off with one match at a time, or be invited to a small matchmaking party with other like-minded singles.

Expect to shell out a lot of money for love

Online dating has become the most popular way to meet romantic partners, according to a 2019 study published in PNAS, and it's easy to see why — many apps can be downloaded on a whim and require no payment to get started. For serious online daters who want to boost their odds of finding a high-quality match, premium memberships can usually be purchased for between $10 and $80 a month — a small price to pay for tracking down your soulmate.


With a matchmaker, you pay for a tailored service, rather than an app, which significantly drives up the cost. A matchmaker typically costs between $5,000 and $50,000 for one year's worth of introductions and coaching. However, some shell out a lot more. Some elite singles spend up to $1,000,000 (yes, seven digits) to work with VIP matchmakers such as Janis Spindel.

However, for a lot of singles — and maybe even you — the sky-high price points might be worth it. As Patti Stanger, star of the reality show "The Millionaire Matchmaker" from 2008 to 2015, told Today, "For them to spend $55,000 and to not have to be spending this time on dating, it's worth it."

Matchmakers take some of the stress out of dating

One of the most frustrating parts of online dating — and dating in general — is the ambiguity involved. Does your match really want a serious relationship? Will they ask you on a second date? What did that emoji in their message mean? When people work with matchmakers, though, they're usually ready to commit and honest about what they're looking for. Then, the personal matchmaker pairs you only with those they truly believe are a good fit. Moreover, they might have an eye for compatibility that you yourself wouldn't recognize. "We find that a majority of our success stories are with clients who end up dating someone quite different than who they thought they'd end up with," Blaine Anderson, a matchmaker and dating coach, revealed to i-D. "To me that highlights how often we tend to get in our own way: we swipe on what's familiar, but what's familiar isn't always what's right."


Even if your match is a bust, you can generally learn what went wrong after your first date, with the matchmaker acting as the messenger. This means no more dealing with ghosting or one of its cruel variants, such as the toxic dating trend ghostlighting.

One more point for Team Matchmaker: You'll never have to worry about people seeing your profile and knowing you're searching for love. Matchmakers keep your information private, only sharing it with the few individuals they believe could be your Mr. or Mrs. Right.

Does matchmaking actually work?

Working with a matchmaker has numerous benefits that most dating apps simply can't compete with. Still, you may want to pause before grabbing your credit card and signing up for a year's worth of services. Just like any other purported fast track to love, matchmaking isn't a perfect science — what you find attractive and who will actually complement your life can be hard to pin down, even by a professional who pairs people off for a living.


With that said, some matchmaking businesses do boast about their track records, such as The Bevy, with its impressive 95% success rate. However, these rates may not take into account how long it took the matchmakers to find each match, the prospects who were screened from databases, and the daters who failed to find love and received a refund in return.

Still, if you've been swiping on dating apps for a while and noticed your dating pool drying up, matchmaking could be one way to expand your options. And, if you're still hesitant, don't overlook the many other ways to meet someone new without the aid of dating apps.