Compare matchmakers and dating services

Matchmaking: Personal Matchmaking vs DatingServices

By Richard Sides

What’s the difference?

For starters, a dating service lets the members choose their match; a matchmaker does the choosing for members.

Being an independent sort, choosing your own match may sound like a better deal.

Let’s be realistic, though.

All you have to base your selection on is what the person told you on his/her data sheet or video. Chances are pretty good he/she didn’t say much about less appealing characteristics.

Matchmakers have an advantage.

After each match, a good matchmaker gets feedback from both parties about compatibility and suitability. Heshe develops a good feel for individual preferences and personalities.

Matchmakers frequently do a better job, simply because they are better informed that we can ever hope to be.

The second difference, related to the first, is who gets "chosen."

In a "free for all" environment such as the dating service, it seems the "hottest" 10% of the people see most of the "action." These are the same people who do well at happy hours, parties, dances, and everywhere else.

There is nothing wrong with that, more power to them. But the rest of us neat people may be overlooked in the "feeding frenzy" to grab those 10%.

Matchmakers gain an appreciation for the individuality and uniqueness of each person in their group. They can match people who might never realize they would make a lasting couple.

The third difference is responsibility.

The dating service recruits as many people as possible. It’s your job to find someone in the group you would like to meet who is willing to meet you.

Even if the dating service already has a hundred people similar to you, and even if those folks are having no luck meeting anyone who is interested in them, that is o.k. You can still join. Who knows, maybe your luck will be better!?!

In any event, after your check clears the bank, you are on your own with dating services.

Matchmakers, on the other hand, actually match you with members.

That means they must know at the time they accept you, they have some folks who fit you.

That also means they can’t accept everyone who wants to join.

If other singles similar to you are having a hard time matching someone, the matchmaker cannot ethically bring you into the group.


Because it probably won’t work for you either until new members change the group’s composition.

The fourth difference involves those valuable commodities, your time and your very tender heart.

In a dating service, you make many trips to and from the office. This is very time consuming.

We all know it is easy to have "chemistry" with people who don’t have a chance of maintaining a compatible, life-long relationship with us. Unfortunately, lust blinds us to this incompatibility for months.

So the time wasted driving and going through files is nothing compared to wasting six or seven months of your life when the one you picked turns out to be the wrong person for you.

The matchmaker does the "work" for you. based on your criteria, he/she rules out many people who might look right, but have no chance of a relationship with you.

Even more important, a matchmaker, via feedback from members, can normally spot that not-so-nice person with the good personality who can break your heart.

So a matchmaker saves you time and possibly, heartbreak. If your time and heart are as important to you as mine are to me, that’s a crucial factor in choosing between the two types of services.

I realize it sounds as if I am biased in favor of matchmakers.

I am!

Based on my research, I am convinced matchmakers do a better job for a higher percentage of their members.

Does this mean all matchmaking services are a good deal?

Not at all. Some are no better than the worst dating services, and some of the dating services are a perfect fit for some people. Like everything else, you have to use good judgment.

To help you judge, let me suggest some things to consider:

1. Up Front Pricing

You may call them; they may call you, but if they won’t tell you prices over the phone, I wouldn’t bother going in … it can’t be good news.

Without exception, in the process of my research, every company that refused to discuss price over the telephone used aggressive sales tactics when it came time to sign on the dotted line, and they were expensive.

2. Big Bucks

Now that you are cornered in their little room, you are supposed to believe it makes sense to pay $2000 for their services. After all, you get what you pay for, right?


There is absolutely no assurance you will get more because you paid more to join an expensive dating or matchmaking service.

I personally had rather meet people who are smarter shoppers … Somehow I figure it will pay off if we settle down together!

3. Comparison Shop

OK, this is straight from the "Smart Consumer 101" class but it needs to be mentioned.

  • Compare prices
  • Find what part of town most members live in.
  • See who applies sales pressure.
  • See who asks questions designed to help you.
  • See who asks questions designed to lead you into admitting you need to join a service.
  • See who tries to con you by indicating this is your "last chance" for a relationship.

You have nothing to lose by shopping around.


The right matchmaker can help you find someone who is a good fit for you.

A dating service can provide you a with a way to contact a lot of people who are looking for someone to date.

Not doing either leaves you exactly where you are now.

Enough said!

Matchmakerin Dallas-Fort Worth

Reprinted with permission from SOLO for Singles

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