Getting off the Hamster Wheel
Why Are So Many On-line Dating Apps and Platforms Pushing Singles Towards Offline Matchmaking?
Can you believe that on-line dating goes back over 20 years? Middle-aged Singles can recall firsthand the fear and stigma associated with on-line dating. These days, if you ask someone who is single, most will tell you that they’ve used at least one on-line dating site or app, and, according to Consumer Reports, 28% of on-line daters who report using more than one service tried four or more.
A common and fascinating complaint expressed over the last few years, though, is that, for all its accessibility, on-line dating is often not efficient. Apps provide access to millions of singles, but what they typically can’t or don’t do is authenticate or evaluate the members—let alone offer a verification process to determine if matches have the same core values. What’s worse, a 2013 Pew Research Center report showed that an astonishing 54% of on-line daters “have felt that someone else seriously misrepresented themselves in their profile” and that 28% experienced contact through an on-line dating site or app “in a way that made them feel harassed or uncomfortable.” The outcome has been the revival of a coupling method as old as social communities themselves—matchmakers that include interviews and follow-ups based on actual, person-to-person interaction as fundamental parts of the service.
Why is the “new-school” going back to the “old-school”?
Safety: In 2014 the FBI reported that Americans lost more than $82 million to on-line dating fraud. While not all matchmaking companies do background checks, the majority do check for criminal history and among sex offender lists.
Secrecy: Matchmakers make it easy to keep information confidential, and also make personal offline introductions, including concierge services that take care of all the arrangements. This is ideal for many singles in the public eye.
Sensitivity: Often, singles don’t have a clue as to how they come across. They may go on a first date, never hear back, and are left wondering why. Working with a matchmaker nearly always includes feedback as part of the process. Daters learn other’s observations, why someone expressed interest, or not, and may even get coaching to fine-tune behavior and communication style moving forward.
Simplicity: The average single spends approximately six hours on-line to arrange a date. Matchmakers have databases and recruiters regularly adding new potential matches for their clients. Often arranging the introduction so that all you need to do is show up!
Selectivity: Helping their clients focus on the best candidates, professional matchmakers pair singles based on values, personalities, common life goals, and physical appearance, among other criteria.
Typically, matchmaker customers invest a few thousand dollars, in cities like New York singles often pay north of $5,000, depending on how long they work together and how many introductions are received. As with any other big-ticket expenditure, it’s critical to do homework. Look for a Certified Matchmaker (one good source is the Matchmaking Institute, matchmakinginstitute.com) who is bound by a code of ethics and make certain to arrange an in-person interview with your assigned matchmaker to ensure that you have a rapport given the nature of such a personal and important part of your life.