IN PERSON MATCHMAKING! It’s a real thing!
Tired of online dating and all those time wasters and meaningless dates? Welcome to in-person matchmaking, a way of “dating with dignity”. Gone are those days when you have to endlessly chat with many men just to secure a date or exchange of phone numbers, or go through a series of disastrous first dates. Matchmakers do all the work for you, some even schedule the dates for you. All you have to do is show up. Here’s a quick look at some types of services that are out there, each has a very unique way of doing business (and a wide range of pricing structure).
They match clients who are no more than +/-1 from each other in each category through a proprietary survey
When doing a quick Google search for “in person matchmaking”, people would see Keller International as the first sponsored search result and I found out that they dominate almost all of the search engines. This was the reason that I contacted this agency first. I filled out a quick questionnaire online and submitted it.
Less than 10 minutes later, I received a phone call and talked with an agent for 15 minutes.
This is what I discovered during my conversation:
- Kelleher International is a very large international multi-million dollar business that is based in California. It has been featured on many TV shows and in many magazines.
- They have local offices in large cities like LA, Boston, New York City, Chicago, etc…but they mostly operate online.
They have an extraordinarily large fee, which is $15,000 for a 6 month commitment.
- The first step was to fill out a simple questionnaire with a few photos attached, which they would use to search their database to see if I would be a good fit for their company with my demographics and what I am looking for in a match. I would receive a return phone call within 24 hours with the results.
- They have a 75% success rate, which is measured by clients not needing their services or not returning for at least 6 months after they meet a match.
The clients that they matched who got married only have an 11% divorce rate, instead of the national average of 50%
I expected them to give me the run around and say “Oh, you’re a great fit for us, we have excellent potential matches for you” as a type of sales pitch phone call. I figured that there really wasn’t a database search at all, but that it was merely a marketing scheme to make potential clients “feel special” and that they would tell me how wonderful I was and how every man would be excited to meet me.
I was surprised, when 24 hours later, they called and told me that they could not have me as a client because “there were not enough matches for me given my age, my location and other factors”. They could not “justify the fee”, but they would keep my profile on file as a potential match for their paid clients. They would not actively search for matches for me though. “However, if I match what one of their clients is looking for, then they would call me”.
clients that they matched who got married only have an 11% divorce rate, instead of the national average of 50%
This business is similiar to Kelleher: 5 minutes after I submitted their online form, I received a phone call. I talked with the person for 20 minutes and then made an appointment for an in person 90 minute “interview”.
I was told that they spend $5 million a year in recruiting and advertising, so they have a very large database.
- I had to fill out a very thorough psych evaluation, so that their metrics could assign me a number from 1-5 for each of my characteristics. They match clients who are no more than +/-1 from each other in each category.
- Unlike Kelleher, there was no preliminary search. I was assured by the agent that I am a great fit for their company and that they do have the types of men that I am looking for.
When I inquired about their success rate, I got a very generic answer and realized that no specific parameters seem to be measured by this company.
- They had a first meeting special and they did not want to discuss price unless I was actually going to sign up with them. Although, I was told that there are different tiers of pricing. One of them comes with third party dating coaches and some of their premiere services include a photography package and some type of makeover.
- I was also given a vague and generic response when I asked “What is your average age group?”
- Basically I realized that this was more of a glamorized and overpriced Eharmony.com experience where the matching is done primarily through this questionnaire that I would fill out. ( Eharmony.com and others)
SusieQ is the most traditional of all of the businesses that I contacted. Susie has been in the business for over 30 years and she works out of an office in Boston. She has one assistant, who I found out is her 32 year old son, and he does all of the business and administrative jobs for her. Susie meets all of her clients personally and she is the one and only matchmaker that really gets to know you.
80% of her clients “have never been in love”. It felt nice to know that I’m not the only one. I had honestly thought that I was pretty much alone in that aspect.
- If she cannot match clients to another client, she hires a third party “recruiter”. This is like a headhunter for potential romantic partners. This is the first time that I heard that this type of fun profession exists!
- The contract would be $5,900 for 6 months, with options to “freeze” and “unfreeze” as people meet with matches. However, the total time would not be for more than 9 months, unless there were extenuating circumstances. (These would include a longer than expected business trip, loss of a loved one, etc…) If she feels that a client will need a recruiter, the fee would be higher.
She boasts a 7% divorce rate among all of her matched couples.
- Her average client is in his late thirties to early forties.
Here are some of the common factors among the different services:
- You can expect a phone call or email immediately following your submission of your online form.
All 3 agencies told me independently (without me asking) that they tend to only attract white collared workers and not blue collared workers. The only exception are business owners in the “blue collar” industry. Most of them are highly educated with advanced degrees.
- They all have lower than average divorce rates; Kelleher at 38%, SusieQ at 7% and Boston Matchmakers is unknown.
Things to consider:
The price range is quite large: ($2500 – $15,000) for a 6 month contract
- The larger agencies play by the number, whereas smaller ones like SusieQ has a very close level of personal touches. It is up to you to decide which one may suit you better.
You should only expect up to 6-8 matches during the entire 6 month duration with personal matchmaking.
- When compared to the online databases such as Match.com, this number is very low. When a person is signed up on an online dating site, they can expect up to thousands of local matches and hundreds of emails within days of signing up. This is quite a difference in the number of potential matches that a person can receive.
If you have never done online dating or speed dating or blind dating, I am going to suggest that you try those first. This will allow you to experience many “first date” behaviors, meetings, etc. It is like getting practice with dating, before spending thousands of dollars for the these more expensive companies. (Click here to create a killer online profile)
Practice is key! You’ll teach yourself texting behaviors , appropriate social media behaviors in regards to your date, etc… This way you won’t screw anything up when you meet that special someone.
Sign up for Match.com here
Ready for the big leagues?? Let’s start small with It’s Just Lunch!