Top 10 Best Sites
Looking for a dating site you can trust? Search no more.
|Hayley Matthews • 1/29/18|
The Short Version: UK residents who are too busy or too frustrated to date on their own can become members of Searchmate to rejuvenate their love lives and meet ambitious and attractive singles in all corners of the country. The premier introduction agency made a name for itself in 1998 by successfully pairing compatible singles from all walks of life. Today, Searchmate’s database includes over 46,000 singles, all of whom are invested in finding that special someone. Every member has been vetted by a professional team of dating experts, so you can feel confident in the quality and authenticity of the dating profiles recommended by Searchmate’s matchmaking team.
Julie, a 40-year-old lawyer living in the UK, had gone on four dates through Searchmate before the matchmakers suggested Jonathon, a down-to-earth single father who lived nine miles away. Julie wanted children, so she was hesitant to date a man who had already started a family. However, the matchmakers assured her that he was open to having more children and compatible with her in every other respect. Julie gave a reserved yes to exchanging contact information and seeing where things go.
The couple hit it off right away. After their second date, they were already making plans far in the future. In Julie’s words, “It has been nothing short of amazing ever since our first phone conversation.”
Since it was founded in 1998, Searchmate has helped thousands of singles figure out what they want and find their happily-ever-afters. In 2012, the well-known matchmaking agency came under new leadership, and its membership numbers shot through the roof.
“In the last five years, we’ve grown our database 12 times over,” said Mike Parker, Searchmate’s Managing Director. “I always say Searchmate is the opposite of online dating. We work with people individually and very carefully arrange introductions.”
From its headquarters in Birmingham, Searchmate connects singles across the country in a far-reaching database. Matchmakers suggest compatible partners to relationship-minded singles and allow them to browse ID-verified members in the database. Over the decades, the high-end introduction agency has grown its singles database to over 46,000 members throughout the UK.
“Searchmate has become a very strong brand in the UK,” Mike said. “We have the largest database of personally interviewed and ID checked professionals in the UK.”
Not just anyone can join Searchmate. You have to make an inquiry and get approval from the team of dating experts. The agency does a thorough background check on all newcomers, and every new client is personally interviewed by a member of the team.
The Senior Membership Adviser, Julie Lazarus, leads the effort to cultivate a strong and genuine membership of single men and women. Julie is an energetic and straightforward assistant for members in the early phases of joining Seachmate. Hers is often the first face a new Searchmate client sees, so it’s up to her to make sure they get started on the right foot.
She meets with people face to face, answers their questions about the process, and puts together a detailed profile on who they are. Her interview questions cover everything from weekend hobbies to long-term career goals.
“Most clients joining Searchmate very much appreciate Julie’s honesty and friendliness,” Mike said. “She heads up a team of five membership advisers whose job it is to meet with new clients and get to know them extremely well.”
Searchmate also conducts thorough background checks before allowing someone to join the membership base. The team is highly selective and only serves financially solvent and upstanding members of society.
“We check new members very carefully through one of the most comprehensive authentication systems available in the UK,” Mike said. Backed by the technology of LexisNexis, a computer-assisted research legal and business tool, the Searchmate team can perform ID checks and financial fraud checks to ensure everyone is who they say they are.
Once the client has passed the background check, Julie passes the dating profile on to a matchmaker who then chooses compatible matches. The matchmakers show clients the profiles (including photos) of people they think would be a good fit for them. If both individuals agree to the match, the agency facilitates the exchange of contact information and lets the couple take it from there.
“We’ve got an honest and transparent profile of that person,” Mike said, “but, of course, it is all extremely discreet. That profile and photos are not accessible on the internet anywhere. It is completely confidential between the client and the matchmaking team.”
The demographics of Searchmate’s members are as diverse as the population of the UK. However, Mike told us the dating agency attracts more male clients than female clients — a fact that sets them apart from the typical UK matchmaking database.
“The nice thing about Searchmate is it’s actually 54% men to 46% women,” he said. “We have that strong database of single men, which is unique in the UK.”
Mike speculated that Searchmate’s brand appeals to men because it’s “unfussy” — the straightforward and transparent system gives daters more control over their love lives without being too intrusive. The streamlined matchmaking process allows matchmakers to make introductions, but also empowers clients to look for matches for themselves on the database.
The typical Searchmate client is an adult who has tried other means of dating and desires a more personalized approach to finding a long-term love. In terms of age, the sweet spot is between 40 and 65, but the matchmaking team will happily work with singles who are younger or older.
While most of the UK’s matchmaking firms operate out of London and typically only service the surrounding areas, Searchmate is truly a national introduction service with members coming from all parts of the country.
Searchmate continually updates its database and expands its reach to help more UK residents find one another and start long-lasting relationships.
“Searchmate does uniquely cover the whole of the country,” Mike told us. “Searchmate offers service right up into the far north of Scotland and right down to the southern parts of England — and across Wales, too.”
Searchmate has had its fair share of success stories of clients who met, fell in love, and got married. Many clients write back to the team to thank them for their professionalism, discretion, and hands-on assistance.
“We got loads and loads of testimonials,” Mike said. “Literally hundreds of testimonials. That’s very important to us because it’s what we’re in this business to do.”
“I can’t thank Searchmate enough or find words to describe how well and professionally I was treated,” wrote Pauline in her testimonial. She got into a relationship with a man named Peter thanks to the introduction agency.
“I just didn’t know this level of incredible happiness was possible, but Searchmate proved that it most definitely is.” — Tony, a 60-year-old client from Scotland
“I must confess that Searchmate did a superb job for me,” said Stephen, a 38-year-old client from Kent. “I always felt in control and confident about where this was heading.”
Mike said the entire team gets a boost whenever a glowing testimonial comes in. “We’re all thrilled about every match,” he said. “This is a team of very genuine people, and we try very hard to make our clients happy.”
From the initial inquiry to the personalized introduction, Searchmate takes a conscientious and quality-driven approach to matchmaking. The thorough vetting system helps the company maintain a high-caliber network of singles in all parts of the UK. The team’s heartfelt mission is to connect men and women who want to invest in love but have had trouble meeting people on their own.
“Searchmate is for aspiring professionals,” Mike told us. “It’s for people who are still climbing the career ladder and who are very much wanting to meet people and have a genuine, long-term relationship.”
Over the last two decades, the time-tested introduction agency has facilitated matches for working professionals across the UK and seen countless couples, like Julie and Jonathon, stride off into the sunset together.
“That is what SM is all about really,” Mike said, “and it’s been working well for over 20 years now.”