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The Short Version: Online dating can be a lot of work. Weeding through profiles and sending messages every day can be like having a part-time job, and it doesn’t always pay off for singles seeking a real relationship. Online daters can get caught in an endless swiping game and waste precious time chatting with people who ghost or flake out on dates. Hiring a matchmaker is a great alternative to online dating because singles don’t have to do any work to get paired on dates with compatible relationship-minded individuals. San Antonio Matchmakers and Austin Matchmakers represent a national organization of dating experts who introduce local singles interested in settling down. Since 1979, these traditional matchmakers have offered their clients handpicked dates that have been vetted by the team. The far-reaching firm is responsible for hundreds of engagements and marriages. You can sign up for a free consultation to see if these personal matchmaking services are right for you.
Sometimes two people just click — the stars align, the conversation flows easily, and the hours fly by. That’s what happened when Dan met Jan on a date arranged by San Antonio Matchmakers and Austin Matchmakers. The couple had fun right from the start of the evening. Dan said he felt nothing but excitement and interest as they sat together drinking wine.
“It was like we were friends from the first moment,” he said. “She was easy to talk to… Jan is intelligent, witty, and uplifting. One just feels good being around her. She showed interest in me, and I could not stop trying to hear more about her.”
Dan placed his membership on hold, which means he’s not interested in being connected with any other dates — he’s already met his match!
San Antonio Matchmakers and Austin Matchmakers, which are owned by the parent company Brotherton Holdings Inc., frequently receive “Happy Hold Letters” from clients, like Dan, who find love through the personalized service.
These professional matchmakers operate out of local offices to help Texan singles meet one another in a targeted and time-saving dating process. They interview and conduct background checks on all clients and hand-select matches based on decades of intuition.
Mike Carroll, Vice President of Operations, said this personalized matchmaking process has proven effective in 25 markets across the country. “When you get people out there meeting prescreened dates face to face on a consistent basis,” he said, “they’re going to find ‘The One.’”
The company that now runs San Antonio Matchmakers, Austin Matchmakers, and dozens of other local matchmaking firms began in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1979. Mike describes himself as an outsider to the dating industry. He started working at the small family-owned matchmaking company in 1998, one of just three staffers at the time.
In 2000, the company was acquired by an experienced business owner Charlee Brotherton who wanted to help it reach other parts of the country.
Today, Mike runs a team of 90 employees who work in matchmaking offices in 25 cities ranging from Texas to Wisconsin. “It’s grown more than we could have ever dreamed of,” Mike told us. “We went from a mom-and-pop operation to 13 years later operating the largest network of matchmaking firms in the world.”
In the last decade, the Oklahoma-based matchmakers have grown an impressive database of singles living in major cities in the Southwestern and Midwestern United States. “We want to build relationships with people,” Mike said. “We’ve grown by spending a lot of time engaging with potential members, and we’re always looking for new opportunities to connect with them.”
Applying to become a member of San Antonio Matchmakers or Austin Matchmakers is easy. Texans can sign up online by inputting their name, gender, age, zip code, and contact information (so a matchmaking representative can conduct a free consultation). Members can then complete a compatibility profile outlining their relationship goals, dating standards, and other basic information. The matchmakers look at these profiles to determine compatibility.
To get to that point, however, potential clients must first pass a background check. Mike said the company does not take on clients who have any felonies on their records. They’re selective about who they take on as clients, accepting about half of online applicants. Once the matchmakers have thoroughly screened the new member, they draw up a six-month contract that can be placed on hold at any time.
The local matchmakers will commit to arranging a certain number of introductions within the span of a membership. Memberships can range from 8 to 24 introductions because the time it can take to receive the introductions naturally varies from person to person.
Clients range in age from 30 to 80, so the matchmakers don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. Their job, as they see it, is to provide opportunities to meet high-quality singles in a safe and streamlined way. That takes a lot of time and attention to get right.
Mike said the matchmakers comb through the company’s database to arrange dates between clients who have a real shot at hitting it off. They don’t use an algorithm to match people up. A real matchmaker looks at the hard data of age, location, dating history, and lifestyle, and then weighs personality traits and chemistry to determine matches. “There’s an intuitive side to it,” Mike said. “Some of our best matches have been made based on human intuition.”
These matchmakers look at all the facts in the profile as well as looking beyond what’s there on the page to decide who they think would be right for each other. Through a combination of experience, knowledge, and gut instinct, the matchmakers have paired up countless couples across the US.
Over the years, San Antonio Matchmakers and Austin Matchmakers have set up a proven system for connecting people in long-term relationships. Mike said the matchmaking team often receives engagement announcements and wedding invitations from former clients. He said he’ll never forget the first thank-you note he received from a couple in November 1998.
The team loves getting “Happy Hold Letters” from clients who no longer need the matchmaking services. It speaks to the success of their system and motivates them to keep up the good work.
“I’m happily putting my membership on hold, as I’ve met a man I’d like to spend more time with,” said Tegan in 2018. “Brian is serious about settling down; he’s attractive, affectionate, and we have great conversations.”
“Working with you has been wonderful. You listen to my concerns, make adjustments in your searches, and get better with each match.” — Jim, a matchmaking client
“It was a pleasure working with you,” Carol told her matchmaker. “I feel you were listening to me about the qualities I find important in a match.”
Another client named Kim said she and Mike talked for three hours on their first date and were amazed by how much they had in common. “I appreciate your professionalism and quick responses,” she told her matchmaker. “So far I am pleased!”
“I know it takes a while to find a good match, and I really appreciate that you made so much of an effort to find me the right person,” said Gabe in a letter to his matchmaker. “You are one of the best matchmakers I’ve ever worked with.”
If you live in Austin or San Antonio, you won’t have to go very far to find a matchmaking office dedicated to introducing you to someone special. The matchmakers take the time to get to know their clients so they can arrange high-quality dates. Austin Matchmakers and San Antonio Matchmakers offer a premier introduction service for locals hoping to skip the games and meet someone with long-term potential.
“Your positive voice was always encouraging,” said Dan in a letter to Jess, his matchmaker. “You helped me make the process fun and easy. I would recommend you as a fine matchmaker.”
Mike told us that most of the clients coming to his firm are seeking a long-term relationship and are tired of the frustration of online dating. Thousands of Texas singles have turned to these matchmakers to find a shortcut to romance and marriage.
“It’s our goal for every member to get to the point where they meet the person they want to share their lives with,” he said. “That’s what keeps us motivated. That’s why we do what we do.”