The Role Of Matchmakers In Modern Dating

Women's Dating

Catch Me a Catch: Exploring the Role of Matchmakers in Modern Dating

Mackenzie Buck

Written by: Mackenzie Buck

Mackenzie Buck

Mackenzie Buck is an experienced writer who earned a master's degree with distinction from the University of Manchester. Her relationship advice has been featured on the New York Post, among other publications. She has worn a variety of hats in the digital marketing space over the years and is excited to bring her unique voice and storytelling chops to DatingAdvice.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Reviewed by: Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks is a dating and relationship expert who has penned over 1,800 lifestyle articles in the last decade, and she still never tires of interviewing dating professionals and featuring actionable advice for singles. She has been quoted by the Washington Times, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, and AskMen.

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I’m about to be real honest for a sec: I’ve always been against matchmaking. That’s probably because, from a very young age, I associated it with an arranged marriage where the two individuals don’t get much of a say in the partnership — much like Princess Jasmine and Prince Achmed in “Aladdin” or Sansa and Tyrion in “Game of Thrones.” 

What I’ve come to understand over recent years, however — thanks to shows like Netflix’s “Indian Matchmaking” — is that the art of matchmaking actually has a useful place in modern society. 

While arranged marriages were historically driven by social or political reasons, modern matchmaking exists as a contemporary approach to finding your person. In fact, as singles from all over the globe become more frustrated with dating apps and the dating landscape in general, this ancient love-seeking strategy could see a comeback. 

After reading through this quick yet comprehensive guide, you’ll walk away with an understanding of what matchmaking is, and you can decide whether matchmaking is a viable choice for you in your journey to find love.

How It Works | Types of Matchmaking | Benefits | Misconceptions

Understanding How Matchmaking Works

Matchmaking, according to Cambridge Dictionary, is: “the activity of arranging marriages or romantic relationships between people.” 

This facilitating can be done by an individual (such as Indian Matchmaker Sima Taparia), by an established agency, or even by friends and family. 

The specific processes used by these facilitators will vary, but their underlying strategies will likely involve three primary steps:

Identifying Compatibility

All the attraction, lust, and even love in the world means nothing to a relationship if there’s no compatibility. It’s a matchmaker’s job to learn everything they can about their clients/subjects to determine whether a prospective match has aligned or complementary visions for their lives. 

Compatibility

This means assessing personality traits, primary values, lifestyle preferences, and goals.

If you’re working with a matchmaking agency or esteemed professional, this personal information will be stored in a database that they’ll use to conduct their search. 

All of these singles will have willingly signed up for this matchmaking service and provided all the necessary information for the matchmaker to make a match.  

Facilitating Connections

The next step is to put the matchmaker’s hypothesis to the test. In other words, the couple needs to meet! 

Again, the specifics will vary based on the matchmaker, but this typically looks like sharing contact information with the two prospective singles so they can organize a coffee date, dinner date, or fun activity so they can get to know each other. 

Dating Coaching

It wouldn’t be cool to push you into the dating deep end before getting some instructions on how to swim, right? 

Dating coach

To help you navigate the murky waters of love-seeking, most matchmakers will equip you with tips on effective communication, dating etiquette, and other relevant advice as you move about your journey. 

Dating coaching is a useful service that gives singles more confidence and sets them up for success.

Of course, matchmakers and dating coaches can’t do the work for you, but they can certainly help the process go more smoothly.

Types of Matchmakers 

Because matchmaking has been around for centuries, the concept has been morphed and molded into various manifestations.

Matchmaking can mean different things for different people. The type that you choose to work with will depend on your dating goals, your budget, and, potentially, your culture. 

  1. Traditional Matchmakers

Sima Taparia from “Indian Matchmaking” is a perfect example of a traditional matchmaker (or “marriage consultant,” as she prefers to refer to herself) in the modern world. 

Now a household name to most high profile families in India, Sima Taparia has access to a database of hundreds of thousands of singles from a handful of countries — all of whom spoke with Sima in thorough and in-depth interviews. 

Traditional matchmakers work with singles individually.

Using information regarding each individual’s backgrounds, preferences, and dating goals, she comes up with a short list of potential suitors based on compatibility and presents it to her clients. 

She occasionally works with clients in Western countries, including the U.S., but when working with clients in India, she may use caste and astrological charts to influence her compatibility assessments. 

  1. Online Matchmaking Platforms

If you’re not really into the idea of bringing a third person into your romance story, you could, perhaps, consider bringing in a robot. Most mainstream dating platforms incorporate some form of AI.  eharmony and Match integrate smart tech into their onboarding questionnaires to maximize match compatibility. 

Online platforms use technology to identify matches.

These questionnaires are designed to gather similar information that a traditional matchmaker would (such as values, lifestyle, and preferences), but for a lot cheaper. A premium subscription to eharmony sets you back $35.90 a month, for example, while an in-the-flesh, real-life matchmaker might cost several thousands of dollars. 

  1. Professional Matchmaking Services

This last option can be thought of as a combination of the previous two in that it merges matchmaking AI with a personal human touch. 

Professional matchmaking organizations — Modern Love Club and Cinqe, for example — have perfected a process that relies on savvy matchmakers having a network of connections.

Professional matchmaking services combine tech with personalized coaching.

The team will conduct in-person or phone interviews with clients to understand their dating needs and goals, then employ a matchmaking algorithm to help narrow down their options. 

Using a list of potential suitors, professional matchmaking services will guide you along your love-seeking journey. These pros will share tips and nuggets of dating wisdom to help you optimize your efforts along the way. 

The Benefits for Single Professionals 

Matchmaking is typically accessible to anyone aged 18 and up, but single professionals benefit most from these services. 

Once you’ve left the college bubble, it gets harder to meet like-minded people, making the option to outsource your search to a third party quite appealing. 

Authenticity and Transparency

Experiencing a meet-cute at a party is fun, but what happens if one week into the talking stage you find out this person wants kids and you don’t? Or they’re voting for the presidential candidate you can’t stand? 

You’re going to wish you would have been able to browse their online profile before that first date. That’s the beauty of using a matchmaker. These experts collect information about the important things:

  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Relationship history
  • Desire for children

Most of the juicy information should be  clear as day, giving you and your matchmaker the power to choose which qualities are dealbreakers.

A Personalized and Efficient Alternative to Swiping

Online dating app burnout is a growing concern amongst Gen Zs and Millennials. Many professional singles have limited time and limited mental energy to dedicate to dating. 

Matchmaking services provide an alternative approach to finding a partner that involves a lot less legwork and time commitment. 

Emphasis on Shared Values

The app experience has become increasingly hyper-fixated on looks. Matchmaking services are a breath of fresh air to many singles. 

Rather than swiping through profiles where photos are the main feature, matchmaking algorithms or professionals seek to introduce couples based on similar life perspectives and values. This technique maximizes compatibility for the long haul.

Success Stories and Testimonials 

If matchmaking didn’t work (at least a little bit), this practice would have dissolved a long time ago, right? It may surprise you to learn that matchmaking has produced plenty of success stories. 

For example — and I swear this is my last time mentioning her — Sima Taparia is responsible for over 150 marriages all over the globe. 

Plenty of professional organizations have facilitated true love connections. Successful agencies include Tawkify, Matchmakers in the City, and It’s Just Lunch, to name a few.

Misconceptions and Challenges 

This last point begs the question: If matchmaking is so effective, why aren’t more people doing it? Let’s explore a few significant barriers. 

Perceived Stigma

As I demonstrated at the very beginning of this guide, some stereotypes about the practice of matchmaking are either untrue or very misunderstood. 

This leaves a dark cloud hanging over the concept, keeping many single people closed-off and afraid of approaching it. 

However, thanks to shows like “Indian Matchmaking” and a collective frustration with the modern dating scene, society may just be experiencing an attitude shift. 

Unrealistic Expectations

People don’t like to hear this — and when I say people, I mean myself — but chemistry and compatibility are not the same thing

True compatibility keeps a relationship happy and successful through the ups and downs in life. It’s not always sexy or flashy.

The key to happiness is realistic expectations

This is partly why singles can feel dissatisfied with their matchmaking experience. The most compatible partner isn’t always the hottest person in the world.

A matchmaker links clients based on alignment of values, preferences, and goals. Chemistry is a wildcard in this equation.

A lack of physical chemistry doesn’t mean that something beautiful can’t grow. It may just take a little more time and patience. 

Professional matchmakers do their best to manage expectations from the beginning and encourage their clients to stay open-minded to potential matches who may not meet their “type on paper,” as cast members of “Love Island UK” would say. 

No Guarantees of Falling in Love

At the end of the day, matchmakers are facilitators, not magic deities. They do what they can to provide compatible options and guidance, but the fate of the relationship ultimately lies in the hands of the two people involved. It comes down to their willingness to put their best foot forward. 

The Future of Matchmaking Looks Bright 

I say this as someone who is (unfortunately) not getting sponsored by a brand to say this, but I can genuinely feel my doubts about matchmaking melting away like one of those creepy but delicious Spongebob popsicles on a hot summer’s day. 

One of the best perks of matchmaking: No swiping!

So many of us are looking to swap the aesthetic-obsessed antics of dating apps for meaningful and genuinely compatible connections, and matchmaking serves as a uniquely appealing alternative to swiping apps. 

With their professional guidance and access to databases of serious singles, matchmakers and matchmaking services have the ability to put you in a room with desirable people who match your energy in the ways that matter most. 

Plus, despite the significant financial investment in some cases, this option has the potential to save you precious time and energy. It can create more room in your schedule for prioritizing self-care, making career moves, or squeezing in screen time with my girl Sima Taparia (had to give one more shoutout).

If you decide to take the leap and hire a matchmaker, we encourage you to keep an open mind and stay committed to the process, even if sparks don’t fly right away. Remember: Slow and steady wins the race!