Long before I had read anything about the current dating world I had come to the conclusion that it was becoming more complicated than in the past. Mainly, this came from observing the millennials that I worked with at an advertising agency. The age range was from early twenties to late thirties. I took a close look at these smart, educated women and realized they had one thing in common: they all worked killer hours.
I thought to myself “how can they have a social life when they spend so many hours at work?” Well, the answer is: they didn’t. In my six years at this place there were very few marriages. Life used to be much simpler for single ladies. You met someone through a friend (as I did) or at work or school. There was no digital approach to the mating game.
The world’s first computer dating service appeared in 1965 and was created by a team of Harvard undergrads who ran it on a mainframe computer. It wasn’t until the explosion of the Internet in the mid-to-late 1990s that online apps began to appear. In 1995 Match.com was founded and by the year 2000 looking for the love of one’s life online had become relatively acceptable.
Now, seventeen years later, it seems that the pendulum is swinging back again. In short, there seems to be a growing dissatisfaction with the endless swiping and scrolling for a potential mate. It’s exhausting and, even worse, can be a real crapshoot.
BRING ON THE MATCHMAKERS
My interest in this subject was piqued when I spotted an article by Moira Weigel titled F#& TINDER! that appeared in the February 2017 issue of Marie Claire magazine. She begins by describing a matchmaker in Palo Alto, California by the name of Amy Andersen who founded Linx Dating in 2003.
For $35,000 (yes, $35,000) Linx has a “silver” package that provides eight introductions over two years. Or upgrade to a “platinum” for $10,000 more and get 10 introductions (as I’m typing this, I’m in shock because I can’t believe these numbers). However, the fact that there are people willing to pay these charges is a sign of a larger trend.
What are the benefits of using this service? For starters, matchmakers relieve some of the anxieties that dating apps create. They also help smooth over misunderstandings that might otherwise lead people to “ghost” or disappear.
Today’s matchmakers are not like your pushy aunt or Yente in Fiddler on the Roof, the sort who calls friends and friends of friends to inquire about the availability of their sons or daughters. Rather, up-to-date matchmakers use Facebook and LinkedIn to recruit members to their databases.
From that marvelous creation: Fiddler on the Roof. Yentas love hot gossip.
But not just anyone can be a matchmaker. The job requires a special skill set that can be learned at places such as the Matchmaking Institute (MMI) in New York, which opened in 2003 with seven students and in 2016 had more than 100, each paying $5,000 for a three-month course. That said, a lot comes down to a matchmaker’s personality. One must be outgoing enough to chat up a stranger to add his or her name to the matchmaker’s database, but sensitive enough to handle a client’s feelings of frustration.
A 2014 New York Times article reported that Tinder users spend up to 90 minutes per day swiping. Yet a study by Pew Research Center found that a third of the people on dating apps never meet anyone in person. “Everyone is always looking for what I call the BBD – a bigger, better deal,” says Andersen.
Summing up, dating is a numbers game – clients hire matchmakers for a number of reasons but one major factor is just to increase their possibilities. What counts as a happy ending? “It’s hard to come up with a single metric of success,” says one matchmaker, “but we are proud that 70% of our clients go on at least a third date with their matches.” That’s it, folks.
MAY WE SUGGEST…
Are you revving up for a spring trip after hibernating all winter? Well, don’t forget that everything we offer at Adea is perfect for travel: easy-to-pack and easy-to-wear. What could be better?
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