Forget Dating Apps. You Can Still Hire A Matchmaker In 2023

You don't have to look far — or very hard — to hear some dating app horror stories. For every single one of your friends who has found "The One," thanks to Hinge, Tinder, Bumble, or a different app entirely that's considered the best dating app these days, you likely know many more people who have been ghosted, gaslit, orbited, breadcrumbed, or even catfished. Or maybe, you yourself have experienced one of these unfortunate phenomena. So, if you've found yourself burnt out on dating apps, you're not alone.

According to one report from 2021, approximately two out of every five Americans had an online dating profile at one point, with 54% claiming that the reason that they're on there is to find a romantic partner. Yet despite the popularity of dating apps, 47% of those currently using the apps admitted that they would prefer to meet someone without the use of a dating app.

There's a good reason for this: According to Psychology Today, dating apps have the potential to keep you single, rather than putting you on the path to meeting that special someone. Because getting matches on dating apps fires up your dopamine, your brain will keep seeking this release, encouraging the user to keep swiping even if they already have stacked up a bevy of matches. So if dating apps have got you down, what are the alternatives?

Go old school by getting yourself a matchmaker

If you're sick of relying on your friends for introductions and meet cutes feel strictly relegated to rom coms, why not hire a matchmaker? Believe it or not, matchmaking agencies, like Ambiance Matchmaking, still exist, and are devoted to helping you find the one. Matchmakers can get to know you and what you're looking for in a real way. Then, they can consider who else they work with that might be a good match — without any of the guessing games that frequently come along with online dating. Matchmakers can consider things like your upbringing, relationship goals, and lifestyle preferences in a way that a dating app algorithm simply can't. And don't worry about breaking the bank — matchmakers exist at all ends of the spectrum, with some costing $500 to $500,000.

Matchmakers themselves are seeing dissatisfaction with dating apps from their clients. As Kim Grammas, founder of Nashville Singles, told Nashville Scene, "I think with all of the disconnect the last few years, people have suffered from that. They're wanting to reconnect in a more real way."

The do's and don'ts of hiring a matchmaker

No matter what you elect to spend on a matchmaker, you want to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck, so to speak. When meeting with a matchmaker or soliciting their services, there are a few questions you should ask both yourself and your potential matchmaker. First of all, you should ensure that you are ready for and seeking a longer-term partnership. Of course, as AARP points out, you should also take a look at who else these matchmakers have brought together. Do you know anyone else who has used their services? What do their reviews say?

Per Next Evolution Matchmaking, some questions to keep in mind when talking to a matchmaker are how they go about making their matches, how many dates you can expect to go on, and how often your matchmaker will be in contact with you. Gina Hendrix, a matchmaker herself, echoed some of these questions on her blog, like how will you be pitched to potential dates? What will the matchmaker say to ensure they are representing you in your best light, but also fairly and accurately?

If you do find that the right matchmaking service for you, keep in mind that a number of the same rules apply as they would to any dating situation. Show up with a good, positive attitude, an open mind, and with a good icebreaker for your first date.