Choosing the right matchmaker will depend on your preferences and budget. Do you want a matchmaker that is focused on one specific location, or do you want a national or international matchmaker? Do you want a matchmaker that works with a specific religion or ethnicity? Do you want a matchmaker that has more experience and a higher quality singles database, and are you willing to pay a higher price tag for it? These questions will depend on the individual. However, there are a few basic elements that should be followed as a general rule of thumb. Following these guidelines will help you separate the rookies from the experts to invest your time and money wisely.
Who Is Matching You?
We hear many stories from singles who have used other matchmaking companies. They tell us they were interviewed by one person (normally a salesperson) only to get matched by an inexperienced ‘matchmaker’ who knows nothing about them. Ambiance Matchmaking’s Founder, Leslie Wardman, says, “I remember too well starting in the matchmaking business in the 1990s. I was handed a stack of files and was told to “match”! You still see this happen too often today. At Ambiance Matchmaking, we have developed a system where no matter who you interview with, we get to know you and will personally be responsible for matching you. We also schedule regular staff meetings to discuss our clients as we believe there is an advantage to collaborating as a team in every aspect. We’ve worked hard to fine-tune what works best for our clients.”
We recommend choosing a small to a mid-range agency rather than a large franchise. Many times when a matchmaking company turns into a national chain or franchise, it becomes more about sales quotas and profits than finding your life partner. These larger companies also have to staff a larger amount of employees, meaning your membership fee will go into employee salaries rather than marketing and resources for your search. Smaller companies normally stay true to the company's core values, have a better understanding of their client base, and have a matchmaker that has been with the company since its founding.
Years In Business
Choose a matchmaker that has been in business for at least 5-10 years and verify this information. This is because the matchmaking industry has exploded very recently, producing a large (and unqualified) number of matchmakers who jumped in on the hype. However, companies that have been in business long before matchmaking became trendy prove credibility, long-term success, and a quality client base. Many matchmakers began in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, and are still running quality matchmaking services today. They charge a higher fee due to the years invested in building a quality database of singles and honing their matchmaking skills. We say it’s well worth the extra money.
Reviews & Testimonials
Choosing a matchmaker with a positive track record can be tricky. Any small business owner knows that all it takes is one disgruntled client on a Yelp rampage to tarnish the reputation they've spent years creating. This can be especially true for matchmakers who may get a negative review for simply not accepting someone as a client. Furthermore, Yelp’s odd review filter can put a company’s positive reviews into a hidden “grey section” while only showing negative reviews. Make sure to always click on the “Read not recommended reviews” link to see all of a company’s reviews.
Another thing to keep in mind is that matchmakers may work with high-profile clientele who prefer discreetness, therefore, not wanting to announce on the world wide web their successful matchmaking experience. The result is a one-star review from one bad apple, while many satisfied clients stay mum. However, any good matchmaker with years of experience should have a few positive reviews on Yelp or Google. Another place to look is directly on their website, where they should have personal testimonials.
Balanced Client Database
Choose a matchmaker that has a balanced client database of males and females. Ask your potential matchmaker the ratio of men to women and which age groups comprise the majority of the client base. Ideally, the male-to-female ratio should stay close to 50/50 and your preferred age range should comprise at least 25% of the client base. There is one exception: Some matchmakers only accept a handful of affluent men at one time (charging anywhere from 25K - 150K per client) and an abundance of women (normally free membership but no guarantee of dates). In this case, there will be a much higher ratio of females to males.
Choose a matchmaker with an extensive background in matchmaking. Always choose background and experience over "training."The Matchmaking Institute (US) and Matchmaking Academy (UK) are currently the only recognized institutes for issuing matchmaking certificates. However, it is not necessary and many matchmakers do not go through these training courses because many have been in business longer than these programs have been established.
Always choose a matchmaker that allows members to put their membership "on hold." This means that when you meet someone you'd like to date exclusively, you can freeze your membership while exploring a relationship with that person. For example, Ambiance Matchmaking allows its members to freeze their accounts as many times as they would like during the duration of their membership without losing time or matches.
Upfront Policies & Pricing
Your matchmaker should be upfront about their company policies and pricing in your interview. At Ambiance Matchmaking, we are very transparent and will discuss our policies and pricing at any point during your interview. Furthermore, we don’t encourage people to sign an agreement on the spot unless we feel they are truly ready to make an investment in this very important area of their lives. We believe it is a two-way street of respect when making this commitment to each other.
Awards & Press
A matchmaking company is not always better due to press releases (often paid for by the matchmaker) or awards. It can be easy to get dazzled by media appearances, awards, and certificates, however, inquire how these were achieved. For instance, an Inc. 5000 award is given to the fastest-growing companies, yet a growth spurt isn’t always favorable. Matchmaking companies that have experienced slow and steady growth are normally more reliable and have honed their company’s values and skills over the years. Another thought to ponder, do you want a company that chases media exposure or is investing time into your search? The focus should be on finding your life partner, not trying to get into TV, radio, and magazine publications.
A short-term agreement (ie: 6 months) can indeed save you money. However, we always recommend investing in a 12-18 month membership. Matchmaking is a process. It takes time for your matchmaker to get to know you, and it’s also an immense opportunity for growth as you learn more about what you want and don't want in a relationship. At Ambiance Matchmaking, we’ve had many people find 'the one' within a few introductions and consider the money well-spent. We've had many renew their agreements after 12-months of meeting wonderful, like-minded individuals, only to meet the love of their lives within a few matches of their new agreement. Fun fact: Every single one of our renewed clients has gotten married! Everyone is on their path of discovery and when it comes to finding ‘the one,’ you shouldn't expect it to happen overnight.
Matchmaker Familiarity With Your City
Your matchmaking agency should be familiar with your city. It is common among matchmakers to claim office locations across the country yet have never spent time in those cities. At Ambiance Matchmaking, our founders have spent a minimum of 1-3 years in each of our matchmaking locations. Matchmakers should be aware of your city’s dating culture, as well as geography and traffic for arranging dates. It is essential.
Matchmaker Personality & Ethos
In the end, you need to make sure that you like your matchmaker. This is because you will be working with your matchmaker (or your matchmaker’s right-hand man) consistently for one year. Choose a matchmaker who knows how to listen and expresses a true passion and understanding of this very important area of your life.
It’s important to know where your matchmaker will source your matches. Again, this varies depending on which matchmaker you choose. Companies that haven’t been in business for very long (less than 5-10 years) will normally rely on their networks or social networking platforms. As an example, Ambiance Matchmaking uses a combination of sources, including our own Singles Database (built over 20 years), Private Matchmakers Network (a network of the best 140 matchmakers in the world), recruiters, and our Ambiance Digital Recruitment™ program.
Experienced matchmakers will be able to give you a thorough description of their matchmaking process. You should be able to understand what they look for when matching two people, and what constitutes a “successful match.” Leslie Wardman, Founder & Matchmaker of Ambiance Matchmaking says, “There are very important matching qualities that will determine whether or not a match is successful. First and foremost, their upbringing (how they were raised) always plays a role in how someone shows up in the relationship. Second, timing (where that person is in their life). Third, energy (that feeling you get when you are in their presence). Appearance and how two people look together also play a role (attractiveness, health, diet, lifestyle). There’s a lot more that goes into it, but these are essential.”
Type Of Members
Normally, a matchmaking agency will attract a certain type of person. Some matchmaking agencies cater to specific cultures, ethnicities, and religions. Low-end or high-end matchmaking agencies will attract a certain type of person. The matchmaking agency’s values and personality will also attract a certain type of person. For example, Ambiance Matchmaking is a high-end matchmaking agency that values cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity. What’s more important to us, is that every single member is ready to enter into a committed relationship. This means they have their “ducks in a row.” They are educated, passionate about their life, and have done “the work” to become self-aware and are dedicated to self-growth. Our clients are ready to enter into a committed relationship and/or marriage.