Are matchmaking services worth it?

There’s an old saying that cost and value are two entirely distinct things. Something which costs loads might be worth nothing (as much as I love my completed 2010 World Cup Panini sticker album, realistically it’s never going to be a collector’s item), whilst other things cost very little but are worth more than money could buy (the broom I use every day at home cost £1 – £1!!!).

Sometimes, of course, these two things exist together; for something valuable you need to pay money for it. It’s with this in mind that I look at the niche area of matchmaking services.

These matchmaking services are for those who find themselves in the position of being cash rich and time poor. They take away the hassle of me needing to spend my own time swiping and assessing matches before setting up dates, instead finding out what I want and doing some pre-meeting checks. They also create a profile for me so others can assess me and see if I’m date-worthy material.

On the one hand I can see the appeal. They know what they are doing. They match people all the time, getting a real feel for those elements of personalities which might mesh and seeing things in each of us which we may not see in ourselves. I simply tell them what I find attractive and they then present me with a set of options for me to review and choose from. As someone who grew up in the word of Argos catalogues, this has a certain appeal.

However, there’s also something a little impersonal about it all. It takes away some of the challenge, some of the adventure of finding someone yourself. It is effectively a headhunting service, and has an air of cold distance which is a little offputting.

And then there’s the price. One matchmaking company, which shall remain nameless, got in touch with me last year and asked me into their offices for a glass of wine and a chat. I had little else to do that week, so one afternoon made my way to Soho and had a chat. They offered me a package comprising of six matches; they would set me up with six women who matched my criteria and would arrange a date for us. We would need to pay for the dates ourselves, of course, but if any of them happened to develop into something more than an only date my subscription could be “frozen”.

This company also offered a normal dating app which had the normal freemium model – its paid services were in the region of £40 a month. So, how much would you think the slightly more bespoke, targetted service would cost, covering six dates? £100? £500? £1000?

No. The cost for someone else doing what I do on the sofa each evening (well, the swiping bit anyway…) was £2750. For the avoidance of confusion, that’s two thousand, seven hundred and fifty pounds. Plus the cost of my dates. With no guarantee of success.

Admittedly, after some negotiation, this figure went down significantly. And I do mean significantly – I suspect they were low on men at the time as I eventually got an offer from them of £350. It was tempting indeed, but at the time I had a few school-related expenses for my kids so didn’t have the spare cash available.

Of course, the very fact that it is so much money does automatically make a difference to the sorts of people you would be matching with. Most working class people won’t have that sort of money available for dating, so only those who are relatively high earners will be taking part. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is a matter of opinion, but it certainly simplifies things somewhat.

Truth be told, I can’t see myself ever being comfortable with outsourcing my swiping. Who knows what the future might bring? Right now I’m happy to invest a little of my own time swiping rather than pay hundreds or thousands of pounds for someone to do it for me. call me crazy, but I can think of some far more interesting ways to spend almost £3k. 😉


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