MILLION Dollar Matchmaker, Bravo’s runaway smash, offers a humorous look at an LA firm run by Patti Stranger that forges high-profile matches for celebrities and executives on the West Coast. Unfortunately, her firm requires a net worth of at least $1 million USD (for males), which makes it accessible only to the very affluent.
The reality is that professional matchmaking services can be an excellent choice for busy professionals who does not have time for more traditional ways to meet people, i.e. singles clubs or blind dates set up by friends. These programs are geared towards people for whom the benefits of "power dating" - results-oriented dates with lifestyle- and career-matchmaking as key components to compatibility - are desired, rather than the guesswork that comes with free sites.
For career-minded singles:
Élan Relationships – This service begins by interviewing you to discuss your lifestyle and relationship goals. Although the fee is much higher than if you signed up for a website like eHarmony, this boutique matchmaking firm promises to “take the dirty work out of dating” by carefully screening each member in its database and making personalized introductions.
Esse – Created by Eileen Messier, who also operates Élan. Esse specializes in creating matches for singles in their 40s, 50s and beyond. Remember that one-liner in Sleepless in Seattle about it being “easier to get killed by a terrorist than to find a husband over the age of 40?” Forget about it once you chat with this service, with offices in both metro Chicago and Oakbrook.
Looking for something a bit more casual?
Try It’s Just Lunch. This Chicago-based firm is now located nationwide and has a proven track record, creating matches leading to marriage for 17 years. It specializes in arranging lunch dates and after-work meet-ups for busy singles in the Loop, Bucktown and the Gold Coast neighborhood. The service will even make the dinner reservations for you, setting up meetings at trendy eateries like Soprano’s and Gibson’s Steakhouse.
The bottom line: While it’s true that you get what you pay for, if you're pursuing a long-term bond with someone as motivated and hard-working as yourself, professional matchmaking could be the answer.
Still looking for love online? Check out my personals guide.