If you're short on time, want personalized help or are just looking to try a new way to find a mate, a matchmaker can be a great option.But even though these professionals insert themselves into the most personal parts of singles' lives, there's no industry regulator outside of general business-rating entities like the Better Business Bureau.To help you find the best matchmaker for you, we've asked pros and women who've hired them to reveal 10 things a matchmaker might not admit that anyone considering using one needs to know.1. While matchmakers can get certified, they don't have to.
Still, there are many uncertified matchmakers who've successfully paired people.
Brooke Carsner of Intuitive Matchmaking in Portland, OR, encourages potential clients to ask matchmakers "what qualities they bring into matchmaking that benefits them as a matchmaker."2. It's been a few years since Barbara, a 54-year-old from San Diego, engaged the matchmaking service with whom she had a bad experience. Matchmakers with a smaller client base "often work ten times harder than someone managing a bunch of clients," says Clampitt.
An online search of the agency turned up multiple negative reviews and the fact that the business shut down, but more digging reveals that the same matchmakers opened a new agency with a different name. Carsner suggests asking a newer matchmaker for references from previous business relationships.
Again, because of the largely unregulated nature of matchmaking it can be tough to tell a reputable matchmaker from one who's less so. Then, ask those references about whether the person delivered on her promises and met or exceeded expectations.4. Speaking of references, beware of the matchmaker who won't provide any. Paul, MN, says a service declined to provide her with references, citing privacy reasons. "I've always had clients who've said they'd be happy to serve as references." Besides asking to speak to a satisfied (former) customer, Carsner suggests requesting a reference who's still using the service to get perspective on the process.5. Barbara interacted with many agents and was never sure who was choosing her matches.
In others, you can choose between different levels of service.
One of Clampitt's matchmaking services allows anyone who is prescreened to be in her database, but she proactively searches for matches only for paying clients.So if you don't pay, you're less likely to get matches.7. Nancy, a 50-year-old in Columbus, OH, was horrified when she found out her date not only didn't pay the ,000 membership fee she paid but also came from an online dating website she didn't consider reputable.So ask about the origin of the agency you're considering and where matchmakers have previously worked. When she had a problem, no one took responsibility.On the other hand, Krista White, a matchmaker for It's Just Lunch in Washington, DC, and author of , says multiple people working on each single can be an advantage."We have matching meetings where we discuss our clients and what they're looking for in a partner, so it's a team effort." Just be sure to ask who your direct contact person will be.6. The price tag on matchmaking services, and what those services entail, varies greatly from business to business.In some instances, only one sex pays due to simple supply and demand.