Should You Try a Matchmaker Instead of Online Dating?

P. J. Aitken

Nov 19 2019

The idea of matchmaking can seem a little dated in our world of dating websites and instant hook-ups. Nevertheless, matchmakers are making a comeback, and more people are turning to them to find love. What exactly does modern matchmaking involve? Are they worth the time and financial investment? Read on to find out whether a professional matchmaking service could be right for you.

Pros and Cons of Using a Matchmaker

Although online dating has rendered the use of a matchmaker somewhat redundant, these services do still have their uses for some singletons.


  • Support: It’s always nice to know that someone has your back, and that’s exactly the support that a matchmaker can provide. They will be with you throughout the process, there to understand your frustrations, listen to your stories, and help you as best they can.
  • Free Time: If you’re busy, it can be hard to find the time to date online. Not only do you need to make time for actual dates, but you need to find the right person, chat with them, and then agree to meet at a time that suits both of you. There are no such concerns when you have a matchmaker on your side. They do all the legwork, leaving only the dates for you.
  • Fine Tuning: If an online date doesn’t work out, you may struggle to find a reason and to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Was it you or them? Was there a lack of chemistry or zero compatibility? A matchmaker can find the answer and ensure future matches are more compatible.


  • Cost: Having someone on your team at every turn isn’t cheap. Matchmaking services typically charge for a fixed number of dates or a set period of time and those charges can be in the thousands of dollars. The biggest complaint about matchmaking services concerns wasted money.
  • No Compatibility: In an ideal world, matchmaking services would connect you with the perfect person, but in practice, they often connect you with the nearest. These services don’t have as many singles on their books as the average dating site, so their options are limited, and they have been known to just throw random singles together.
  • They are Slow: When compared to someone who flicks through a dating app every night, a matchmaker can seem very slow. They may arrange dates every few weeks, require lengthy vetting and compatibility processes, and this could prolong the time it takes an individual to find the perfect match.


Matchmaking on Dating Websites

Although matchmakers like to distinguish themselves from dating websites, many of the features they provide are also offered by dating sites.

Online dating sites employ state-of-the-art dating algorithms. A lot of science goes into creating advanced systems that are used on sites like Zoosk and eHarmony. If you take a personality test, the site looks at key aspects such as your likes and dislikes, your age, your preferences, and your political leanings.

It takes the same information from its millions of users and uses this to determine which users are a good fit. It doesn’t focus purely on location as many matchmaking services do, it doesn’t cost the earth, and it’s all processed very quickly, easily, and in an impersonal way.

How Dating Sites Use Matchmaking Algorithms

Have you ever checked Netflix’s recommended list and noticed that every film or series is perfectly suited to your tastes?

It’s not because you have a massively eclectic taste in cinema or because you just happen to love everything Netflix has to offer. Rather, it’s because they’ve gained an understanding of your tastes by looking at the films you’ve watched in the past.

This is how some dating sites operate. They also make extensive use of personality tests and premium matchmaking algorithms.

The sites explored below, in particular, stand out with their advanced matchmaking capabilities:

Elite Singles

We have reviewed Elite Singles before and discussed some of the reasons this site has stood the test of time and is trusted by millions. The first step that Elite Singles takes to ensuring members only find matches they actually want, is to focus on highly-educated singles in the high-earning bracket.

It is “Elite” Singles, after all.

The next step is to initiate an advanced spam-filtering process that weeds out all automated accounts, spam accounts, and other suspicious users, before also removing those who have been inactive for long periods.


Finally, Elite Singles initiates a compatibility test in the shape of a personality profile and search preferences. They ask all users 200 carefully chosen questions. The site uses the answers to build an internal score that the system then compares to other users. You can complete as few or as many of these questions as you wish. Keep in mind, however, that each additional one fine-tunes your score and thus your odds of finding the right match.


eHarmony requires all users to undergo a 32-step compatibility test. This test was created in conjunction with major academic institutions all over the world. It also incorporates key data from hundreds of happily married couples.

They boiled everything down to 32 simple questions. If you spend time thinking about and properly answering these questions, eHarmony will gain a clear understanding of your fundamental values. Then, it can use these characteristics and values to find you the perfect match.


Known as the 32 Dimensions of Compatibility, these questions concern areas such as:

  • How do you see the world?
  • In what way are passion and control balanced in your life?
  • How do you deal with negative emotions?
  • What is your home life like?


Zoosk uses a few features to match users, taking a more dynamic and adaptative approach. It uses a Carousel feature where users are encouraged to interact and check each other’s profiles. There is also a SmartPick feature, where it essentially asks them for information on a specific match.

This is a process that a matchmaker will also use, only on a much greater scale. A matchmaker will get user responses following a date. These responses will be used to create better matches in the future. Zoosk processes this information instantly. The power of technology allows the site to fine-tune an individual’s matches thanks to advanced data-processing capabilities.


When Oppositions Attract: Advanced Algorithms

There is some truth to the famous saying, “Opposites attract,” and many dating sites consider this. The important thing to remember is that while opposites can and do become attracted to one another, there are a few key personality traits and preferences that will very rarely draw two opposing individuals together.

Someone who listens to heavy metal and hates pop music may be drawn to a One Direction fan. Similarly, someone who hates sports could be drawn to someone who loves them. Online algorithms understand these anomalies because they’re created not from assumptions, but decades of research and thousands of sample relationships.

eHarmony’s algorithm reflects this, and it’s a great example of why these sites are so effective.


Dating sites are more effective and accessible than matchmakers, but they are also much cheaper. If you want an advanced compatibility test, top-drawer matchmaking, and great experiences, give one of these sites a try.

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