Then, Tinder came along. Tinder interacts with Facebook , making it more likely that you will identify others you know when dating online. I was drawn to the idea of a personalised service that would be discreet yet effective, so I used the web instead to search for a traditional matchmaker.
The Ivy Experience
Most matchmakers I came across were clearly seeking wealthy, international clients, typically with offices in Mayfair. The one I picked appeared more down to earth, its premises located outside central London. She was well spoken, in her early thirties, attractive and not pushy.
Part of my brain began turning: At our first meeting, we discussed everything you might expect: Then, a house call. My matchmaker informed me that, to get to know me, she needed to visit my home. Exactly how all this fed into the matchmaking process, I never would come to know, aside from it perhaps confirming that I was good for the fees. Regardless, I set to work on defining Miss Right more thoroughly: She enjoys walking, family, socialising.
I set an age range, attached photos of women I fancied and hit Send.
Less straightforward was my attempt to get that profile memorialised in the contract somehow. Yet my matchmaker was very good at not using aggressive sales tactics. Take your time; look at other options, she advised, while emailing me teaser profiles: In any other realm finding a home, hiring a key staff member I would never entertain paying all of the fees up front, with no part contingent on the basic delivery of the service let alone a successful outcome. However, matchmaking is different.
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It deals in affairs of the heart. A contrarian, non-commercial streak in me embraced the romanticism of it all. Certainly I was persuaded that it would be odd, and probably indeed impossible, to pay a financial bounty upon meeting a romantic partner. Moving in together, marriage? None of this adequately explains why per cent of the fees needed to be paid up front. This was never convincingly answered, perhaps because my agency never needed to. It would be unfair to call introduction services confidence tricks, but my role in the arrangement increasingly came to feel like that of the mark.
There would be no close matches — not even a short-term relationship, let alone anything serious or marriage. One of the very first matches was the most promising: But a month later, her calendar miraculously opened up. Within six months, my matchmaker had gone on maternity leave and was replaced by two other staff members. Before long, I asked for a partial refund and you can guess how that went.
One curiosity throughout these match-made dates was that I, the man, invariably felt an obligation to foot all bar and restaurant bills. This was, apparently, the norm in these higher-end dating arrangements: Why should this be, in an era of greater gender equality? Just how unbalanced could things get on this expensive dating journey? I was about to find out. Here, a deeper truth about the way this exclusive dating world works was revealed: There are different theories as to why this is, one being that women are more willing to invest substantially in finding the right life partner, another being the perception of a depleted pool of eligible men in other walks of life.
Unwittingly I asked whether this was pounds or dollars. It was pounds, of course; we were sitting in a Chelsea pub, not in the West Village.
Discrete and reliable
They have elite connections with movers and shakers in the high-end art and investment communities, and can facilitate introductions on your behalf. The most expensive is their uber-elite Million Dollar Membership, which has no restrictions on location, time frame, or number of introductions. The more expensive membership packages include access to an elite group of matches within the SEI Club database, including CEOs, entrepreneurs, and models. When it comes to elite matchmakers, Janis Spindel is one of the most established.
The Spindels only take on men as clients. Women can pay a one-time fee for the chance to be included in the member database.
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If they pass the screening, they are matched with male clients and invited to mixers and events. An elite matchmaker since , Amy Laurent runs a boutique matchmaking service in New York City, with additional staff located in Los Angeles. Like the Spindels, Amy Laurent only works with male clients — and she only takes on 30 at any given time.
Clients are matched with high quality women Amy Laurent has recruited at various events, or who have sought her out after seeing her in the media. If the feeling is mutual, you move forward from there. VIDA has been in the elite matchmaking business since Most elite matchmaking agencies have significantly smaller pools of potential matches, which often leads to a lack of choice and sacrifices in the quality department.