Using matchmaking services sounds a bit dated, but in reality many of the dating websites that exist today have some matchmaking component. Matchmakers gather information about potential suitors, and suggest people you should meet. The main difference between matchmaking services and an online dating service is that when you date online, you're the one who chooses who you'll talk to. When you use a matchmaker, that person chooses who they think will be a good match for you.
Getting clients into the dating mix will vary, depending on the matchmaker. Some serve as party companions and introduce them to the appropriate singles; others may organize events specifically for customers to meet several men or women on their dating lists. Or, if a matchmaker has someone in mind who seems right for the man or woman in question, a one-on-one date can be arranged. After a first date, the matchmaker will contact each party to find out how things have gone from both perspectives, allowing the matchmaker to assess whether a client needs more date training or if the match can move forward.
The best-case scenario is for an arranged couple to hit it off and eventually head down the aisle, but those looking for love shouldn't expect things to happen overnight. Overall, these costly interventions last at least a year, which is much longer than what matchmakers in other cultures expect couples to get to know each other before committing for life. A few weeks later, I get an email with some potential matches sent, with profiles to choose from. Bowes-Lyon's matchmakers will write you a profile (you can modify it, don't worry) and you choose three photos to go with it.
When I reviewed the five men that Hayley sent me, I was already impressed. Interesting men with professional talent surprised me. There's no mention that they want a “partner in crime” or “someone who doesn't take themselves too seriously”. Rather than relying on visual stimuli, the images included are small.
The goal is to find out about the person and see why they might have been chosen to match you. Your matchmaker will ask you a series of questions that delve into your past relationships, family, hobbies, religion and relationship expectations. If you decline the game, wait to explain why you're declining, so the matchmaker can give you better choices in the future. After all, romance is much more complicated when people are expected to follow their hearts instead of following the steps toward arranged marriage and nodding their heads to a shortlisted couple.