Tired of Meeting People Online, I Visited a Matchmaker. Here’s What I Learned

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It was a Friday night. I was out drinking with a few colleagues after work and as usual, we started talking about boys. 

“Where are all the quality men these days?” my colleague, Christine lamented over her gin and tonic. “Ever since I last installed Tinder over a month ago, I’ve been ghosted 8 times!”

“Tell me about it,” said Shalini. “Most men are just looking to hook up. Millennial dating is fu*** up.” 

And to tell you the truth, there are so many unwritten rules to this game, like:

  1. Too many emojis make you look desperate
  2. Sex on the first date? Duh!
  3. Ghosting a person is ok
  4. The coolest person is the one who cares the least 

We’re always stuck in a grey area of not-casual-yet-not-committed (because relationships are boring). 

Meanwhile, people’s expectations are higher than a vegan demanding vegetarian options at a steakhouse.

Let’s be honest, after all the terrible dates we go through, we’re jaded as hell.

So to hell with online dating. I decided to find out how to find love the traditional way. No f**kboys, no d*** pics, no requests of pictures of my feet, none of them weirdos. I wanna know how I can find a man who is WHOLESOME AF. 

And so…I went to a modern matchmaker.

It was pretty simple. I made an appointment and there I was, sitting in a quiet room with a questionnaire on my lap. I had to answer the questions as honestly as possible. 

As I wrote my answers, I thought back to the time my ex-boss shared her experience of being in an arranged marriage. Born into a well-off, well-educated Indian family, Mrs Maheswari was married to a young doctor whom her parents arranged.

“Was it a good marriage?” I asked. 

“Well, we weren’t dizzy in love as the movie puts it,” she said. “But we get along fine and that’s it. Unless either of us actually finds a lover outside the marriage, why would we leave the partnership?” 

“It’s a practical union, where we both come from the same economical background and both families approve of each other. It was just logical. We’ve had 3 kids together, he’s been a good husband and father, so that’s all I need.”

Logical. Would I be happy then? I doubt it.

Back to the questions, I filled in my criteria for everything under the sun: physical, personality, and financial attributes. 

Long story short, I jotted down that I wanted a man who is not too rigid on religion, and made one thing absolutely clear— no vegans. 

The Consultation

In walked this charming woman who was apparently going to be my consultant. Tall, and pretty in a bright yellow dress, I wondered if this bombshell could potentially steal my man before I even get to meet him.

We spoke about my dating experience and why I decided to go for a matchmaker. My dating experience had its ups and downs. I’ve been cheated on before — I mean, who hasn’t? 

I also kept a 3-year relationship alive knowing that he only wanted a fun partner.  It nearly broke me when he finally decided to end the relationship, but I couldn’t blame him as it was as I had predicted.

“So what could you offer me that could be any different as compared to the dating experience I go through now?” I asked.

“Well for one thing,” she said, “we weed out the obvious time-wasters.”

The Advantages of a Matchmaker

1. Weeds out the obvious time-wasters

“Our pool of clients are largely made up of people who are seriously looking for a potential partner, whether for marriage, or simply a lifelong companion, depending on their requirements.” she explained.

“No one pays the sum of money we charge to simply find a hookup like Tinder. You immediately eliminate the insincere ones and our clients are genuinely looking for someone to connect with.”

2. Higher Success Rate & Added Security

“What is your success rate on matching people up?” I asked. “Like, how sure are you that you might find me the right partner?”

“Our success rate is about 70-80%.” She said. “We have a pool of about 20,000 clients in the country and we go through the algorithms that match you with the best partner.”

“The best part is that you don’t have to worry about any fraud because we thoroughly screen each and every one of our clients before we match them up with anyone.”

So the benefit of these services is the added security that you aren’t being matched to a scammer or abuser. Fair enough.

3. Added Coaching to Improve Self-Confidence

“We also have highly-experienced dating coaches to help develop your personality when it comes to dating and meeting new people.” The consultant explained. 

“Upon signing up, you go through a few coaching sessions to help you improve how to present yourself and connect better with others.”

What kind of coaching will be included? There will be courses about grooming, conversation practices, how to dress well, how to behave at a restaurant, cultures and more. 

“But what if I f***ed up and I’m still undateable?” I asked. 

“Well, our coaches are easily available for further support and guidance, and we will help you gain the confidence as you go on to date more people.” She said.

4. Hassle-free dates

“We will also arrange your dates and make reservations on your behalf.” She smiled. “Once we’ve found you a potential partner and both of you agree to meet, we will arrange a place for the two of you to meet by making the reservations according to both of your availability.”

“Who pays the bill though?” I asked.

“It depends on the both of you. If you’d like to go for something more casual, you may consider meeting up for a coffee date.”

5. Matching on a Hunch

“Is there ever a time when couples are successfully matched, but not according to their stated requirements?” I asked. “I may not know exactly what I want in a partner.”

“Yes, there were definitely times when we did match couples which did not go as they had planned.” She said enthusiastically. 

“That’s where the human touch and instincts come in. I graduated with a Degree in Psychology and I’ve always been fascinated with the human mind which is how I ended up here. Sometimes, we go by instincts and depending on their personality, we have even matched up couples who are happily married today.”

“There was one couple,” she recalls. “The lady was very strict about finding a man who is taller than her and earns more. But there was this other male client whom I knew that could potentially connect with her on a personal level, and so despite not meeting her top requirement, she agreed to meet him and they clicked instantly!”

“Today, they’ve welcomed their first child, and I’m so honored to have played a part in it.” 

The Price of Love

‘It all sounds great and dandy,” I said. “How do I sign up?”

“Well first we run your profile through our database to see if you have any potential matches. If all is good, you will be able to join our membership.” At that, the consultant left the room.

So after what seemed like a long time, she finally re-entered and told me that I have a good potential to be matched up to a few compatible matches. All I need to do now is to sign up for the 3-year membership.

So how much would it take for me to finally meet my potential husband?

“That’s about RM4,800.” She said. 

Upon seeing the look on my face, she added: “But of course, you may opt to pay the 12-month installment at RM400 a month.”

Seeing that figure, I politely declined, and left as soon as I could. I may be lonely, but if I were to choose between being happily married and broke, or single but rich, I’d choose the latter.

Long story short, I was basically too broke for love. 

Lessons to Finding the One

I did learn something after this visit and here’s what the matchmaker told me in order to find good quality love:

  • Don’t Rush 

Don’t force things to happen, sometimes you gotta believe in the goodness of the universe. The right person will come by eventually, so have patience.

  • Always be the Best Version of Yourself 

Be the best you can possibly be and focus on your own wellbeing and happiness. The best version of a product (YOU) will eventually attract more suitors by itself

  • Keep Networking 

Put yourself out there and keep making new friends. You never know who you meet.

  • Stop expecting too much 

Keep your core values, but do not have too high expectations of a person. Nobody is perfect and neither are you. 

For now, being single is better than being in the wrong relationship.

For more stories like this, read: Confessions Of An Aquarius Girl: My Dating Experience with Each Zodiac Sign and Casual Dating Doesn’t Need to Be Hard: Here’s How I Learned to Date More Purposefully.

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