Matchmaker, Matchmaker

Dear Reader,

Would you ever hire a matchmaker to find the love of your life? With the ubiquity of free dating apps out there and because I am a cheap person — No, no I would not pay for a matchmaker. However, through my own impulsivity, I briefly became a part of an executive matchmaking service… read on….

There was this short-lived show on Netflix that showed the ins and outs of an Indian matchmaking service. In this reality series, the experienced female matchmaker would interview her very busy, very professional clients and find them the loves of their lives. The matchmaker is charged with really getting to know her clients, understanding their personality, and preferences to find and vet suitable candidates for them. As I mentioned at the top, I have no interest in paying for such a service, however, I did find a way to get in for free. For privacy reasons, I will call this company “ExecuDates — Dating for Professionals;” the service works as follows.

ExecuDates has two divisions, 1. Executives (paying customers), and 2. Candidates (non-paying eligible bachelors/bachelorettes). The Executives pay a few hundred dollars a month (!!) and receive one-on-one consultations with the matchmakers to discuss their goals, personalized matches, as well as the matchmaker’s assistance in arranging the date scheduling, location, and reservation. In essence, the Executive tells the matchmaker what they are looking for and the matchmaker does all the necessary legwork to make it happen. For the candidates (where I fit in), we essentially just sit on the matchmaker’s rolodex and get called upon when/ if we would be a fit for an Executive. Because I now have personal experience with this process, I’ll regale you with my story.

Not long after I signed up for, like, all the dating apps (more here), I thought to myself — why stop there!? In my typical, go-big-or-go-home fashion, I also applied to be on a dating reality TV show (lol) as well as filled out the short form on the ExecuDate website. The form was simple, asking only for my name, contact information, and headshot. A day or two after I submitted the form, I received a call from an ExecuDate’s matchmaker. She asked me about what I was looking for in a relationship (full disclosure, I said “marriage” and she said that that was the perfect answer, lol) and then she described to me the different services that ExecuDate offers. When I responded that I was only interested in the free option, the phone conversation quickly came to an end. Welp, I guess that’s that!

To my great surprise, about a week later, I received another message from the matchmaker, and she requested that we set up a 20-minute getting-to-know-you meeting. The call functioned like an interview where she asked me, uh, like everything—height, weight, race, educational and work background, quality of the relationship with my family, my celebrity crushes, religion, hobbies, interests, you name it! At the conclusion of this conversation, she asked me to send her a few pictures of myself (all the same ones that I use on my dating profile). Then, she said that there was a potential Executive who may be interested in me and that we should set up another call (this one on Zoom) as the next step.

The next day, we met for a short Zoom call, and she asked me a few more questions, as well as told me (very briefly) about the potential Executive pairing. The Executive was a “scientist” who went to a “prestigious area school.” She gave me a few more personal details, as well as his height, age, and race and asked me if I would be interested in meeting him. Frankly, (and again, she did give me a few more details that I will decline to share for privacy reasons), after hearing the description of this match, I thought this may not be the best pairing for me, but I also wanted to stay open minded. After all the interviews, back-and-forth, and presumable work on the matchmaker’s end, I could not help but eek out an enthusiastic “sure!”

She asked for my availability and about an hour later a date and time was set. On the day of, we were instructed to wait at the host stand of the restaurant. It was surprisingly easy to recognize my blind date just from the brief description that she gave me (though he was two-three inches shorter than the matchmaker stated). We were seated in the nice restaurant for drinks and appetizers (the matchmaker’s idea), which was strange to me because the Executive does NOT drink (a personal detail about him that she mentioned to me over the phone). We made conversation, which was slow at first but then quickly picked up to a normal rhythm.

Overall, I feel strange about the whole experience. Had I come across this person’s profile on a dating app, I don’t think we would have matched. Had this been the case, then everyone would have saved a boatload of time (and money). Additionally, I still find it odd that the matchmaker set us up for drinks when this clearly was not the Executive’s preference. For all that the Executive is paying for the service, shouldn’t they receive a more personalized experience? While I totally understand the appeal of paying for someone to take care of all the annoying logistics of dating for you, I must say that the pairing and the date felt a bit forced.

All the same, I wish the Executive all the best with his search as he is a kind, genius person who will probably contribute to a very important scientific breakthrough in his field of research (he tried to explain it to me…he tried twice to explain it me…) has a lot to offer a lucky lady out there.

I don’t think blind dating in any form is for me. Many people have complaints about online dating, but I am not one of these people. Having a middleman (erm, middlewoman in this case) in the process added a little more pressure to the whole experience. Also, perhaps, looking at someone’s profile and pictures, and texting with them a bit can help you decide whether one even really wants to pursue an in-person date, rather than just showing up with ZERO previous interactions.

Regardless, this was a very, very interesting experience indeed.



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