Okay, you’re sick and tired of dating your sister’s friends, and blind dates that go nowhere are even worse. It’s time to find a dating agency, but how will you know which agency is reputable and which is apt to set you up with someone appropriate after all?
First, it’s important to understand what a dating agency does and doesn’t do. A dating agency can’t make someone fall in love with you and can’t pull your ideal partner out of thin air. It basically exists to make introductions based on compatibility. Some agencies will give you a user name and email account and—for a certain price—will let you browse their members portfolios and send emails to the people that interest you. Others ask you for a list of women you’re interested in and will then contact those women to see if they return your interest. If so, a date is arranged.
Start your search for a dating agency by paying attention to word of mouth. Have any of your friends or co-workers used a dating agency? What were their experiences like?
Interviewing the Dating Agency
Second, interview a few of the dating agencies you’re considering using. What are their fees? If one agency has charges significantly higher or lower than the others, can it explain why?
What is the dating agency’s focus? Is it mainly concerned with snapping your photograph and getting your height and weight, or does it ask about your interests and values as well? How many introductions can you expect to get in a certain period of time? Does the dating agency screen their clients to weed out, say, the woman who just got out of prison after ice-picking her last lover?
It also pays to ask about the dating agency’s success rate. What percentage of its clients found true love—or at least a few promising dates—through their agency? Ask for referrals. If the company declines out of concern for their clients’ privacy—an admirable concern, by the way—ask them to phone the client and have him or her get in touch with you.
Finally, use your intuition. Do the representatives you’ve been talking to strike you as being on the up-and-up or do you think of them as sleazy? What does your gut tell you? Remember, a reputable dating agency may be able to help you find Mr. or Ms. Right. A disreputable one is likely to take your money and leave you even lonelier than before.