Kathryn's Blog: About Matchmakers and Dating Services

Millionaire Dating and the Yick Factor

I watched the first episode of Millionaire Matchmaker and I have to say that even though I have set the Tivo to tape the whole series, I dunno if I am going to be able to stomach watching.  The Yick Factor was VERY high.

I sorta liked last year’s Confessions of a Matchmaker.  Patti Novak in Buffalo worked with average folks and did what she could to pair them up.  I even sat next to Patti this last fall at a conference.  She’s “just plain folks” herself.  Doesn’t look like A&E has continued the show for another season.  Maybe later.

But Millionaire Matchmaker—oooeee!  These are not just plain folks at all.

Patti Stanger started The Millionaire’s Club in 2000. From the website:  Patti realized that busy, upscale men simply didn’t have the time to go looking for a relationship, weren’t meeting the kind of women that they dreamed about, or were looking for a certain “type” that they couldn’t currently find. These men needed a service where they could be introduced to exceptionally beautiful women in a relaxing, discreet and confidential manner.

The Millionaire Club is based in Los Angeles, and it shows.  Money money money— in exchange for looks looks looks.  The guys?  Puhleeze!  On the first show, one of them made his money selling sex toys online, and the other was in his mid 40’s and wanted to date women in their 20’s.  Even Patti thought the cradle robber was seriously deluded and told him so.  Mr. Sex Toy had to be told to hide the sex toys in his office, but couldn’t be convinced to move the stripping pole there too.

Now, the Millionaire Club staff got together a bevy of gorgeous women for these two to look over—and amazingly enough, none of the ladies left when they found out about the source of Mr. Sex Toy’s money.  They were all coiffed and made up to the 9’s, in teensy dresses that they hung out over on all edges, and were teetering around in high heels.

Both guys pick one for a date, both guys wanted to see the ladies again, and both ladies dropped out.  Glad to see that the girls at lease had some taste.  Mr. Sex Toy and date (Harvard educated, can you believe?) had a nice dinner in a restaurant, then HE TAKES HER BACK TO HIS PLACE AND DOES A DANCE ON THE POLE FOR HER.  At least he kept his clothes on.  Minus for her that it took her a couple of more dates to say “No thanks.”

Mr. Cradle Robber took his date out on what looked like a huge yacht with its own crew.  Even though she said she’s see him again, she didn’t return his calls to set up the date.  Bully for her.

I’d like to know what y’all think of these millionaire matching sites.  Do they creep you out like they do me?


Matchmakers Meet

Last weekend, Drew and I were in New York City (or more precisely, Weehawken, NJ, which is right across the river from Manhattan) at the “Worldwide Conference” of Matchmakers.  This was the first one ever, or at least in recent memory, and what an interesting group of people to spend some time with!  Graciously, or perhaps to improve the attendance, the matchmakers also included dating coaches, which is why I was there.

I’ve written about matchmakers here in my blog before. Frankly, I am such a do-it-yourselfer that I just can’t see paying someone else to do the work for me.  It’s hard for me to take people seriously when they complain about how much Internet dating costs.  It’s CHEAP, particularly when you start looking around at matchmakers.  One guy at the conference was with a business that charges $60,000 to $120,000!!!  Yup, that’s the right number of zeros you are seeing.

Matchmakers have seen a surge in business by riding on the coattails of Internet dating.  While dating sites do take a chunk of business that matchmakers might have gotten before, Internet dating has paved the way for people to actually think about hiring someone to help them find love.  And the theme I heard over and over was the potential market for matchmakers in frustrated online daters.

Still, the fantasy that many may have about matchmakers being able to find you a mate when you can’t find one yourself has many limitations.  First, you still better be pretty marketable yourself: Attractive, in good health, not too old, and with something to offer.  Particularly if you are female.  ALL the matchmakers complained about the shortage of men, where do you find dates for these ladies?

And remember, matchmakers can only match you with people they have on their own roster.  What if your perfect mate lives outside the matchmaker’s area, or would never sign up?  Most matchmakers do not allow browsing through their roster either.  You are subject to who they pick for you.  Me?  Uh uh.

Matchmakers also remind me of eHarmony, in that they do not take on people they don’t think they can match.  Or the less ethical may take a client regardless of their match-ability, simply for the money.  Yick.  In fact, matchmakers used to routinely reject all women Over a Certain Age (like 40 or 45).  For sure, the older you are if you are female, the greater your chances of being turned down by the matchmaker.  Let alone a date.

So if you are male, have the bucks to spend, and no time to waste, you might do okay with matchmaking.  However if you are female and over 40, you’d do much better getting online and doing the work yourself.  That’s where the guys are. 


What’s In Store for Internet Dating in 2007?

From my January 1, 2007, *eMAIL to eMATE*:

Internet dating is LOOKING GOOD!

My, how things have changed since I first tried online dating on
Match.com in 1997.  Looking for love on the Net was brandy new
then and quite suspect.  A few brave souls were tip-toeing onto
the sites and trying out the medium, but, land sakes, was it
scary or what?  And no help anywhere.  I know, because I looked.

For you newbies to the Internet dating scene, matters took a
dramatic turn after 9/11.  The tragedy suddenly refocused the
country: Everyone now ached for connection and family.  Singles
started signing up on dating sites by the hundreds of thousands.

Listing on a dating site became okay, even mainstream.  No longer
is it unusual to hear that a couple met online.  Now, your
computer is second only to friends and family as a way to connect
with possible mate candidates.

The influx was heady.  Online dating sites experienced mammoth
growth for several years as folks signed up and plunked down
their credit cards.  Growth has slowed to single digits, but that
does not mean that Internet dating is a fading fad.  Far from it.

Did you know that online dating is one of the top money makers
online? “After nearly a decade of double-digit growth, online
dating revenue rose 7% last year to slightly more than $515
million, per Jupiter Media. (Match’s share is about $250

Remember that there is only a somewhat finite number of singles,
so at some point the growth would have to stop as the percentage
got close to 100.  At present, the estimates are 1/3 of singles
have visited online dating sites.  Also, people come on and off
the sites every day.  Taking your profile down off the dating
site where you and your Sweetie met has become a sign of
increasing commitment with cyber couples.

My buddy Mark Brooks recently posted some interesting info on his
OnlinePersonalsWatch.com blog: Here’s a summary and link to an
article on dating site usage in 2006.
Interestingly, Yahoo! Personals is pulling way ahead of
the crowd in membership and visits.  Since I write for Yahoo!
Personals, I’ll take a little credit for their #1 position.

True.com’s stats are deceptive, as comparing the two charts show.
(I cannot recommend True.com—if you wonder why, look at my
https://find-a-sweetheart.com/blog/C37/ ” title=“many blog posts”>many blog posts:.

Match.com (my personal favorite, since that’s where I met hubby
Drew) is stumbling on in 3rd and 4th place on the two charts.

Another of Mark’s postings led me to
Distilling the verbiage, it looks like number of visits
to dating sites are down, but revenue is nicely up.  To me, that
says daters are getting serious and paying up, and fewer people
are visiting sites to snoop.  Good.

Interestingly, the article also points to what I have sensed:
Singles get busy after Christmas, and particularly after New
Year’s.  Online dating sites’ business soars then (and so does
mine).  Seems as if the loneliness of the holiday coupled with
New Year’s as a time to start new habits gets folks off the

Tip: That means new people are signing up, right now!  This is a
particularly good time of year to be active and looking on your
favorite site.  Remember, new people come on every day—and
others drop off as they find partners.  Be ready with your spick
and span profile.  Be proactive: Contact others.  Don’t wait,
because you don’t know how much longer this new Cutie might be

A third posting on OnlinePersonalsWatch is an interview with
Match.com’s CEO Jim Safka.  Looks like Match is going stylish and
pursuing a more upscale market: a new look to its site (adding
lots of snazzy black), offering a stylist to help with photos
Lots of
black and white there, too.  And Match is piloting a real
matchmaking program with what looks like real matchmakers:
Platinum.Match.com  It’ll probably be
pricey, sounds like perhaps around $1000 per year.  Still less
that a tractional matchmaker, though.

Yahoo! Personals still looks about the same, and I think is a bit
more unwieldy to maneuver than Match.com.  But they are doing
something right at Yahoo!  You can’t argue with #1.

So I will stick with Match.com and Yahoo! Personals.  Why go
elsewhere, except for a special niche site like JDate?  Stay
where the numbers are.

From YOur Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


The Downsides of Marrying for Money

If you’ve ever thought about finding a millionaire to marry, you ought to read Valerie Gibson’s article in the Toronto Sun: “A Million Reasons to Marry”  While the middle of the article is all about Patty Stanger’s site The Millionaire’s Club, Gibson throws in some interesting tidbits at the beginning and end. 

(You might also want to take a look at The Millionaire’s Club site: I can’t believe anyone with ten cents would join such a tacky looking site, frankly.  But the deal is obvious, I guess.)

(And I have written here about the Millionaire’s Club before: take a look.)

Here’s what Gibson identifies as the risk of marrying rich: 

He may not stay a millionaire.  He could lose his money and/or end up in jail. 

You may be treated as an acquisition that he bought and paid for—which in a sense he did.  And he may feel that money is all he needs to contribute to the relationship.

Here’s my piece:

You could become as disposable as last year’s Lexis.  Especially as you age and lose your looks.  Rich men want the goods they are paying for, and looks and youth are usually part of the deal.

Your rich guy may not be rich.  The fancy car could be leased, the debt could be sky high.

And if you have money, don’t bother signing up with The Millionaire’s Club.  Owner Patty Stanger says “Most successful men don’t want successful women.”  Stanger also lists advice for women who want to marry a millionaire:

Always be a lady.

Always be nice to him and make him happy (being a good cook is essential).

Make his life easier.

Stay positive.

Be willing to relocate.

Don’t be a gold digger.

Be energetic and enthusiastic.

Have long hair and wear minimal makeup.

Cultivate what you shine at.

Be intelligent and educated.


From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Manhattan Matchmaker on TV

If you get the cable channel “W Network” (cable channel 34?), you
might want to check out a series they are playing called
“Manhattan Matchmaker.”  I don’t get the channel, but the show
looks interesting.  Click here for the program schedule.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Want to date Charlie Sheen?  NOT!

Oi!  Another good reason to avoid the sites that promise to hook you up with a millionaire: Charlie Sheen is looking for love through MillionaireMatch.com. You may remember Charlie as one of the clients of the “Hollywood Madame” Heidi Fleiss.  Read here what I have written previously about such sites.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Houston Dating Services Has Odd Practices

Houston Dating Services sounds like they ought to take a few lessons from the Australian matchmaking service Millionaire Matchmaker International. Houston Dating Services charges more than Millionaire Matchmaker International ($4000 vs. $2995) and it sounds as if Houston Dating Services doesn’t even bother to go out and find dates for their fellas: They set them up with their own employees!

Isn’t there another name for that sort of business, like “Escort Service”? (That’s the polite term.)

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


“Mail Order Brides” for American Guys

Three different takes on the moves of American men to find “foreign brides” via the Internet or “international matchmaking companies”: The most positive by Craig Harris of The Arizona Republic (focusing on the Phoenix-based A Foreign Affair), a decidedly more mixed take by Erwin Lemuel Oliva for INQ7.com about Philippine matchmaking, and then a poorly written review by Gina Cadavid of a “mockudrama” called “Mail Order Wife” that nonetheless got my attention. (I went looking for what others had to say about “Mail Order Wife” and got links to 41 links for other articles and reviews at RottenTomatoes.com.)

I’ve written about before about this—not new, for sure—phenomenon. I was even sent a book by the author about his own experiences. I’ve conveniently forgotten both the book name and his. He fit right in with what Texas attorney Lisa Schwankrug described: “Many of the men who use such services have become disillusioned with American women, believing they are too career-oriented and not as submissive as foreign women.” The author (I do remember his first name: Sebastian) interviewed scads of women all over everywhere, eventually decided that a Chinese woman less than half his age and size was Ms. Right. Well, okay.

Sounds like “Mail Order Wife” examines the nasty underside. Has anybody seen it? Give us a first-hand review. I’ll have to wait until I am in the same place more than a week at a time (I’m going back and forth between Mississippi and Tallahassee for the next few months) before I renew our Netflix membership so that I can see it, too. The reviews are so mixed that I hope I can manage to sit through it….

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Australian Singles Look for Love and Money

Rich men in Australia are now signing up for dates with “stunning and savvy” women—at up to $2995 per year. Millionaire Matchmaker International has claimed the territory that the 4M Club and the Millionaires’ Club here in the states is working: busy, very rich men and the women who want them.

Sounds like being rich does not necessarily mean tall, dark, and handsome, because Millionaire Matchmaker International also counsels the guys, if necessary, on wardrobe, dating skills, and the need for dentistry and plastic surgery, even. Short on the romance? Millionaire MatchmakerInternational will even do the creative work on the date, complete with ordering flowers and the limo.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Sounds Good, But Worth the Price?

Marketdata Enterprises has just released I thought about getting a copy, but the jaw-dropping price of $250 for 57 pages drew me up short. I went to the site to check out the Table of Contents and was not impressed: “Your Odds of Success — Finding A Match” was dealt with in one page. “Types of Dating Services” got four pages. At almost $5 a page, that type better be pretty teensy to get your money’s worth.

The news release for the report has some juicy tidbits though, and here are some of them:

Some Major Findings:

* The Better Business Bureau reports that in most complaints received about dating services, the consumer is at fault because they did not thoroughly read the contract.

* A number of dating services have been sued by state Attorney General’s offices or by consumers. Do you know which ones?

* Research shows that members of minority groups, unattractive or overweight people, those with rigid religious beliefs, singles with more than two children living with them, and chain smokers will have limited success.

* Singles have an equal chance of finding their soul mate no matter what kind of dating service they use. A higher-priced service is no guarantee of better results, although many will claim that their match rate is superior.

* Off-line chains such as Together or Great Expectations typically charge $3,000-4,000. Independent matchmakers (which are growing in number in the U.S.) charge anywhere from $500 to $100,000 for their services. The top ones usually cost $10,000+.

* Virtually anyone can call themselves a matchmaker — no license or certification is required. They are also hard to find, since most do not advertise. Word-of-mouth referral is used instead.

* Matchmakers today may offer many other services to make you more marketable: image makeovers, personal training and weight loss, wardrobe assessment, hair/skin care consulting, professional photos, written profile editing, etc.

And related to my earlier post on dating and matchmaking services:

“In many ways, dating services is a wild west environment, where ‘let the buyer beware’ is very much the rule. The number of services, both on the Internet and companies with physical offices, has exploded since 2001. Each type of dating service has its own positives and negatives. Prices for services vary tremendously — from $20 per month to $50,000+. Consequently, it’s more important than ever for dating singles to know what they are getting into before signing contracts,” according to John LaRosa, Research Director.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Complaints About Dating Services

My clients and readers often ask about other resources than Internet dating sites for singles. Matchmakers (people who maintain a list of eligible singles and pair them up for a fee) are favorites with both men women, I think because it allows them to stay relatively passive while someone else (the matchmaker) does the work. Matchmakers charge stiff fees, and also, you are restricted to the people that they have on their lists. You can read more about what I have to say about matchmakers on one of my earlier blog postings.

Dating services are similar to matchmakers, except they seem to function more like business, not relying on one person (a matchmaker) and their intuitive skills, but on employees who change, sometimes rapidly. Dating services are also expensive, maybe somewhat less expensive than matchmakers, but still pricey, starting at a low of about $1000. You can buy a lot of months on a dating site for $1000.

Dating services have poor reputations. Here’s an article about a Houston dating service called Together Dating, poor service they gave one of their customers, and the dozens of complaints that had been filed against Together Dating with the Better Business Bureau. Together Dating appears to be a franchise, not unlike McDonald’s. If you are interested in buying a business, here’s how to get more info on how to purchase a Together Dating franchise—price $98,400 to $254,900.

I’m far too tight to spend that kind of money to have someone else do the picking for me. I want to see what is being offered, have LOTS of choice, and save my money to fix myself up to go on a date. What about you? Anyone out there tried matchmakers or dating services?

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Internet Dating’s Dirty Little Secret

All the chatter that has been going on here on my blog the last couple of days (see postings and comments on “Who DOES eHarmony Work For Anyway?” and “Your 1% Towards Making the Internet Safe”) the last couple of days has really had me thinking again about the issue of paid/not paid memberships on dating sites. And my correspondents bdb777 and Jennifer have spurred me on to clarify my thoughts. Here they are:

Background for the uninformed—Most Internet dating sites allow people to post a profile without paying. This is to the dating site’s advantage, because they want to get lots of profiles up for people to look at. Big membership numbers are a big incentive to for singles to join a site.

The sites get non-paying members to convert to paying members, which the sites needs to stay in business, by restricting certain privileges. The most common restriction is that those people who do not pay cannot email anyone. On some sites, you can send out a “wink” or icebreaker, but nothing more.

Most sites give no indication on the profile of who has paid and who hasn’t. How this plays out is that if a non-paying member is emailed by a paying member (who doesn’t know if the other is paying or not), then the non-paying member has to decide if the contact looks good enough for them to pay a fee to make the first contact.

Having to pay a fee (around $20) to email is a powerful incentive not to do so, whether or not the person contacting is a possible match. Even though it seems rude, it’s all too easy online to simply not answer emails at all, especially on dating sites, because of the anonymity. So non-paying members account for a good percentage of the very high non-response rate to first email contacts. For instance, Match.com claims around 1 million paying members. While you never see the numbers paired, they also claim 8 - 10 million members. Only 1 in 8 or 1 in 10 members then (those registered and posting profiles) are paid members. So when a hopeful single sends an email to an attractive other, the odds of an email response may only be 10%.

As my correspondents have pointed out, this policy of free memberships with restrictions also works out well for lots of singles, who can post their profiles, wait to be contacted, and look at who is posting, all without paying. It’s like trolling for fish and throwing back all but the biggest guys. (I’ve always thought that “catch and release” made no sense and was cruel. Who says the fish don’t feel the huge hook in their mouth anyway? It could kill the darned fish, probably hurt like the dickens, and all for the fun of the fisherman.)

Additionally, if the poster is clever or the site allows or misses the action, the poster may also imbed an off-site email address, by-passing the need to join all together.

Who this does not work well for are the folks who are new or who haven’t figured out the system. Here’s why:

  • First, their fees are supporting the site for everyone who has posted and not paid up. Conceivably, those fees could be cheaper for all if more members paid their fair share
  • Second, newbies (or even seasoned daters) may not understand the difference in privileges between paid and unpaid, and most assume that because everyone is presented equally, that they are members at equal levels.
  • Third, new Internet daters are new—they are inexperienced, at least with online dating, and maybe to dating in general. They don’t know “the rules,” they are scared, and they are vulnerable.
  • Fourth, fear of rejection looms big with these folks, and even an unanswered “wink” can pack a wallop.
  • Fifth, they are jumping right on an already fast-moving speed boat with a “sink or swim” mentality. Who knows how many folks can quickly figure out a dog-paddle, or how many just sink and drop out?

I call this paid, full privileges and unpaid/restricted privileges memberships that dating sites routinely offer as “Internet dating’s dirty little secret.” Dating sites really don’t want you to know the differences. That’s why they never pair the paid and unpaid membership figures. Unless you are an experienced, savvy cyber dater and have figured this out on your own, or unless you have read my many writings on the subject or had me explain the phenomenon, you don’t know why you have such a high non-response rate to your emails. Every single time I have explained this phenomenon to singles, new daters or not, they are surprised. Usually, they assumed that everyone listing was a full member and able to email back. And all had no idea of the disproportionate numbers of paid versus unpaid members (80 or 90% unpaid on Match.com, for example).

Also, I don’t know what the figures are for first-time Internet daters versus the old timers, but I know that new folks are coming online all the time. And as Internet dating has moved into the mainstream, the users who have been on for awhile become more sophisticated and more able to manipulate the systems to their advantage. There is no T-Ball or Little League that I know of for new online daters. Every newbie jumps right into the major leagues, right along with veteran World Series players.

These new players are most often recently out of a long-term relationship and/or have not dated for a long time. They are tender, vulnerable, naive, and easily frightened or discouraged. They have not developed the thick skins that experienced daters, online or off, may have. However, they are excellent mate material, maybe even better than the experienced daters, who maybe jaded, calloused, or just plain not good mate material in the first place.

When my clients ask me why their emails or overtures are not being answered, I tell them about non-paying members, how many of them there are on sites, and how they would have to pay a membership fee to answer back. Then I suggest that they think about what they can infer from this. Here are my theories:

  • Most likely, either the non-responding poster is too cheap to join the site and play fair, or he/she is rude, because whether paid or unpaid, not to respond to an overture from another is rude. Or both - cheap AND rude.
  • Or the poster may be lazy and not attending to his/her profile as he/she should: If the poster has met someone and is dating, so not available, or perhaps taking a break, planned or unplanned, the poster should hide their profile or resign from the site. Continuing to post when not really available is false advertising.
  • The other, more excusable but least likely, reasons for non-response might be broken computer at the other end, sick or dead, or possibly the site has kept up the profile even though the poster has dropped his/her membership (some dating sites reportedly do this routinely to keep the numbers of profiles up).

Spelling out these possible reasons for non-answered emails softens the sting somewhat. Over and over, I tell clients: “People tell you who they are from the very first contact. Are you really interested in someone who doesn’t care enough to be polite? Or is cheap and trying to manipulate the system?” Be aware, those of you who do not answer polite indications of interest: That’s how you may be being seen. Is that the image you want to convey?

It is to everyone’s advantage to take good care of these new daters. Dating sites ought to make clear the differences between paid and unpaid members with some kind of designation, like Yahoo! Premier is now doing. That designation could be seen as a premium and thereby encourage members to pay up. (Yahoo! Premier members have to pay and get a purple P seal on their profiles. While these profiles are mixed right in with all the other Yahoo! Personals, it’s easy to tell who is a Premier member. Yahoo! is also marketing the Premier designation as a membership level for singles who are serious about finding a committed relationship.)

Experienced daters should pay their fair share and kindly and politely email everyone who contacts them. Just because you can do something does not necessarily mean that you should. It’s all too easy on the Internet to be rude and callous in ways that you might never be in face-to-face dealings. Dating sites and experienced daters should take on the obligation of welcoming new folks and helping them get up to speed. Wouldn’t that add to the general ambiance? Isn’t finding a life partner hard enough as it is?

Just think: Your perfect match could be nervously writing their first profile right now, getting ready to post. Don’t you hope that other singles treat Mr. or Ms. Right well until you find him/her, or your Sweetheart finds you? Wouldn’t it be awful if your heart’s desire got treated rudely, got discouraged, and dropped offline? Before you ever met?

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match!

Now that Internet dating has hit the mainstream and so many singles have given it a try, suddenly the old-fashioned profession of matchmaking is re-emerging from the dark ages. (Read my discussion of matchmaker Samantha Daniel’s book. And this is my longer treatment on the subject.)

Here’s why, I think: People are lazy and scared.

Once you get out of high school and college, never again will you be in a situation of such similar others, almost all of whom are single and not wanting to be so. Getting hitched up after that takes effort, usually more and more as you get older. For those of us over college age, online dating sites have been such a welcome respite from the old complaints of “Where can I find a date?” or “There are no good men left!” Dates, plenty of them and all ages of them, are on the Net, looking just like you are.

But finding a good date that may lead to a great mate takes time and work. And we just love our labor-saving devices. So here comes professional matchmakers again.

If you want to pay lots of money, passively let someone else decide who you will meet, and rely on this someone to have a large enough pool of potential candidates to make a match likely, then by all means: Hire a matchmaker.

Not me. I wanted the best. I wanted to see what the choices were. And despite the effort involved, I was willing to do the work.

You know, I had not thought about it before, but my total mate search (not including actual expenses of meeting the guys) was probably less than $100. I already had a computer.

Not a bad deal.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Good Morning America, Samantha Daniels, and Suddenly Single

Good Morning America has been doing a series called “Suddenly Single,” and today the topic was starting dating again.  The expert of the day was Samantha Daniels, matchmaker and author of “Matchbook” that I reviewed in an earlier blog posting.  Don’t you just love how they tell you for two hours that what you want to see is coming up next?  Then you watch and watch what you don’t want to see before it finally comes up in the last half hour.

I’ve learned that you can’t depend on morning TV for in-depth coverage of subjects, but Daniels with three mid-life divorced women just didn’t shed much light on the topic.  As I said in my review of “Matchbook,” while the book was a fun read, a weakness was that Daniels had not been married.  Therefore, she certainly has not been divorced, and I don’t recall that her single clients were divorced, either.  So how could she speak with expertise about divorced women starting dating again?  Daniels kept repeating that the women needed to accept and feel okay about their divorced state, and be wary about talking too much about their kids.  Wow.  That really is a big help.

I can think of lots of folks who would have been better choices for this “Suddenly Single” series.  Like me, for instance.  ButI’m really not interested in being a Network TV “expert,” or I would have hired a publicist who got me that kind of gigue, whether it was appropriate or not.  Well, maybe if Charlie Gibson called me personally and begged.  Maybe.

By the way, the last segment was baby animals from the zoo, and the cloud panther kittens made my watching the rest worthwhile. They were so CUTE!


Internet Dating or a Matchmaker? What should you try?

Every once in awhile, one of my clients will ask about using a matchmaker to find a spouse. Since I have had no personal experience with matchmakers, I’ve been watching and reading to see what I could learn. I wrote about matchmaker Samantha Daniels in an earlier blog entry. Dr. Phil had a show on recently featuring women who self-identified as gold diggers. The segment about KT featured Patti Stanger of the Millionaire’s Club:

Dr. Phil introduces Patti Stanger, the founder and CEO of the Millionaire’s Club, an upscale matchmaking service where millionaires pay anywhere from $10,000 to $150,000 to meet beautiful, single women. “It goes from the low-end millionaires up to the billionaires that you see in the news and hear about daily,” Patti says about her clientele. “They get married and they get into relationships fairly quickly. They’re marriage-minded men. They want to be married.”

As for the women, she says, “We have about 25,000 women on file and we continue to get new ones every single day. Women just log on, fill out an application, send in professional photos and then we screen them.”

The women list for free. It looks good, ladies, until you find out the pesky gender ratios again: Dr. Phil asked how many active male clients the site had, and as I remember, Stanger finally admitted to 200 or so. 200 guys to 25,000 women??? Guys, if you’ve got the money, got for it. But it doesn’t look too good for the women. Stanger’s website is www.millionairesclub123.com

I got a link this morning to a posting on Ryze.com, a networking site where I am a member. Steve Lewis, a professional matchmaker, wrote about the difficulties of starting a matchmaking business. Now, there’s something you rarely see spelled out, so if you are interested at all, I’d advise that you take a look. His point #9 is:

9. The business model offering women free has worked for many. Theses services usually have only a few male clients that pay 5-50K for a membership. You must be in a large area like NYC, Chicago, LA for this to work.

This seems exactly the model of the Millionaire’s Club. And who knows? Maybe True.com too, which is charging men and not women, evidently (see my last posting). Get lots of women to sign up for free, then the few guys who then pay get their choice of a HUGE pool of ladies. And guess what, ladies? If you are not under 30 and magazine cover material, you don’t stand much of a chance.


Samantha Daniels’ “Matchbook” and the Search for Perfection

Last Tuesday, we got six packages in the mail, all books. Two packages were for Drew, the rest for me. Clearly, we like—and buy—books. Most of mine were how-to dating and relationship books that are flooding the market. Who knew that so many people knew so much about how to find and keep a Sweetheart?

If you read these books like I do, you’ll find that not too many people do know much at all. A good proportion of the books are pretty bad. I’ve taken on sifting through the piles to find the best to recommend to my readers so that they don’t have to waste their time and money. (See my Top Ten list) They’ll need all the time and money they can squirrel away for their mate search.

One of the books I knew was “just for fun”: “Matchbook—The Diary of a Modern-Day Matchmaker” by Samantha Daniels. It’s a quick and fun read, with a titillating peek into the high priced world of professional matchmaking—Daniels’ fees START at $10,000.

Don’t read this book to find pointers on finding your Ms. or Mr. Right. I usually underline and use Post Its liberally. “Matchbook” only got four markers. But I had a good time, and thoroughly enjoyed my few hours with Daniels.

I did find Daniels (also single) and her clients depressing and irritating. She and the singles she worked with had one common characteristic: turning down candidate after candidate for the most trivial and superficial reasons. These potentials were doctors, lawyers, financiers, business owners, male and female, most at least high salaried, many down right wealthy. All sounded good-looking at least, often model material or even real live models.

Actually, this commonality became the one good learning that I took from the work: The search for perfection is doomed to failure, because no one is perfect.

So here’s my advice: Either read this book for fun, or to see if you see yourself in Daniels or her clients. If you are as picky as the people in these stories, you may need some of Daniels’ advice. Here’s what she writes on page 221: “I also tend to go out with guys who would be good for me but somehow I fixate on the one bad thing about them and fixate and fixate and give them a hard time about it until I ruin things. And then after the fact, I look back and say to myself that maybe that one bad thing wasn’t so bad. I need to work on not sabotaging…”

Sound familiar?

P. S. Here’s another of Daniels’ quotes I bookmarked: “‘So if you don’t hire me, how do you plan on doing things differently so that you have different luck?



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