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Stop the fiddle. “Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match,” is now less of a classic show tune and more of a reality for a growing number of busy looking-for-love women.

It's not exactly hard to figure out why: Plenty of ink has been spilled on the Netflix-and-chill phenomenon, online dating and apps can be soul sucking, and swiping right often doesn’t even produce a date. Exhausted by online dating and its time-consuming drudgery, more women are jumping into a service that was once dominated by established men. “I’ve been in this business eighteen years,” Lisa Ronis of Lisa Ronis Matchmaking in New York told me. “When I started, there were only a half dozen [matchmakers] in the city—and our clients were almost exclusively well-to-do men. Now it’s become an entire industry, and I work mostly with women.”

When online dating became mainstream, Ronis noticed the game radically changed. On one hand, the emergence of online dating did a lot of good for women: the stigma of putting yourself out there—letting men know you’re available—now feels like a remnant of a bygone era. On the other hand, online dating has given its users an onslaught of overwhelming (or underwhelming) options. Instead of leaving their dream of marriage up to the whim of fate, more and more women are taking control of their dating lives and outsourcing the busywork to matchmakers. 

While their services are certainly an investment compared to your free Tinder account, matchmakers like Ronis say matchmaking does yield real results. So what are the upsides to matchmaking for marriage-minded millennial women? Read on. 

01. You’re meeting higher-quality, vetted men.

Say goodbye to sifting through endless profiles you suspect aren't even active. When you hire a matchmaker, photos will be up-to-date, and he's going to be looking for the same thing you are. “Women recommend my services to other women because they are impressed with the high-end men they are meeting, Also, the process is authentic. Often times online [dates] misrepresent themselves,” Ronis says.

Conversely, the men you meet through a matchmaker are also looking for a serious relationship—and are weighing to see if you’re a fit. For many who’ve been playing the online dating game for a while, that in of itself is refreshing. Moreover, since they’re looking for that someone, they’re not likely to waste your time. Speaking of which...

02. Your time and emotions are valued.

Time is finite—especially for a busy woman. “Most women who hire a matchmaker don't have time to manage their social life,” Ronis explains. When you’ve got a lot on your plate, there’s only so much time you can spend on mediocre dates before you throw in the towel. A matchmaker isn’t going to send you on dates that aren’t worth your dinner. 

More importantly, the men you’ll be going on those dates with will be much more likely to value your time as well. They want something real, too. “Bad, disappointing dates takes it toll on single people,” Ronis adds. “Working with a matchmaker cuts to the chase and omits a lot of wasted time.” And also, might I add, wasted emotion.

03. Feedback is included.

Post-date anxiety: it’s a strong nauseating emotion, and we’ve all felt it. What did he think? Did he like me? Does this have potential? Will he ghost? What does this text even mean?! When you’re working with a matchmaker, you’re not on your own after the first date. You’ll know at least a little bit of what’s going on—especially during these murky beginning stages. Often, the matchmaker will chat with you both (separately) about how the date went, and will provide feedback for understanding on where you each stand. “Even if it is not a spot on match, the experience is usually nice and uplifting,” Ronis says. As the matchmaker will be providing the feedback, it’s naturally more constructive, too.

04. You’re coached in a proactive role.

Talking through the relationship with a matchmaker can feel very therapeutic, especially when your friends are kind of over analyzing every minute of your dates. “Women like to be coached as they start the dating process, all the way through entering a monogamous relationship,” Ronis says. Matchmakers can remind women that they are very much in control of their dating life—which is a very different message a lot of women feel in the dating wilderness, even with feminist apps like Bumble.

05. You won’t be surprised with those deal-breaker questions.

You know the scenario: He was attractive, you laughed, there was some witty banter and some serious chemistry. Flash forward five dates, and now you’re talking more serious stuff, only to discover (dun-dun-dun), you’re religiously and politically opposed, and you both have fundamentally different understanding on raising kids. On paper, you have no future. Sound familiar?

With a matchmaker, these awkward yet more serious questions that often surface after several dates are a non-issue, because you’re matched with someone on a similar wavelength. “A matchmaker who does her job correctly can report back to a client with so much information about the guy before she agrees to meet him,” explains Ronis. For instance, if a woman wants children—she’ll only be introduced to men who are open to starting a family. Hence, you’re not set up to emotionally invest until those big questions are answered.

So is matchmaking really worth the investment? “This summer, I have nine brides,” Ronis says. 

Even if matchmaking isn’t for everyone, it’s certainly nice to see the resurgence of an option with a more personal touch.

Photo Credit: Alexa Fernando