How to become a matchmaker


After winning the “best professional matchmaker Award” at iDate 2016 has brought the new trend to Ukraine – matchmaking service. Before that it was more common to see “dating agencies” or “marriage agencies”. The majority of them were brandless and faceless and worked with big mail-order brides dating sites. Their websites were in Russian language and were created mostly to attract more “Ukrainian brides” into their bases. Also they were created to attract “interpreters”, because someone has to write all those numerous letters.

So are there any real changes happening at the Ukrainian dating market or did they just change the way they call their service?

Unfortunately the majority of those dating or marriage agencies have just changed the name of their service and didn’t actually change anything about the service itself. Same base of Ukrainian brides that you can find at one or several pay per letter mail-order brides dating sites is now on the full display on the website of the ex “marriage agency” that now calls itself “matchmaking service”. So instead of paying 2 or 3 dollars to write a letter online through a big mail-order bride international dating site foreign gentlemen are offered to start a correspondence “directly” with the bride they choose from the online catalogue of the marriage agency or to “buy” a date with her. Pretty much it is the same service that was offered for years by mail-order brides dating sites, but now it is “wrapped” into a new envelope.

So how to find a real professional matchmaker or matchmaking service in Ukraine? I will give you 5 tips.

  1. Professional matchmaker has to be certified or/and acknowledged by the industry. The easiest way is to check the website of the professional matchmaker (he or she has to have a website) and to find information about his or her certification, membership at the acknowledged international professional alliances, participation in international professional dating conferences and other references in press and media. Professional matchmaker as a dating expert for sure has already given dating tips for a magazine, TV or Radio program, during the big conference or other event. Matchmaking service can’t be faceless unless it is represented by the team of dating experts, but still it should be easy to find information about the team online.
  2. If matchmaking service is just a small part of the services provided by the company it wouldn’t be good and it will be just another marriage agency that works with a pay per letter dating site that has decided to be “trendy” and to add matchmaking to its list of services. I will give you an example. You have found a website of the dating agency and it is both in Russian and English. At the Russian version of the website they are hiring interpreters, promise free photo-shoots to the ladies, free registration and correspondence guided by the professional interpreter. At the English version they offer correspondence, renting apartments, transfers, hiring the interpreter and personal matchmaking service. I don’t claim that this company is bad, but you shouldn’t expect a real professional matchmaking service there. This service will be limited to choosing ladies from their catalogue which you can do yourself online at the mail-order brides website just for the different fee. In this case the male client is responsible for his own choice just as he is responsible when he chooses ladies to correspond online. It is not good or bad, it just has nothing to do with the real professional matchmaking service. Professional matchmaker will never just open the catalogue for a male client to let him put his finger on the profiles of ladies. Just like a real HR manager won’t send the client to choose candidates online from the base of SVs. He would preselect the best candidates by interviewing and researching them based on the needs and preferences of the paying client.  So when you choose the service of the marriage or dating agency in Ukraine that offers you to start correspondence with some of their female members, buy their contact details you should keep in mind that this has absolutely nothing to do with a professional matchmaking service.
  3. English interpreter or popular blogger is not a professional matchmaker. This is the new trend at the Ukrainian dating market. Bloggers who just yesterday blogged about cheep hostels in Lvov or how to have dinner for just 10$ in Kiev today claim they are “dating experts” or “professional matchmakers”. For their potential clients it is important to keep in mind that they won’t receive professional matchmaking or dating coaching service there. Usually this 23 years old girl who has created interesting videos about places of interest in Ukraine has absolutely no clue about real professional matchmaking. She is not a professional psychologist, she hasn’t attended any real trainings or master classes about matchmaking. You can say “she is just natural”. Well, I doubt it you would choose a surgeon or a dentist without licence, because he is “just natural”. Pretty much this self-proclaimed “professional matchmaker” will try to set you up on dates with all single women she knows and she won’t pay much attention to such important details whether your ideas about family, relationship, gender roles are similar. She will play the professional matchmaker just like our friends and moms do. They use a single principle – you are single and he or she is single as well, so this makes two of you “perfect” for each other. Just yesterday my single female friend has told me how her married friends have set her on a blind date with their freshly divorced friend. Not only he was not over his divorce and was emotionally not ready to date again (he has showed her wedding photos with his ex-wife), but also he was “too traditional regarding gender roles”. When he has found out about successful career of my friend he gave her a long lecture that “women should cook borsh and take care of the house instead of earning money and buying property”. So why did her friends set her up on a date with this guy? Don’t they like her at all? Why have they decided to play the professional matchmaker? For sure their reasons were noble and sincere. They wanted to make two single friends happy, they wanted to “spread love”. But what has actually happened? They had a single female friend and a single male friend and the facts they both were single and of proper sex have encouraged this introduction, which naturally has turned out into the total waste of time. Luckily they both live in the same city and he has asked her out to a new coffee shop which she really liked, so there was something positive about that date. The question is – are you ready to risk your time when you travel to another city or country to be introduced to someone just because she is single?
  4. Professional matchmaker doesn’t work for free. Every year we have a gentleman or a lady calling our office and claiming we have to introduce him or her for free, because it is our “duty” to “spread love”. I am sure I don’t have to explain that being a professional matchmaker is a full time job and not just a fancy hobby. If it is just a hobby – then reared the tip number 3. Professional matchmaker pays taxes, rent, salaries to employees and what is more important invests a lot into educating himself and growing as a professional and invests a lot into education of his team. Numerous psychological, coaching and matchmaking trainings and master classes – all these are necessary to be able to provide the best service to matchmaking clients. One of my female clients has decided to change her profession and to become a hairdresser. At first she was training at a hairdressing school on wigs, but later on she needed to find “victims” to try to colour their hair. She was doing that for free of course, because she was never sure which colour she would get at the end. Luckily after several months of training she has realized that it was not “her thing” and she has returned to her first career – fitness trainer. Now imagine that you have trusted your search for a soul-mate to someone new who is just learning how to do it. Probably this service will be cheap, but what about its quality?
  5. Professional matchmaker has his or her system that works. If the matchmaker lets you as a client adjust or change his matchmaking process – this is not a good sign. Probably he or she is new and doesn’t know what he is doing.

So what to expect when you hire a professional matchmaker? First of all you will get a chance to see your dating strategy from the other angle. Professional matchmaker can show you weak points in your strategy and can show you the ways to change them. Professional matchmaker can introduce you to singles, whom otherwise you could have never met. Professional matchmaker can save your time by vetting out inappropriate candidates and choose the best. However, professional matchmaker is not a magician and he or she can’t make other people fall in love with you. Professional matchmaker can’t make you taller or slimmer, smarter or younger. He or she can show you what steps you will have to take to achieve your dating goals, but you will be the one to take those steps.

Svetlana Mukha, with love