Tinder vs. Professional Matchmaker: I Tried Them Both So You Don't Have To

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

Does the thought of wasting another weekend swiping through hundreds of Tinder lames make your skin crawl? In theory, you can put down the phone, girl.

We live in an age of too many dating options from online sites like Match and OkCupid to the ever-growing list of dating apps that get more and more niche with each release. There’s Tinder, of course, but girls too shy to message a guy can try Bumble, where women make the first move. Always on-the-go? Happn finds love matches based on your geographic location. SoulSwipe is where black people meet and if you want to find love in the most hopeless of places—music festivals—head over to Glance.

We have lots of choices but let’s be honest, the pickings aren’t slim; they’re usually down right nonexistent.

That’s why many women are going old school when it comes to love and turning to matchmakers.  Now, I know what you’re thinking: Matchmakers? Are we in a reality show? Is this Fiddler on the Roof? Actually, modern matchmaking is different. The same way you go to a hairstylist to stay fly or hire a trainer to keep your squat game proper, a matchmaker is a personalized, luxury service. You’re a fabulous, single girl who knows what she wants. Why not let the professionals help you out?

That’s why I deleted all of my dating apps and signed up for Janis Spindel Serious Matchmaking. There are  several matchmakers out there, but all matchmakers are not created equal. Based in New York City, Janis Spindel is a veteran matchmaker who caters to the elite. Janis charges her male clients a fee of $100,000-$500,000, so it’s no wonder she calls herself the “Rolls Royce of Matchmakers.” Janis and her daughter Carly offer what they call “upscale matchmaking services for marriage minded men and women.”  She promises that she gets what men want and says that 5% of her clients marry their first introduction while 97% of her clients are in a serious relationship by their sixth introduction.

Janis has been a matchmaker for over 20 years and has over 1,000 successful marriages under her belt. She’s appeared on shows like Dr. Phil and The Today Show and she’s penned a few best-selling advice books. 

Hear it from the lady herself.

The men in Janis’ Rolodex are successful, educated and well traveled. There are CEOs, executives and masters of the universe in a variety of industries who want to find wives. According to Janis, they’re looking for the four Bs: Beauty, Body, Brains and Balance. “These are commitment-minded men,” Janis told me on the phone. “"No little boy in a candy store with a sweet tooth.”

The process to sign up starts with an online application and $25 fee. The application is similar to a dating site: it includes biographical information, family history and of course, photos. Ah, the photos. Janis requires one facial shot and one full-body shot (Remember the first two Bs?). If you pass the initial test, you’re invited to either a one-on-one consultation with Janis or a group meet-and-greet.

My meet-and-greet took place at a nice restaurant in New York City’s Upper East Side (I spotted a few cuties at the bar when I arrived. Mental note: Come back here later for after-work drinks.) The meet-and-greet consisted of Janis, Carly and six single women. Ranging from approximately 30 to 50-years-old, the women were beautiful, accomplished and relatively financially well off. This is not a golddigger meet-up. The event was a cross between group therapy and a job interview...over glasses of wine, Janis and Carly fire questions to each of the women on their dating dealbreakers and romantic types. Would you date a man shorter than you? Do you feel comfortable in a conversation with a Harvard MBA? Now, some of the questions get mighty personal (“Do you have any piercings or tattoos?” “Have you had cosmetic surgery done?” “Where did you freeze your eggs?”) so be prepared to dish. My questions ranged from whether I cooked to what God I prayed to. So yeah, that gives you an idea of what you’re in for. Janis’ makeover squad often attends these sessions too to offer nutrition and style advice (Again, remember the four Bs).

Janis doesn’t mince words. She knows what men want and men are her clients (Carly takes on women as clients but Janis does not). She tells us all of our submitted photos are terrible and we need to submit more male-appealing ones. I guess my smizing selfie didn’t make the cut.

I look good tho! 

I could see some of the women struggling with the brutal honesty. This isn’t for the faint of heart. Janis is paid to find matches for her clients and let’s be honest, rich men want it all when it comes to finding a wife. “We are NOT a dating service, its not about dates, its about potential wives for us,” Janis explained to me.

Based on your application and answers at the meet-and-greet, Janis contacts you afterwards if you’re a match for her clients. Dates are then set up. From the looks of it, at least two women in my group were potential matches.

I, on the other hand, had yet to receive any matches by the time I had to write this post. Womp womp. That being said, Janis keeps you in her database indefinitely. Once you’re in, you’re in for life. So there’s still hope that my Prince Charming will roll up in his Rolls Royce.

So where should you should go to find love? Use our handy guide!

Final Assessment:                 


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