What is a matchmaking agency?

An online matchmaking agency is the digital successor to the "marriage bureau". The aim of the matchmaking agency is to bring two people together who have good prospects for a long-term and happy partnership.

Matchmaking agencies work with scientific algorithms and artificial intelligence. And it works like this: Every member goes through a personality quiz. In this test, characteristics of the single looking for a partner are either queried or deduced. And the demands on a future partner are also determined.

Petra Frömsdorf
Expert since 2003
"Online matchmaking agencies offer the best chances of finding your dream partner!"

With this information, a specially designed computer system, the so-called matching algorithm, searches for suitable candidates from the member pool. These are then presented to the searching single as partner suggestions or contact suggestions. From these suggestions, the customer can now select and contact the people who appeal to him/her the most.

History of matchmaking agencies

Matchmaking is probably as old as humanity itself. Parents wanted their children to be well cared for and - according to their ideas - chose suitable partners for them. Almost all marriages were arranged by families to pursue a specific goal. It was about strengthening power and increasing their own influence. This was not only true for monarchies, which arranged marriages to secure peace or to consolidate alliances. Merchant families also formed alliances by marrying off their children. In those long days, marriage was not about love. If a couple was happy, affection or even love developed in the marriage of convenience.

It was only in the course of the last century that people were able to choose with whom they wanted to spend their lives. Those who did not want to wait for coincidences and also had the necessary money registered with a marriage bureau. These companies conducted extensive interviews with all clients and then searched their files for the most promising candidates. These were then presented to the client at the second interview. Only those who were really convincing were then invited to a meeting.

This looks very familiar to us, because the system is exactly the same as in online matchmaking agencies. Only the actual matchmaking is no longer done by a human, but by the matching algorithm.

Online matchmaking agencies have also existed in the U.S. since the early 2000s. In the meantime, there are lots of providers. But competition stimulates business: the customer benefits from the hotly contested market and can be happy that the online platforms he has at his disposal work so well! And since 2011, even on the smartphone. So partner search has also become mobile!

Single life or partnership?

Before you sign up with a matchmaking agency, you should ask yourself this very question. Anyone who decides to become a member of a matchmaking agency should also be prepared to give up single life and enter into a serious, long-term partnership. If you are not quite sure yet whether you want to go "all in", then you should rather look at one of the dating sites. Why is the search for "the one" or "the one" at the top of people's wish list? And even before financial security and professional success?

People are not made for single life.

Until just under a hundred years ago, it was taken for granted that people lived in the family from birth to death. Old people looked after the youngest, children looked after their elderly parents. Today, in the 21st century, it is quite normal for young people to leave home in their twenties at the latest and shape their own lives: As singles, couples or with a small family of their own.

Many people have voluntarily chosen a life as a single or have remained involuntarily single. They lacked the time, the opportunity or the drive to find their dream partner. Many former singles say that they found single life very pleasant for a certain time, but after a while they felt more and more the desire for a partnership.

At first glance, single life seems like a great thing: you divide your time yourself, you don't have to show consideration for someone - even the remote control doesn't have to be shared. But human beings are deeply social creatures who long for closeness.

Our singles of today, however, don't want to have just anyone by their side who is only a means to leave being alone behind. They long for the dream partner, the soul mate, the perfect match. But where is this dream creature to be found? And how do I recognise it?

This is where a matchmaking agency can be the key to happiness! Singles no longer have to kiss umpteen frogs before they find their prince or princess. They can put their fate in the hands of a reputable matchmaking agency whose methods can find suitable partners for singles quickly and easily.

With the help of the homogamy hypothesis (like and like like) and through psychological tests, the matchmaking agency finds potential partners for you who tick like you in the most important areas.

For many singles with a certain level of education and in a corresponding income bracket, a matchmaking agency is THE chance to find an adequate partner. Therefore, these singles are also willing to pay a corresponding amount for the mediation.

For whom does it make sense to use a matchmaking agency?

Just 40 years ago, it would have been unthinkable that more than half of all singles looking for a partner would have placed a personal ad in the newspaper. You found a partner at work, through friends or when going out, people thought back then.

Nowadays, the majority of single women and single men who are looking for a partner trust online matchmaking agencies. The trend is that people are happy to turn to online professionals with a request, however personal it may be. Just as naturally as one shops or compares online, in this day and age one registers with a matchmaking agency in order to no longer have to go through life alone.

There are also many more singles in the U.S. than there were 30 years ago. This is because it is socially unreservedly accepted that people choose not to spend their lives in a partnership. Many singles focus more on their professional career and do not have enough time and energy for love. Often it is also simply the lack of opportunity to meet someone.

In recent years, we have inevitably withdrawn very much into our own four walls and limited contacts with the outside world. Social gatherings or nightlife no longer existed, home offices replaced the lively collaboration in offices. Schools and universities closed and pupils and students were home-schooled.

Here it became clear once again how important online matchmaking agencies are. They were almost the only way for unwilling singles to find a partner. Through the new video date function, it was even possible to at least go on a virtual date.

Over the last few years, many singles have come to realise that people are not made to be alone. The desire for stability and a family sprouted and prompted them to register on dating sites and give love a chance.

If you too are tired of being alone and would like to finally find your soulmate, we can recommend our test winners to you with a clear conscience.

How does a matchmaking agency work?

In contrast to dating sites or flirting apps, the focus of matchmaking agencies is not on providing as many contacts as possible, but on finding the most suitable contacts. Quality instead of quantity is the motto here.

The actual matchmaking service is a highly scientific affair. Psychologists and scientists have worked out personality tests that are taken by the new members. The result of these tests is the so-called "partner personality". This shows the respondent's characteristics, but also characteristics that his/her dream partner should possess.

The matching algorithm then does the actual work: from all members, those are filtered out who match the single looking for a partner. All others are mercilessly sorted out.

Only then initiative is required from the member of the matchmaking agency. From all the partner suggestions, he/she selects the ones he/she likes and contacts them.

Types of matchmaking agencies

U.S. singles come across a diverse selection of matchmaking agencies on the web. In addition to the well-known agencies, there are more and more providers who have specialised in a specific target group:

Classic matchmaking agencies

Classic matchmaking agencies such as eharmony address a broad audience. Craftsmen, entrepreneurs and retail salespeople feel equally at home here. Unfortunately, we could not include personal marriage agencies in our comparison.

Matchmaking agencies for academics

Those who want a partner with a certain level of education and a certain financial background can search specifically on matchmaking agencies such as EliteSingles.

Age-related matchmaking agencies

  • For singles over 30: 30sDating
  • For singles over 40: 40sDating
  • For singles over 50: Singles50
  • New: For singles over 60: 60sDating

Religious matchmaking agencies

Especially in Ireland, there are mostly Christian matchmaking agencies. But we have also come across matchmaking agencies for Muslims or Jews.

International matchmaking agencies

The big matchmaking agencies are all international. There you can also search specifically for singles who are originally from abroad and now have their centre of life in the U.S.

Gay matchmaking agencies

Unfortunately, there are very few serious matchmaking agencies for gays and lesbians. Many platforms focus less on finding a life partner and more on finding flirts.

Matchmaking agencies for celebrities and rich people

The rich and beautiful like to keep to themselves. This applies to real life as well as to internet matchmaking agencies. There are special online platforms that are exclusively for VIPs. We "ordinary mortals" have no access to these VIP areas. As tempting as the idea of being in a relationship with a celebrity may be, they are only flesh and blood…

How do you recognise a reputable  matchmaking agency?

To say it in advance: You can trust all the matchmaking agencies presented by us in the test without hesitation. They are big and reputable companies that also have a certain professional ethos. Of course, these matchmaking agencies also want and need to earn money. How much the search for your dream partner is worth to you is ultimately up to you to decide.

The following criteria speak for a good and serious matchmaking agency:

  • A high number of active users: The more active members a matchmaking agency has, the more likely it is that one of them will be your Perfect Match. The ideal matchmaking agency sorts out inactive profiles and fake profiles and has a considerable number of singles.
  • Fair conditions: Reputable matchmaking agencies offer fair cancellation options and have no interest in tying their members down for an unnecessarily long time. Only satisfied customers tell others and bring in new members. In the long run, fairness to the customer pays off.
  • Latest security technology: Your personal data must be protected in the best possible way. You can rely on this with the major Irish matchmaking agencies. The good matchmaking agencies meet the very highest security and quality standards. Your anonymity must be guaranteed at all costs. The matchmaking agencies we recommend make sure that you have absolute control over who you show your profile pictures to.
  • Top customer service: The market leaders are high-quality platforms, offer excellent customer service and have a high success rate.

Matchmaking agency or dating site?

In colloquial language we use both terms, but there are actually differences.

Differences between dating sites and matchmaking agencies

Searching for a partner works completely differently on a dating site than on a matchmaking agency. The difference is huge, but most singles don't know about it. That's why it's the perfect time to learn something:

On a dating site, every member can contact all other singles. A function allows you to search for matching singles. For example, you can display "all red-haired non-smokers without a belly who want to have children".

However, you should know that women with an interesting physique receive 12,000 emails a day - and men with a less attractive appearance receive only 0.5 responses per 100 emails sent.

Online matchmaking agencies first ask you to take a psychological test ("Do you decide spontaneously or deliberately" - "Are you stingy or do you spend lavishly?"). All singles are then divided into blocks. Your block then consists only of singles who match you.

Of course, this is much more discreet and promises more success!

Advantages of matchmaking agencies:

  • No fake profils: The operators ensure that no fakes and scammers spread on their platforms.
  • No embarrassment: You remain anonymous. You are not part of a visible database. Only the members who match your algorithm will see your profile. On most matchmaking sites your profile picture is additionally protected. You can make it visible to selected members.
  • No dubious members: The personality quiz costs time, the membership fee costs money. If you're not really serious, you won't spend either. With matchmaking agencies you meet singles who are seriously looking for a partner and have a certain level.
  • No gimmicks: If you want to swipe, you're in the wrong place.
  • No spam messages: You will only receive serious messages and will not be bombarded with ambiguous or meaningless messages.
  • No time wasted: You will only get really suitable suggestions.
  • No random principle: The scientifically based matching draws exactly those from the pool of members who fit you. Often they do not fit your profile at first sight. Nevertheless, the high success rate proves the system right!

Disadvantages of matchmaking agencies:

  • Matchmaking agencies only suggest suitable partners to you. If you prefer to actively search yourself and love to comb through profiles, then a matchmaking agency might not be the right platform for you.
  • A matchmaking agency takes on the task for you of picking out promising candidates from the many profiles of the members. After that, it's up to you what you make of it. You have to be able to get involved with your contacts and find out whether you can feel sympathy, feelings or even love for them.
  • Matchmaking agencies are an expensive pleasure. Finding the perfect partner could cost you a few hundred euros. If you don't want to or can't afford this amount, you are certainly better off with a cheaper dating site. But please don't forget that happiness in love is actually priceless!

A reputable premium matchmaking agency is certainly the best place to find your partner for life. There, the chances of success are far higher than with dating sites or dating apps. You get partner suggestions of which you know that in theory they could already be a good match for you. That should also be worth the price.

Free matchmaking agencies

If you are not looking for distraction but for the great love, we unfortunately cannot recommend free matchmaking agencies. Singles who are seriously looking for a partner for life will most likely have a bad experience with free matchmaking agencies.

Free platforms cannot offer their clients the performance and service that is a matter of course with renowned fee-based agencies.

On free platforms you will almost certainly find contacts who only cost you time and nerves, but don't bring you an inch closer to a partnership.

Many singles have tried free dating services and then ended up with a premium membership from one of the big matchmaking agencies.

If you are not keen on wasting your time, then it is better to sign up for free with a proven matchmaking agency. You will quickly find out whether you trust the provider. If so, there's nothing standing in the way of a premium subscription.

Costs with matchmaking agencies

As beautiful and romantic as the thought of searching for the ideal partner may be, the idea of how much the whole thing can cost makes some singles' stomachs grumble. That's why we don't want to leave you in the dark about this.

Let's assume you have already registered with a matchmaking agency free of charge, completed the personality test and created your profile. You are happy about the numerous partner suggestions and maybe even messages. You euphorically want to reply to these messages or contact your matches, but find out that this is only possible if you sign up for a paid premium membership. In a nutshell: Then, when it gets really interesting, it costs money.

Please do not get angry about this. It is obvious that a reputable matchmaking agency charges for its services. You, on the other hand, can benefit from the excellent dating service.

Why can't good matchmaking agencies work free of charge? A matchmaking agency provides a service. In contrast to dating apps, which merely provide the platform for customers to get to know each other and are financed by advertising revenue, matchmaking agencies have to spend considerably more resources. The many psychologists and scientists who have developed tests and algorithms want to be paid. The customer service that takes care of the members' needs eats up a lot of money.

But in return you also get a good performance. And let's be honest: There's really no better way to invest money than in a great love!

The prices for premium memberships vary depending on the contract period. With the best online partner portals, you have to reckon with 35 to 120 dollars per month.

Our saving tip: Register with several providers and check your inbox. With most providers, attractive special offers trickle in after 3 days!

Success with an online matchmaking agency

You have already found the right matchmaking agency for you? Wonderful! However, you also have to fulfil a few points so that the matchmaking agency can work perfectly for you:

  • Personality test
    The personality quiz is the very first step towards finding your dream partner. You should take your time for it and - even if it is sometimes difficult - give honest answers. Please describe yourself as you are and not as you would like to be. Many good providers have now formulated questions in such a way that you yourself cannot guess what the questions are aiming at. Only if your personality is portrayed as it really is can an ideal partner be found for you.
  • Profile
    Your member profile is your business card, your sedcard, your figurehead. Stick to the truth here too and fill out your profile as completely as possible. Please remember: You don't want to meet hundreds of flirts, but THE dream partner!
  • Profile pictures
    Many matchmaking agency members think they have to look as great as Ms. or Mr. Ireland in their profile photos. Of course, this is not the case! Choose a recent portrait photo, a full body shot and maybe a photo of you doing your hobby. The important thing is that you look "real" and friendly.

If you take these three pieces of advice to heart, you will lay the foundation for the matchmaking agency to work perfectly. And you are already one step closer to your Perfect Match.

How to find the best matchmaking agency

Just sign up to 2-3 matchmaking agencies for FREE and see what happens:

  • How many members for singles from your area are active there?
  • How many are online right now?
  • Who writes you an email?

After a few days, you will know which matchmaking agency is best for you!

Petra Frömsdorf
Petra Frömsdorf
Petra has been monitoring the world of online dating sites since 2003. In the media she is considered the leading expert on the topic of "Matchmaking sites".