Why divorced women are perfect for “professional” romance

Divorce, Relationships

A divorced woman should have a pretty good idea about what does and doesn’t work for her in a relationship. Shouldn’t the insights gained from one failed marriage be enough to ensure getting it right the next time around? Apparently not, because while the failure rate for first marriages is dropping over time, the odds get worse for subsequent unions: 67% of second and 73% of third marriages end in divorce.

Divorcees who are looking for a new relationship are well-suited for professional matchmaking. They tend to have less regret about their divorces than men, and why waste any more time on what’s not working?

An arranged romance? Sure! Why not?

No longer does the idea of an “arranged romance” conjure up an image of a storybook princess betrothed at birth or two young strangers forced into marriage by their parents. Thanks to Internet dating sites and apps (think Match.com and Tinder) and relationship reality shows (TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé and FYI’s Married at First Site), America appears to be more accepting of the concept of letting someone else do the choosing.

Both single and married Americans are open to the idea of letting a professional arrange their next romance—a view held by one in four surveyed, according an Avvo study about relationships.

Professional matchmaking differs from online dating services in four major regards:

  1. Internet dating requires the romance seeker to do all the work. Professional matchmaking involves letting a professional do the initial searching.
  2. Dating sites rely on self-reported personal information. Professional matchmakers like to meet clients in person and conduct face-to-face confidential interviews.
  3. Those same sites leave all of the dating details up to the user. Professional matchmakers provide guidance before dates and feedback after dates.
  4. They also charge nominal subscription fees. Professional matchmakers charge a great deal more, anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 a year for a predetermined set of introductions.

Another would-be difference: Professional matchmakers serve both individuals who’ve just split as well as those who’ve been single for a while. And they tend to focus on clients who are interested in serious, long-term relationships. Those seeking casual hookups and flings (which, you know, occasionally happens in the internet dating realm) are not good matchmaking candidates.

Popular professional matchmaking services include It’s Just Lunch,  Kelleher International, Selective Search, and Master Matchmakers, among a growing number of others.

How it works

Initial meetings and interviews provide information that lets the matchmaking company qualify its prospective clients. Most matchmakers require their clients to prove that they’re single. They also run background checks to make sure the love seekers haven’t been in trouble with the law. These upfront qualifiers are intended to protect everyone involved.

And the matchmakers are not psychics or fortune tellers who are reading love lines. Most matchmaking companies use computerized algorithms to pair a prospective couple. The data that’s plugged into the system—drawn from an initial online screen and the in-person interview—includes information on personality, interests, and more. From there, a program can make potential connections.

The increasing popularity of professional matchmaking is a sign of the times. Singles are frustrated, finding it difficult to find a long-term mate via traditional dating methods. “A large number of men and women are open to being matched by a matchmaker,” says noted sociologist and renowned sexologist Pepper Schwartz. And this is true particularly for the divorced. “For people who have had only short-term relationships or an important relationship that self-combusted, the matchmaker starts looking better and better.”

In fact, the Avvo study revealed that matchmaking is particularly appealing to those coming out of short-term partnerships: 42 percent of those who were in a relationship or marriage for one year or less are in favor of a professional pairing. The numbers are lower for those who’ve been in longer relationships: 33 percent for people who’ve been in a relationship lasting two to seven years, and 23 percent for people who’ve been in a relationship for eight or more years.

Despite what the culture sometimes implies, not every woman who’s gone through a divorce is incapable of finding a life-long mate. But for those who’ve yet to find a suitable partner, professional matchmaking may be the key.