Is there a difference between dating services and matchmaking? Yes!

Is there a difference between dating services and matchmaking? Yes!

Posted By: Niki Payne Date: 02-29-2016 Comments: 0

In my experience talking to many singles over the years, there appears to be confusion over the difference between a dating service and a matchmaking service. If you work in the dating industry, the difference is as clear as night and day. For everyone else, the two terms are used interchangeably.

In her 12 years as a matchmaker, Intrigued’s Director of Matchmaking Jen Foster has found that most consumers use the term “dating service” as an umbrella term to describe any service related to dating. “There’s a distinct difference between online dating, dating apps, dating services and matchmaking,” said Foster.

Dating services allow you to pick and choose your own dates

Dating services come in a variety of forms. When most people think of dating services, they envision online dating sites like, eHarmony and OkCupid, which serve as an online catalogue of people you can potentially date.

Many people also consider mobile dating apps like Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel and Bumble as dating services, which provide a type of GPS guide for singles near you. It’s easy to lump matchmaking in as a dating service when online dating apps serve the purpose of matching you with other singles who fit your search criteria.

The term “dating services” is so broad, that it also includes personalized writing services that help with your profile summary, photo services for adding attractive images of yourself to go along with your profile, first date coaching and even online dating “assistants” to help message potential matches on your behalf, catering to busy singles who don’t have a lot of time.

Matchmaking services allow someone else to pick and choose dates for you

What sets matchmaking apart from other dating services is the process of how dates are selected for you. Instead of curating and setting up your own dates based on surface-level criteria, a personal matchmaker is the one vetting singles on your behalf and introducing you to quality people, based not just on what you’re looking for in a partner, but on the other person’s criteria as well.

When you use a dating service, it’s a lot harder to verify someone’s identity, let alone their relationship goals. Often times, we have a tendency to put our best faces forward. But when you work with a matchmaker, you get an entirely different experience, one that is far more personalized and tailored to suit your specific needs or criteria.

Matchmakers can help you decipher whether someone is truly a match because they’ve had the same conversation with both you and your match about each your relationship preferences. They take the time to get to know everyone they match before actually suggesting two people should meet. They have the skills to read between the lines and determine if someone is truly on the same wavelength as you.

Which type of service is right for you?

Some people make the mistake of believing that matchmaking is reserved exclusively for people interested in getting married. In reality, matchmaking is simply another option for dating, or another way to meet people you normally wouldn’t get the chance to meet in your everyday life.

Some singles prefer taking ownership of their love lives and having more active control over the process. Others prefer letting someone else take over the search, so they can focus on careers or hobbies in the hopes of meeting someone who fits into their life like the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle.

“No one is looking to get married tomorrow to just anybody,” says Foster. “At the end of the day, they are looking for a good relationship and matchmaking can provide singles a more targeted approach to dating.”