As much traction as dating apps and dating websites get these days, there are certainly businesses that revolve around the backlash and negativity building up over these love-seeking technology solutions, too.
The other day I came across an interview with one such company purporting to be the remedy to online dating.
With 13 employees serving San Francisco and New York (soon Boston and Los Angeles), the idea is for staff to interview singles and then set them up on in-person meetings. Essentially, the premise is the same as even “Fiddler on the Roof”’s Yente: setups by a so-called expert.
But in this case the matchmaking is to escape the traps of online dating in which eligible bachelors and bachelorettes spend so much time messaging, “liking” and inputting data onto a website and so little time getting to know the other half in real life.
For every date that singles go on, research is showing that they spend a whopping seven hours online. The other problem, Kay says, is that who dates who is based on two severely flawed sets of data—singles self-reporting who they are and singles self-reporting what they want.
People simply don’t know what they’re looking for in a lot of cases. And, from my experience, self-perception is a quality that a lot of individuals lack as well.
As a result of all of these factors, online dating “can be a really disappointing process,” she says, when in reality the best way to determine chemistry is to just go ahead and sit across from each other and test it in physical, live conditions.
Kay wants her clients to not have to spend hours choosing the right pictures or the right witty prose; her staff, instead, will meet with a client and get them out there as quickly as possible.
For clients, the fee is on a per-date basis—$20 for each date arranged. Or, if they’re feeling like a little more matchmaker TLC is in order, there are packages to make that happen with individualized date coaching.
“What if a clunker of a single comes to Dating Ring wanting help being matched up and it seems unlikely that there’s someone in the service for them?” the FOX host posed (in slightly more tactful, gentle phrasing)
“There’s pretty much someone for everyone,” the founder responded, elaborating that her company has been able to set up everyone so far.
I’d like to believe that. But is it the case?
In terms of love connections, Dating Ring boasts “a ton,” according to Kay. Personally, she found her boyfriend through the matchmaking service. So, it seems, in the vein of those ’80s and ’90s Hair Club for Men commercials, she’s not only the president, she’s also a client.
As a matchmaker, the founder also reports that, for instance, the first couple she ever arranged is now moving in together and celebrating their year anniversary.
Maybe, just as fashions always repeat themselves, so do relationship vehicles like matchmakers and Date Ring is on to something.