Being single in New York can be exhausting. At some point, we’ve all wondered if we might just be undateable. So it’s hardly surprising that Gothamites are outsourcing their love lives to professionals. If dating apps aren’t your thing, then you might want to consider a professional matchmaker. Check out the popular options below to see if one is right for you. (And if you need a first-date idea, we’ve got you covered.)
Best matchmakers in NYC
Who uses it: Founder Maria Avgitidis’s team works with 25- to 65-year-old white-collar professionals—and even some celebrities.
Price point: Coaching program for $8,500 (13 sessions), matchmaking starts at $15,000 (10 to 15 matches). Both include styling and a photo shoot.
How it works: First Agape’s coaches meet clients and matches in person, then they plan first and second dates.
Why it works: Agape uses behavioral-economics principles, such as the Secretary Problem, to help people find love. If you conduct 10 interviews and have to hire or discard candidates along the way, there’s a very little chance you’ll pick the first interviewee and about a 40 percent chance you’ll pick the fifth or seventh. “This is why a lot of clients end up in relationships with their fourth or fifth match,” says Avgitidis.
Success story: “I am floored by how wonderful and suitable this man [I met through Agape] is for me. The things I value and thought I’d never find—even never think to look for—he values as well.”—Ann*, 38
350 Fifth Ave, 59th floor (212-363-0486, agapematch.com)
Who uses it: “Busy, professional, successful, attractive men who are too busy to filter through profiles, or a high-profile person,” says matchmaker Julia Bekker, formerly a longtime employee of famed matchmaker Janis Spindel
Price point: $5,000 (three introductions) to $25,000 (12 introductions)
How it works: Bekker has lunch or dinner with clients to simulate a date and meets every potential match. “I prefer to call myself a headhunter for love,” she says.
Why it works: Intimacy. “I do a home visit and background check for every client,” says Bekker.
Success story: “Julia and I went on our first wingwoman night to a bar in midtown. She approached a group of men, spoke with them and then introduced me to my match. We’ve been inseparable since and are moving in together!”—Sylvia, 30
Modern Love Club
Who uses it: Creative types of all genders and sexualities, says CEO Amy Van Doran
Price point: Starting at $15,000
How it works: Doran or her associate Emily Lesser meet all potential matches, and both clients and daters from Doran’s database see pictures and bios of their matches before the date. There’s also date coaching and a makeover service for scroll-stopping online dating pictures.
Success story: “At 33, I’d just come off a really bad breakup (that ended in me calling off our wedding). Amy introduced me to my husband after I’d had about four dates with other men. We were married eight months later. Now we’re expecting our first child.”—Alexandria, 35
156 First Ave (modernloveclub.com)
Who uses it: The nationwide service caters to busy professionals, including “a lot of females who are exhausted by the online-swiping culture,” says NYC-based Director of Operations Julia Armet.
Price point: $1,800 (six matches) to $6,288 (24 matches)
How it works: Matchmakers meet clients either over video chat or in person. To find matches, the pros use their network (100,000 people deep nationally); LinkedIn and dating apps like Bumble; and real-world situations, like approaching someone on the subway. Possible dates are screened via phone or video, and each date is followed by a feedback session.
Why it works: “We are a middle ground between online dating and real-world matchmaking,” says Armet. Plus, clients can try out different matchmakers to find their best fit.
Success story: “Tawkify’s approach allowed me to maximize my free time, since I had a matchmaker setting me up on one quality date every few weeks. I met the love of my life!”—Lori*, 30
Three Day Rule
Who uses it: Three Day Rule (a nod to the “rule” on how long you should wait to contact a date you dig) generally works with professionals who are between their twenties and sixties, although it just had a success story with an 83-year-old.
Price point: $8,000 includes matchmaking, date coaching and photography
How it works: Matchmakers find possible pairings through their 80,000-person database, in real life (“We’ll approach people at Whole Foods,” says CEO Talia Goldstein) and through sites like Match
.com. Clients work with matchmakers on dating strategies in person or over the phone and see photos and bios of potential dates.
Success story: “I was introduced to my current partner by a matchmaker at Three Day Rule who had met both of us. We spent our first date talking for five hours over dinner. That immediate connection developed into a deeply fulfilling relationship.”—Valerie*, 43