I am coming to the conclusion that Match.com just isn’t for me. Maybe what I need is a matchmaker. My friend Allie suggested It’s Just Lunch to me – a dating service that pre-screens prospective matches, and then sets you up at some mutually convenient time for lunch or coffee.
I google them and sure, enough, there’s a website with an online information request.
I fill it out and two days later, an extremely cheerful matchmaker calls me.
She tells me all about the service, which sounds great – mostly professionals (like myself), often people who in their 40s or thereabouts (like myself), college educated (like myself), and so on. People who aren’t looking just for a hookup, but for something with more depth. She asks me lots of questions, and each question is rapidly followed by another question – so rapidly, indeed, that it does not seem possible that she is making note of any of my responses.
I also ask a lot of questions, and all of the answers are just right. Example:
“I’m recently separated, but not divorced yet. Is that a problem?”
“Oh, men don’t generally care about that – it’s not a problem at all.”
I found it odd that this particular element was so unproblematic that she did not explore it with so much as one follow-up question.
But she was so chipper and the answers were so pleasing that I found myself easily swept along with the flow of the conversation.
Then I made an inquiry about the cost of the service.
Apparently, it’s much more than a service, and therefore, you can’t just sign up – you have to be carefully selected for membership following an in-person interview at their office. And, although the office is nowhere near me geographically, it is also no problem to arrange something that fits my schedule.
Right, but what does it cost, I ask.
$2100 for a one-year membership.
Great, I said. I’ll think about that.
No, I don’t want to schedule my interview right now. I’ll think about it.
I email Allie with an inquiry – had she used this crazy expensive service, and was it worth the money, assuming one had that much to spare?
She replied quickly: Uh, no. Wow, that’s a lot of money. Her friend had used it. she’d check with the friend.
While I waited for her to follow up, I googled It’s Just Lunch reviews, and discovered that – surprise – people were by and large quite unhappy with the service, the quality of the matches and – surprise – the price-to-value proposition. I looked at reviews for Seattle and reviews elsewhere in the country.
You don’t often see that kind of nationwide consistency, outside of, say, the fast food industry.
Allie gets back to me. It wasn’t It’s Just Lunch her friend used, she says, it was Table For Six. But the friend met her spouse through Plenty of Fish, just FYI.
Plenty of Fish, I note, is free.