Online dating, ugh, am I right? Total pain in the balls. But if you’re rich, like most things, you can buy your way out of it. That’s because Canadian online dating company A Million Matches now offers an attractive new service — for a measely $1,249, they’ll take the pain, frustration and annoyance (as well as joy, excitement and fun) of online dating from you and do all the heavy lifting.
“Every year more and more people subscribe to online dating sites,” explains the site. “Last year alone the industry grew 60 percent. But this explosion in growth comes with more competition, more work and less convenience. Well-presented online daters can receive up to 100 messages a day. Finding your ideal companion is one thing, finding him or her in minimal time is another.”
And while the company offers a variety of packages, starting at $99 for a profile write-up and photo review, high-rollers can opt for a more completist package. The full VIP experience boasts account setup and profile creation; photo selection and retouching; candidate search and compatibility selection; first impression management; tailored candidate correspondence; pre-date transition brief; date couching; professional photo shoot; post-date feedback; date planning services; and the kicker, criminal background checks.
Because most of us don’t have a spare $1,249 to spend on crafting a spurious dating persona, a writer at Maclean’s took one for the team and tried it out herself. What did writer Manisha Krishnan learn?
Soon after contacting owner Amelia Phillips and telling her that Maclean’s was interested in writing about her business, I came across my first red flag, when she advised women to avoid being “braggy.” Tone it down when talking about career-related achievements, places travelled to, and so on, she said.
Basically, the message is “don’t seem to accomplished or capable, because that turns men off.” And about that profile: “My profile was full of disarming lines like ‘Send me a funny message and I may be yours, lol’ and ‘Arrested Development has got to be the bestest TV show ever.’ Bestest. It’s not even a word.” No, bestest is not a word, but it is a term that preteen girls use to describe their best friends.
Manisha’s dating concierge did contact a buttload of dates — 115 guys in two weeks–and set up a handful of dates for her over the month. But were they incredible matches? Eh, not so much. “Some were pretty bad (awkward racial jokes), most were unremarkable,” said Manisha. “Probably anyone who has tried online dating can relate.”
So in the end hiring an expensive dating concierge doesn’t necessarily proffer you a shortcut to online dating success. And in fact, it may even set you back a bit, blanding you out so that your profile doesn’t “intimidate” or “turn off” potential suitors.
And speaking of those suitors: what does the person that’s eventually selected for you to go out on dates with? Well, if they’re lucky, they’ll find that the person they thought existed online is fairly close to the person in front of them. But that’s often not the case. “Ladies, imagine being wooed by one of your suitors, only to later find out it was actually his female dating assistant doing the talking,” wrote Manisha. “Somehow it’s less charming.” Yes, a lot less charming. Remember how well this worked out for Cyrano de Bergerac, after all. [Maclean's]