Online Dating and Matchmaking: Which is Right for You?

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Maria AvgitidisYesterday, I had the privilege to interview Maria Avgitidis (Ave-get-ee-dis), matchmaker and dating coach at Agape Match. She’s also the CEO and co-founder of AgapaMe.com, an online dating site for Greek singles. This award winning matchmaker aims to find love solutions for all of her clients, either through matchmaking or date coaching. As a fourth generation matchmaker, she’s been matchmaking since she can remember. She established Agape Match five years ago, which quickly became the top matchmaking firm for Greek singles in North America (although her firm does work with non-Greek singles in NYC, New Jersey and Boston). Her inspiration for AgapaMe.com was a result from her success as a matchmaker at Agape Match. Following are some highlights of our interview on Last First Date Radio. To hear the entire interview, click here.

Online Dating and Matchmaking: Which is Right for You?

Is matchmaking losing out with the popularity of dating sites?

The more popular online dating sites become, the more popular matchmaking becomes. Who chooses a matchmaker? Most CEOs and business owners who want more privacy go to a matchmaker. Safety concerns are also an issue. Meeting someone online or on Craig’s list feels a lot less safe than choosing a matchmaker who does background checks. Matchmakers supplement online dating, too.

What’s unique about Greek singles?

‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ was more of a documentary than a movie. There are 11 million Greeks in Greece and and another 10 million outside of Greece. There’s a strong urge to date Greek for shared values and upbringing, sort of like how the Jewish faith urges their singles to date each other for the same reasons.

What are three main things that will make you successful online?

  1. Your photos: make sure they’re clear, and they feature only you. If you post a photo of yourself and a cute friend, he’s going to want to date your friend.
  2. Your profile: Make sure you can tell a story within the first three sentences of your profile. Don’t say, “I love to travel.” Say, “I recently traveled to Mexico and really enjoyed seeing the _______. In the next year, I plan to go to China to learn about the Chinese culture.”
  3. Open up your limits. Most people fill out their preferences in their profile wrong or not at all. If you’re 30 years old, don’t limit yourself to 32 year olds. Open it to 40. Also, open up your geographical demographics. Instead of a five mile limit, open it to 50 and see what happens.

Which service should someone choose? Matchmaking or online dating?

Depends on what kind of service you’re looking for. Could be both.
If you’re really busy and privacy is a concern, use a matchmaker.
They vet potential dates for you, like going on the bad dates for you so you don’t have to.

I think online dating is very effective, too. If you have the time to devote to online dating, and privacy is not as much of a concern, online dating is a great way to meet someone. Many of my clients do both.

What should they keep in mind when selecting either?

Online dating: It’s important to know which online dating sites to select. I suggest that my clients choose two sites. Pick one large general site like Match, and choose a niche dating site, like agapame.com, Jdate, ivydate, or even veggiedate!
Matchmaker: choose one that represents your core values, someone who gets you and you trust, someone with a network in a certain niche that’s important to you.

What time investment do you suggest people put into online dating?

Statistically, you’ll spend about 11 hours online before going on a physical date. Ask someone who’s single ‘how many hours do you dedicate to meeting new people each week?’ Most people are busy with work, friends, etc. Usually their answers are less than 30 minutes a week! If you’re going to online date, invest in it or don’t do it.

What are the trends in online dating? What’s changed over last 5 years?

The major change is mobile apps for dating. In 2010 people spent an average of 3 minutes flirting on sites on mobile phones. In the last three years, more than 13 minutes a day are spent on online dating apps through their phones and tablets. There are geolocating services. It’s incredibly engaging. If you use OK Cupid, they now have a locals app, and you can see who’s in your vicinity and go on a date with them.

We’re also starting to see vertical push. Dating websites are expanding vertically. For example, How About We is an online dating site to get you offline. It works like this: You answer ‘How about we… ‘ and fill in the blank. Like, go to central park and have a picnic. Now they have a couples app.

Couple: This is an app that allows you to share everything with your love interest. You can send messages, thumb kisses, and you can play games with each other. You can share photos, videos, and messages. A cloud image shows you’re thinking of them. It’s all stored in one place. Also has a to do list for things to check out as a couple.

To hear the whole interview with lots of juicy information on what’s hot in the matchmaking and dating coaching fields, click here or you can download it for free in itunes here.

For more dating advice and a copy of my FREE report, “The Top Three Mistakes Midlife Daters Make (and how to turn them around to find love now)” click here.

xoxo

Sandy

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