Various schemes are used by the dating services to provide members with possible matches for a potential relationship. All of the schemes I know of are variations of three basic methods. Each of these three will be discussed with its advantages and disadvantages. There is one dominate problem with most all of the dating services. That problem is there are far more male members than female members. As you will see, this problem compounds all disadvantages, and negates many of the advantages of the methods used to match members for dating and relationships.
The first type service to consider is the one that allows you to select potential single female matches yourself. What happens here is that you go to their office, visit their "library," browse through a book with brief profile and photograph of each female member, and if you find a member you are interested in, you then view a short video tape presentation made by that member. Some of these services are progressing to a more modern method where you view a profile of single females and video from a multi-media database. Female members are listed by first name and member number only. If you find someone you wish to meet for a date and hopefully a relationship, you notify the dating service, who in turn notifies the woman you selected. That woman is requested to come into the office and view your profile and videotape. If interested, the woman will let the service know, and the service will provide a means for personal contact.
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This scheme sounds like a very good idea for meeting single women for love, sex, and romance, since you are allowed to choose for yourself other female members you would like to meet, and accept or reject female members who have expressed an interest in you. In reality, however, your chances of meeting very many potential mates for romance and relationships are less with this type service than with others.
The problem is, contrary to what you may think, and what the dating service representative will tell you during the recruitment process, first impressions are made by looks almost exclusively when evaluating someone in a photo and video. Many women, no matter how attractive, are not photogenic and appear very awkward and unnatural in a staged video recording. You have probably experienced this yourself.
Think about how many times you have seen someone in a photo, or on TV or in a movie, and found that person very attractive, but when you met him or her or discovered what they were really like in person, you are glad you don't have to be around them. Then think about someone attractive you know who isn't very photo/videogenic. If you did not know that person personally, you would not think about him or her as attractive and having a pleasing personality just by seeing a photograph or a video of that person. That's why dating services, just as many other businesses, often use actors or actresses and models in their advertisements rather than "real people."
Unless you are above average in looks and are photo/videogenic, then this method is not for you, especially when the male/female ratio probably is added. Men often complained there just were not enough single females to choose from, and when they did choose one, the female did not return a positive response. As a result, most men reported meeting and dating very few females during their membership. In fact, the most I have a report from was one man who had met ten women in three years, but most report meeting five or less.
Some women, complained there were so many men requesting a response, they could not possibly review all of the respondents. They would finally just give up and quit reviewing the photos and videos of those requesting a response, so they would have time to choose some men they would like to meet. But this usually didn't work because no men could be found that they really wanted to meet. Like many men, some women claimed they had been in the service several months and had never been selected. The sad part is there were probably several very nice men and women there, but those people did not appear impressive enough in the photo and/or video to be considered.
The conclusion is this method really does not work for the majority of single men. Also, two companies, Great Expectations and Heart to Heart, that use this method had, by far, the highest complaint ratio and most vicious comments about them of all the services. Only one person out of more than the one-hundred comments I have collected had anything good to say about these services. They have the worst reputation of misleading you during the recruitment process, then treating you with little respect and care when you become a member.
Remember, they do not promise (at least in their agreement) that you will ever meet anyone, and they may well take advantage of this. After you become a member, it is all up to you to make it work. They become essentially a message service. Far too often, if there are fewer contacts than you were led to believe or expected, their attitude is you are either too selective, doing something wrong, or there is something wrong with you.
Human and Computer Matchmaking
The second type of service to consider is the type where some human or computer chooses potential matches from a database of profiles of their single female members. You will be required to complete a rather lengthy profile of your hobbies, lifestyle, age, etc., and a description of the type of person you want to meet to input into the database. After a match has been found, they will provide a notice to both people and make some arrangement for you to contact each other.
This may not sound very efficient, but this method seems to work somewhat better than the ones where you choose and respond to someone on your own. There are several reasons for this. Mostly, it eliminates you from having any preconceived idea about anyone's looks and mannerisms until you meet them. It gives each person an opportunity of getting to know each other via telephone conversation a little bit, slowing down the process and giving each one some time to think about what they have learned about each other before agreeing to meet in person.
The companies that use this method are also more likely to respond to your complaints and suggestions, since they usually promise you in the agreement that they will provide a certain amount of female contacts, and they can fine tune your profile in their database as you become more aware of what kind of person you are looking for exactly. That is, assuming they want to. The big problem here is many of these services really don't seem to care much about what you need. Most complainants about these type services stated that it seems they just throw the names in a hat, then pick out names without regard to any profile matches. Adding the common problem of far too many male members, way too few female members, caused most men to complain that they did not receive anywhere near as many contact names as they were promised or expected and women received so many they just could not keep up with them all.
Men often complained they would call a woman and then be told by that woman that she had just given up and did not want to meet anyone else matched to her. Of the companies in this category, Together received about three positive (but many more negative comments, and Matchmakers received nothing but bad comments.
The third type of services are those where members are matched by "intuition." This would seem likely to be the worse method of all, but this actually seems to be the method that works the best for meeting single women for potential romance and relationships. Furthermore, these services tend to be local and not part of some large, uncaring chain. It seems to work best for several reasons. First of all, the person who is attempting to find you a match is to meet you and get to know you in order to know enough to think of anyone who may like to meet you. Since you are dealing with that one person, your relationship is more personal, and you can better discuss problems that might arise. Besides, this is probably the oldest, most successful, method of matchmaking there is.
Think about how many good relationships you know that have been started by someone who thinks "I should introduce so and so to so and so, they are just alike." Often too, someone else's perception of what we need is more accurate than what we think we need. The disadvantage here is finding such a service.
Obviously, this method is just as open to deception as all the others, and since these services are usually local, it is difficult to find information about them. If you can find someone who does have a gift for matchmaking, then you will probably feel satisfied by your dating service. I did not read one single complaint about such a type service, and the five or six people who have commented about them have been satisfied. Nonetheless, these services should be approached with the same caution as any other type service.