With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, card and candy companies aren’t the only ones who have entered their busiest time of year. So, too, have local matchmakers.
A little-known business sector on the South Shore, matchmakers are slinging cupid’s arrow in record numbers, helping hundreds of locals find compatible companions.
“After the holidays, people realize they don’t want to be alone, it increases as Valentine’s Day approaches,” said Jill Vandor, executive matchmaker for LunchDates.
The services are a bit different than online companies, which let users browse a database. Matchmaking is more about one-on-one interviews with the company.
At LunchDates, which has been operating for 30 years, the employees connect individuals with other compatible members of the service.
In addition to offices in Boston, Burlington, Framingham, and Newton, the company opened up a space in Braintree last year.
Settling into the new South Shore space came at a perfect time, especially as the busy season for matchmakers is now in session.
“Usually by the time someone comes to me, they’ve tried online, friends, other avenues…the problem is they don’t want to waste their time dating,” they want to meet someone, Vandor said.
The company has more than 1,000 members.
Vandor’s service, which helps introduce and organize dates for clients, isn’t the only local service seeing a boost in the early months of the year.
Post Club, out of Newton, also says that once January hits, their busy season begins.
A more traditional matchmaking service, the company goes out in search of matches for a client, similar to the Millionaire Matchmaker from the popular TV show on Bravo.
Yet according to Geoffrey Klein, president of Post Club, the busy season is less propelled by Valentine’s Day and more by the past holidays and the weather.
“As you can imagine, around the holidays between Thanksgiving and Christmas into New Years, people think about the past year … [and think] this is going to be the year - a New Years resolution,” he said. “Plus people are indoors now, so people feel it’s less likely to happen organically, as opposed to the summer [where people expect to meet others] at the beach.”
Regardless of the reason clients turn up at the company’s doors, the 24-year-old business also boasts thousands of marriages from their services, and has clients as far away as Washington D.C. and New York.
“Of the match making clients, we have success rate of 80 percent, whereas the others have found someone on their own or they are still in the search process,” Klein said.
And while typical matchmaking includes compatibility in desires and goals, there is something intuitive about the process, Klein said.
“A lot becomes intuition. Doing it long enough and getting a sense of someone who is in your sweet spot,” he said.
For those looking for love this time of year, Vandor said that no company can help a person who doesn’t put themselves out there.
“I always tell everyone you have to get yourself out there and do something,” Vandor said. “I tell people use every avenue until you meet the right person. My way is a lot easier a lot less time consuming…but meeting people is as important in any other areas of our lives and we take it for granted…so put yourself out there, have fun, and be flexible.”