Why did you set up Match Made in Scotland?
I’ve always been passionate about working with people. I spent 10 years in recruitment and volunteering as a Community Manager for Girl Gone International, a not-for-profit organisation which helps women meet other women and find friends when they moved to another city or country. Helping people is my passion.
After speaking to friends during the lockdown last summer, and hearing their struggles with online dating, their complaints about the process and how online dating can be demoralising especially for those who are looking for serious relationships. One of my friends had just come across her boss on the app and the other had gone on a date with someone who had lied about who they were. I feel like the dating apps have made people into commodities, easy to obtain, and even easier to get rid of. And I felt deeply passionate about there being a real need to bring dating back into the real world and to have real connections and I believe I have the skills and the network to do it.
What exactly does a matchmaker do?
Matchmaking is a fully bespoke, consultative and personal service which helps you find a potential partner that you can truly connect with. Think of a matchmaker as your personal wing woman or wing man. Even when you are not with us, we are constantly out there looking for a suitable partner on your behalf.
We have an in-depth consultation with all of our members to get to know them on a deeper personal level. It’s an exhaustive process that helps us understand your wants and desires and, in many cases, to help you figure out your wants from your needs.
We also work with a range of experts from dating photographers to dating coaches and stylists to assist with any additional support you may require. We are there at every step of the process and can be as hands on or as hands off as you wish.
I have taken the approach from my recruitment experience. It’s fully consult me everyone, face to face. I get to know them on a deep personal level, We go through an in depth consultation fears, to see if I’m able to help them. And then I network I meet new people, I go out there to find them a perfect match. Matchmaker is like your personal when man or woman. We’re constantly going out and meeting new people, in order to find you a suitable partner. We get to know people on a deeper level. We get to know their, their personality, their lifestyle, their values, what’s really important to them, we find out about their past relationships what was good, what was bad, and what lessons they’ve taken from that and going forward, what they’re looking for in an ideal match. A what they find attractive what different and attractive, and what their relationship goals are, what they like to get married or have children or if they’re past that stage, you know, where do they see their future. Would they like to move on to the country would they like to. I don’t know live abroad. All of these things we get to know. And then we go out, and we meet loads of people to see if we find someone who encapsulates the same values, Or have aligned values, and a complimentary personality.
Why use a matchmaker, rather than a dating app?
When apps and dating sites first came around, it was used mostly by people who were looking for a serious relationship. Over the years there has been a big influx of people using them to have a one-night stand and those looking for a serious relationship have been pushed out. Before launching my business, I did a survey of over 500 single people in Scotland and less than 10% said that they were satisfied or very satisfied with dating apps. I looked at all of the issues that people had and tried to come up with solutions.
When you meet with someone through a matchmaker you already know that that person is invested in finding a partner and has the same relationship goals and aligned values. There is no need to have those tricky conversations up front about kids and marriage and potentially scaring off the other person. We make sure that the member is who they say they are by checking their identification and asking for a council tax bill to check for single occupancy.
You spend 1-2 hours having a consultation with a matchmaker and then you are free to spend your time with your family and friends and working on your business and career. The average dating app user in the UK spends 10 hours per week on a dating app.
If dating is a numbers game, men are fighting a losing battle as men outnumber women by 9 to 1 on the most popular dating app and on average 85% of all apps users are men. It is a constant fight to be seen and to pique the interest of a potential partner which brings me to the Paradox of Choice. Scientists say that if we have more than 9 choices, we end up not making any.
Using a matchmaker gets rid of all of these issues. It is like having your own personal app where you are the only option. No one can see who our members are and you get presented one match at a time so you will need to careful consider that person. I call my members before sending over a profile to let them know why I think they are a match. That way the photo becomes secondary and not the first thing that someone uses to make a decision. You also get feedback from your dates which has proved extremely helpful to my clients. For more reasons check out my blog 10 reasons why you should use a matchmaker.
Who tends to use a matchmaker?
People who are invested in being in a serious relationship and finding a real connection. People that value their time and their money, they do not want to go out on unqualified dates, through apps. People who value their privacy and do not want their personal details available online or perhaps they don’t want their colleagues or their employees or their clients seeing them online. I would say 95% of my members are busy working professionals.
What do you talk about in the consultation and what is the matchmaking process?
I have a discovery call before the consultation to get to know a bit about you, your reasons for wanting to join a matchmaker and to talk you through the process and to answer any questions that you may have.
The consultation is very thorough- It is all about getting to know you: your personality, lifestyle, and values. What does fun mean to you? What gets you out of bed in the morning? What are you passionate about?
We then talk about your past relationships- the good, the bad and the lessons you have taken from them. We then discuss your relationship goals and what you are looking for in a partner. Lastly, we talk about how you are in a relationship, what is your idea of quality time with a partner, and about how you deal with conflict in a relationship and how you like to show love or receive love in in a relationship.
After the consultation we get to work. If you have chosen a package which includes dating photography, we will get your photoshoot set up and, In the meantime, we will be writing up your profile.
Once I find a match for you, I will send them your profile with your photographs which you have approved. And then if it is a match, I will send you that person’s profile for you to see whether you would like to go on a date. And then I put you in touch to arrange it.
Why have you decided to only focus on Scotland?
There are many matchmakers around UK, but there is no one solely focused on Scotland nor based in Scotland. We have a large concentration of the population in the Central Belt and up in in Aberdeen and in the cities in Inverness, and I do not feel like it is necessary to go outside of Scotland, and for practical terms, it’s easier to date someone when they are closer to you. However, I have a wide network of other matchmakers across the UK who I work with to share our network.
What is the most important thing your clients look for in a match?
Most people look for shared values and relationship goals. They want to know that the person that they are dating wants the same thing as them, whether that be marriage or kids, and that they are on the same page. It is also important for them to share the same values, that could be with regards to religious views or political views or even the same attitudes towards money, and some of those big issues that can cause conflict in a relationship further down the line. In some ways, a matchmaker acts as a pre-qualifier, so that people know that thy are at least meeting someone as dedicated to the idea of relationships as they are. I would say most people that come to me
, ask for the good sense of humour. Overall, it is important for couples to have fun with each other and enjoy each other’s company.
What is your success rate?
I have two couples now that have frozen their membership and have been dating now over six months. As a newish business (I opened in November.) It’s hard to talk about success rates, especially as most of our members have joined in the last few weeks now that lockdown has lifted, but give us a year or so and I am hopeful that I will be buying a new hat for some wedding.
Is your service inclusive?
We pride ourselves on being 100% inclusive. From the outset, it was especially important to me that it was fully inclusive or all sexual orientations, religions, and races. I have spoken to a lot of people in the LGBT+ community and also, people who represent different cultures, to see what I can do in order to make my business, more inclusive, diverse and welcoming.
About Laura Smyth
Laura is the founder of Match Made in Scotland, Scotland’s only matchmaking service. After 10 years working in the recruitment field, she is making waves in Scotland’s dating scene with her bespoke personal service helping busy professionals find love. For more information check out her website www.matchmadeinscotland.co.uk or follow Laura on Facebook, Linkedin or Instagram.
Match Made in Scotland has teamed up with Aberdeen based company Boozy Events to bring a Singles Cocktail Masterclass.
This live interactive virtual cocktail masterclass with a twist is the perfect way to meet other single professionals and discovering together new cocktail recipes.
Once the expert mixologists show you how to make your cocktail you will be put into random breakout rooms to taste the cocktails and have a chat before doing several rounds of 1-1 speed dating.
❤️ Tue 20th July @ 7:30pm- aged 25-35
🧡 Wed 21st July @ 7:30pm- Gay males 25-45
💛 Thu 22nd July @ 7:30pm- aged 55+
💚 Tue 27th July @ 7:30pm- aged 40-55
💙 Wed 28th July @ 7:30pm- Lesbian 25-45
💜 Thu 29th July @ 7:30pm- aged 30-45
Get your exclusive discount using the code WARRIORLOVE
Spaces are limited so book early to avoid missing out!