Weary online daters return to matchmaking for help finding modern love

DALLAS — Remember when searching for love was romantic…and a little less robotic?

For some singles, modern dating is a numbers game. You have one profile on a half dozen sites, swiping through hundreds of pictures, making you one of 40 million Americans looking for ‘the one’ online.

You might feel the same way Kirc does.

“It’s tedious and time-consuming,” he said.

He’s a 40-something insurance broker from Dallas. He likes a good meal, the Cowboys, and a great round of golf. He dislikes online dating. After a slew of bad dates, he put down his phone and changed his approach.

“It just becomes too much noise out there in the system and people decide ‘Ok, we’ve got to reel it in, slow it down, focus and work with someone,'” Kirc said.

That someone helping him is Jennifer Styers, who makes her living as a matchmaker, by way of counseling people for the last 20 years.

“I would get them healthy and they were ready for love, and then they couldn’t find anybody,” she said. “They knew I knew the healthy people, so I started a business.”

It may seem like the stuff of deep tradition or past generations, especially in the age of finding dates in the palm of your hand. But if you think new technology would put an end to doing it old school, you’d be wrong.

“My business has grown,” said Styers.

The two reasons? Privacy and patience, or lack thereof.

“The average client is somebody that’s busy, somebody that’s discerning, somebody that may not be able to put their profile up,” said Styers.

Company presidents, CEOS and anybody worried about exposure can be shy about showing up online. Others like Kirc don’t have time to meet and vet potential dates like he’d want to, so Styers does it for him.

“There’s not a lot you can lie about when you’re in person, you know their body language – you know they’re not telling you the truth,” she said. “And that’s my job.”

That job does have a price tag. Hiring someone to do the dirty work of dating for you could start in the low thousands and go upwards of $10,000. That means, for many daters, services like this are out of reach.

But what’s included in the cost for Kirc is a hard look at his wants and needs.

“What can I give to a relationship, and what are my better attributes and really teasing out some things that I need to work on,” he said.

Kirc believes the personal coaching makes the money worth it, and it’s Styer’s favorite part of the job.

“The biggest win I can have is watching someone transform – their spirit transform,” she said. “From sadness to happiness, from fear to love.”

And eventually from single to spoken for. No screen required.