How to Choose a Lesbian Matchmaker

Very few people actually like dating apps — but what other options are there? A growing number of people are turning to an option you might have thought was relegated to the past: matchmaking. We’ve all witnessed the reality that algorithms often can’t match up to a human’s insight and judgment; why should dating be any different?

The lesbian community may be particularly drawn to working with a matchmaker; our dating pool is more limited, especially outside of large cities, and we have specific needs and experiences when it comes to dating. Here’s how to determine if a lesbian matchmaker is right for you.

What does a lesbian matchmaker do?

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While some are surprised that matchmakers are still being used in the digital age, the skill sets and services they offer are very much still in demand. The internet and dating apps mean that technically speaking, there are almost an infinite number of potential matches at your fingertips — most of us notice that this isn’t translating into infinite dates, and the dates we do go on aren’t particularly good. A matchmaker’s role transcends the capabilities of dating apps by offering a deep understanding of your desires and defining qualities as a partner. Their expertise lies in curating a select few dates that promise genuine compatibility, rather than an endless array of options. This approach ensures that the focus is on quality, not quantity, highlighting the unique value a matchmaker brings to the search for meaningful connections.

To accomplish this, a matchmaker will likely do an intake consultation, asking in-depth questions about your history, your personality, your dating goals, and what a successful relationship looks like for you. A meticulously planned consultation is crucial, often involving a mix of structured inquiries and open dialogue to thoroughly understand your dating experiences, preferences, and non-negotiables. This deliberate approach ensures a deep dive into your relationship history and future desires, laying the groundwork for matchmaking success.

After this, a matchmaker will consult their network of potential matches — a database of folks they’ve curated often over the course of years and know to be trustworthy, serious about looking for a relationship, and have the potential to be a great partner. They’ll carefully choose your first match for you based on your preferences and dating goals. Some matchmakers do “blind matchmaking,” where you and your date will find out who the other is at your date; some matchmakers will have you review potential matches and approve them ahead of time. After this, your matchmaker will set up a series of dates for you — some matchmakers may even plan your dates and set up reservations. Following each date, your matchmaker will collect your impressions, identifying what resonated with you and what didn’t, to assess the compatibility of your date. This feedback is instrumental in refining future matches, ensuring a closer alignment with your preferences and relationship goals.

What does a lesbian matchmaker do differently? A lesbian matchmaker generally serves the queer community — and especially queer women and nonbinary people — in specific. This means that they know to consider the specific axes of queer dynamics when matching you with potential dates. Are you more attracted to butches or femmes? What kind of butch or femme — after all, there are so many nuances! How do you feel about age gaps in lesbian relationships? Are you a top, bottom, or switch? Are you looking for a monogamous or nonmonogamous relationship? Is it important to you that a relationship includes kink or bdsm? Are you a trans person who prefers to date other trans people?

Furthermore, while a straight matchmaker’s database of matches may include queer people, a lesbian matchmaker has a rich network of varied and diverse queer people — you’re getting as many options as a straight person would, and with a deep attunement to the unique considerations of a queer relationship.

What’s most important when vetting a lesbian matchmaker?

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Dating doesn’t get less vulnerable when you work with a matchmaker; it’s understandable you want to make sure the person you’re trusting your love life to is a good fit. Here’s what to look for when considering a lesbian matchmaker to work with:

Experience

Matchmakers are in a unique and valuable position — while each of us has learned about relationships and dating from our own experience, professional matchmakers have learned from the experiences of hundreds, even thousands of people. And while new trends like dating apps come and go, the core of what makes relationships tick stays the same. A lesbian matchmaker with years of solid experience under their belt is a strong indicator that they can help.

Cultural competency

You’re seeing a matchmaker because you want to find your personal match out of all the fish in the sea; there are no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all solutions. That’s why it’s crucial that your matchmaker understands you as a person, and part of that is understanding the queer community you come from. While many matchmakers are open to working with LGBTQ clients, not all of them understand what it means for their client. You deserve a lesbian matchmaker who really sees you and understands the kind of relationship you’re looking for. 

Training and certification

While many matchmakers are affiliated with a national certifying body, it’s important to note that not all professionals in the field hold such certification. Matchmakers come from a variety of backgrounds and may offer diverse qualifications, including expertise as relationship and dating coaches. This broad spectrum of experience and training contributes to their ability to understand and navigate the complexities of human relationships, even if they do not hold specific matchmaking certifications. A matchmaker may be a trained LICSW or therapist, especially in sex and relationships — for instance, I’m a board-certified sex therapist and additionally, a clinical psychologist with over two decades of experience providing individual therapy, lesbian couples counseling.

Reviews and referrals

A lesbian matchmaker’s work can feel like it happens in a black box — like you’re signing up for something without any way of knowing what you’ll get from it. That’s why it’s so helpful to be able to hear from other people who have worked with the matchmaker you’re considering — reviews and testimonials can help you decide whether the outcomes this matchmaker offers are what you’re looking for. If you have a referral from a personal connection with someone you know, even better!

How do you know if a particular lesbian matchmaker is a good fit?

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Much like dating itself, the process of matchmaking is all about connection. It’s a relationship of its own, and one that involves a level of trust. 

Your ideal lesbian matchmaker should make you feel listened to; ideally, you leave a consultation feeling fully heard and understood, and perhaps even with new insights about what you’re looking for in your love life. They should be able to repeat back to you your major goals and concerns, and be able to articulate what you’re looking for in a partner.

Transparency and communication are also strong green flags in a lesbian matchmaker. While the art of matchmaking can take time and consideration, a good matchmaker will make sure you understand what to expect at each point in the process, and communicate about timelines and next steps.

Finally — and perhaps controversially — a good lesbian matchmaker will be willing to respectfully push back on some of your mandates when it comes to choosing matches. While matchmaking isn’t therapy, matchmakers have something in common with therapists in the sense that they have expertise and insight the average person doesn’t — and if you really did know everything, you wouldn’t need their services. 

Perhaps you’ve always had a strict policy of never dating anyone more than three years younger than you; perhaps you can’t imagine dating someone without a college degree. A good matchmaker will be able to see where your preconceptions may be holding you back in dating — and gently invite you to broaden your horizons. It may be that the love of your life is someone you would never have considered on your own — that’s what they’re there for!

For More Articles Check Out These Recent Posts:

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