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“It’s like looking for the right therapist,” she joked.When we spoke, she had just wrapped her first matchmaker meeting, a bit unsure of the women with whom she’d had a consultation, but not of the concept.“I’m ready to meet The One,” she said.“You just haven’t met right person.”Eileen is a 31-year-old woman who lives in New York City and believes she hasn’t met the right person either.After spending her twenties living abroad, she returned to New York unsure of the dating rhythm, finding it hard to connect with people.My friend is sick of Tinder, sick of bars, sick of wasted nights on bad dates. I started with The Bevy, an “intensely personal matchmaking service” that appeals to “young, educated professionals.” Co-founders Greta Tufvesson and Nikki Lewis explained that their clients are largely heterosexual people who, like my friend, consider themselves to be hardworking and successful, too busy to look for dates but eager to connect with “quality” individuals.“We don’t want to go out and meet people anymore,” Tufvesson said. You explain what you’re looking for and they take care of the searching.She has disposable income and a clear picture of her future. “Free time is precious; we’d rather hang out with our friends. We’re creatures of habits and go to the same places, the same restaurants.”She — along with every other matchmaker I spoke to — brought up our most millennial complaint as a major contributing factor: the internet offers too many choices. Each company or independent cupid has a database of vetted candidates.They would not show me his picture.“That’s what makes us unique,” said Tufvesson. “Unlike apps and online sites, we protect your privacy. Instead, we know their foundation, what inspires them. Of course it’s somewhat superficial, but this is about who the person is beyond height and weight.It brings you back to being more grounded.”Following the date, I’d give and be given feedback.

The Bevy would coordinate our schedules, then send an email that confirms the time, place, location and our phone numbers.“It feels very cold, very rushed,” she said of the singles scene here.She was shopping for matchmakers at the time of our call.“It’s hard to quantify serious relationships,” Lewis said.“We quantify success by meaningful relationships.”When I asked about age (I wanted to know if young millennials were starting to jump on board) they said their clients have skewed younger over the years.I asked The Bevy cofounders to walk me through a hypothetical set-up. The next step would be to meet in-person with Tufvesson and Lewis. For a modern matchmaking company, this part felt antiquated.“Some women are wary of joining and don’t want to feel like they’re paying to meet someone,” Tufvesson said when I asked about the discrepancy. We wouldn’t take men on as our clients if we wouldn’t date them ourselves.” Meanwhile, men are asked to cough it up. We have a large network of women, men hire us to find them.”The next step is an hour of face time to develop client/matchmaker trust and deepen The Bevy’s understanding of my wants and needs.After the interview, I’d fill out a questionnaire about myself and what I’m looking for that is “lengthy, but not going to kill [me].” Clearly, they have never witnessed me try to take a Buzz Feed quiz. After, they’d search their database and find my first date.Amy Van Doran, founder of Modern Love Club, who describes herself as feminist artist first, matchmaker second, takes a boutique approach.She works with 16 singles at a time who she has to be “obsessed with.”They rotate every three months, which means the age, gender identities and sexuality of her client demo changes.Van Doran keeps the group small to “bring the community back into dating.” She gets to know her clients on a deeper level so that, rather than feeling transactional, the setup is more along the lines of, “my friend with amazing taste wants you two to meet one another.” Fun fact: Van Doran was getting her hair dyed orange and her dog’s coat dyed blue while we chatted over the phone.Encouraging this mindset is her way of putting optimism back into dating.

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