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Lonely? You're not alone. Matchmakers are busier than ever during the pandemic

Arit John, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Dating Advice

There has been no shortage of single women seeking Evin Rose's advice during the pandemic.

A typical day for the Los Angeles-based dating coach starts with a team meeting to work on marketing copy for her new course on cultivating self-worth, then posting a mini training to Instagram to help her nearly 14,000 followers upgrade their self-talk. She'll host one-on-one video calls with clients looking to date with intention, check in the dozen women in her Love Life Transformation group coaching class and lend her voice to relationship seminars and podcasts, including her own pre-Galentine's day self-love retreat for single women.

Last March, Rose landed in North Carolina to attend the wedding of one of her former clients when she got a text: The couple had canceled the wedding due to COVID-19. On the flight back, she began to worry. She wondered if people would still be looking for love amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic and the need to physically distance. But as she and other dating coaches and matchmakers learned, the isolation of the last year has given single people time to look inward, reflect and — in some cases — redouble their efforts to find a partner.

"I get a lot more people who are reaching out who are wanting to do the inner work," Rose said. "More and more people are recognizing what their internal blocks are, or they're recognizing what their own patterns are, the ways in which they're getting in their own way of connecting and creating healthy relationships."

Dating apps have seen a significant uptick in activity over the last year — Hinge reported a 19% increase in dates globally between 2019 and 2020 —but several single people have taken it one step further, seeking out dating coaches and matchmakers to help attract the right partner or do all the heavy lifting for them. Dating experts were both surprised and relieved to see a flood of interest at a time when the world was told to stay home.

Hiring a dating expert has long been an option for singles in need of a little (or a lot) of extra help finding someone suitable for a long-term relationship. But in a world where bars are closed and bumping into a stranger is an anxiety-inducing event, even more singles have been willing to pay anywhere from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars for a coach, dating course or matchmaker.

 

Alexis Germany, a Las Vegas-based dating coach who shares advice on her popular TikTok, said her business has tripled and she's noticed an influx of straight male clients. "Women that have come to me typically are already knowing 'I want a relationship,'" Germany said. By contrast, in the past, her male clients had just one goal: "How do I get women?"

That tone has shifted, she said. Male clients are now asking, "I've met this woman, and I don't want to mess it up. What can I do to really cross that threshold and make it into something serious?'"

Matchmakers in the City, a Los Angeles-based firm, has seen so many new applications from singles hoping to join its database that it needed to hire another matchmaker, said cofounder Alessandra Conti.

Many of the new clients are people who were too occupied by work and travel to focus on dating before the pandemic, she said. And now dating has been scaled down too: A suitor who might have impressed their date with a fancy steak dinner at Mastro's might now have to settle for a picnic at the beach.

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