In an era when dating apps are a dime a dozen and you no longer have to leave the house to meet someone new, you might wonder if matchmakers still have any place in the dating scene. Well, matchmakers in Singapore are still very much in business.

This shouldn’t be surprising considering the tailor-made services they offer. And if you’re looking for a long-term partner, you’d probably meet a good match more efficiently through them than via swiping profiles for love.

But lest you think that all they do is put two pictures together and say, “OK, they should go out!”, you should know that there’s a lot of thought and effort that go into setting two people up on a date. Dolly Chua, Chief Matchmaker at local offline dating agency GaiGai, spills the beans on what goes on behind the scenes.

CLEO matchmaker in Singapore

1) She provides new perspectives 

Want to date someone who works out and shares the same taste in TV shows? This can severely limit your options. And if Dolly feels that your preferences are too narrow, she’ll renegotiate your expectations so you can benefit from casting a wider net.

“If I feel like a client is too stuck in their ways, I’ll try and help them be more open-minded. This can increase their odds of dating success,” she says.

For example, what matters at the end of the day isn’t necessarily that the person you’re with is super fit or shares your obsession with K-Dramas, but that you share similar values and life goals. Dolly makes sure to remind clients about what’s most important so they can find someone they’re truly compatible with.

And if you’re wondering, Dolly has a degree in early childhood education and began her career by working with children special needs, so she definitely knows a thing or two about being patient, flexible and positive.

2) She provides date coaching 

Don’t know how to flirt? Not great at keeping a conversation going? Dolly can help you with all of that and more during a one-on-one session when you sign up with Fleek, the image and date coaching arm under GaiGai. She can also teach you how to use the right body language to appear more confident so you can make a good first impression.

Dolly likens the company’s team of matchmakers to your “personal cheerleaders” — like the girlfriends you talk to about guys and dates, except they’re pros who are more than capable at helping you navigate the slippery slope that is dating.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to put your new skills into practice. Besides your dates, you can also get flirty at GaiGai’s singles’ events.

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3) She matchmakes

Well, of course she does — but what that actually involves is combing through thousands of profiles and sitting down with relationship managers to discuss which two people may be a good match. Relationship managers are the people who meet with clients and get to know them as well as what they’re looking for in a partner.

By the time they do that, you’d have already filled out a form detailing your requirements, likes and dislikes, so they’d have had a solid feel of the type of person you’d get along with.

The matching process is backed by science and research that sharpen the matchmakers’ intuition to determine if two people are compatible. As such, they’re able to look beyond shared interests and are skilled at picking out complementary qualities to put together a meaningful match.

CLEO GaiGai

Dolly and her team also conduct screening checks to ensure they don’t set you up with someone who’s already married — something dating apps can’t guarantee.

4) She arranges your dates 

Got a particular place in mind for your date? Just let Dolly know and she’ll make the necessary reservations. Besides being your personal cheerleader, she also sees herself as your “personal concierge”, and will make sure to pay attention to all the details so you’ll have a pleasant experience.

Single and looking for a long-term partner? You may want to swap your dating app for a matchmaker instead. And be sure to check out GaiGai — they not only have a 70 percent success rate, but Dolly and her team will definitely take your love life as seriously as you do.