Well, here’s the deal – don’t even bother considering matchmaking if your goal is casual serial dating. Singles that use professional matchmakers dread your type, sorry. And I’m allowed to say that because I am a certified matchmaker for London’s lonely hearts. Matchmaking is for people who don’t want to be approached with dating games. They want a tried-and-tested, proven method to finding love that delivers results. Matchmaking is for singles that are serious about long-term companionship and prefer to do everything they can to avoid meeting singles who aren’t working towards a lasting relationship. And as more than half the UK population is now single, according to the Office for National Statistics, more and more people want to turn to a new, alternative solution to help find a partner.

It was precisely because of this that I trained as a matchmaker in order that I could offer single people just like me a different way to meet a potential soulmate in one of the world’s largest cities, London, where the mainstream favours proactive solutions over encounters of fate. People just don’t have time to waste anymore. They want immediate, instant solutions and results, in everything and that includes meeting that special someone. In much the same way as a Mary Berry cake is fool proof and trusted, it’s the old fashioned way in the modern world that people like and want. Why is that? Because it works.

Rise of the TV matchmakers (no banking pun intended but it is a coincidence)

Add into the mix the current spate of reality TV programmes that deal with matchmaking: The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, The Millionaire Matchmaker, The Confessions of a Matchmaker. Matchmakers are creating a real buzz in the dating world as the new way to meet people. More and more singles are spending bigger bucks for a service that leaves the date-picking to a matchmaker. Many may have thought that matchmaking should have been dead by now but instead, the opposite has happened. Matchmakers not only have survived but are positively thriving, having been aided and legitimized by the entity that was supposed to have killed them off, the Internet. Internet dating hasn’t killed matchmaking, but instead, positively fuelled it. In fact they go hand in hand, leading relationship-focused singles to higher levels of paid service. Although social networking sites such as Facebook may bring people together and do so for free, there’s no guarantee that those people are available and looking for a serious relationship. And though Internet dating sites unite singles who are motivated to get together because they are paying to find dates, they don’t always do the best job sorting out the serious ones from the players, or even to help individuals select people who are best suited to them.

It’s matchmakers who do just that. OK so they charge a higher price depending on the exclusivity of their service, the number of matches they say they will provide and the extra mile they promise to go. But they are also the single person’s best friend, mother, and sister they are not computers. They give clients the friendly, human touch. That’s what I think people want now. And here are six more key reasons why Londoners should consider using one: –

1.       Pre-screen candidates to make sure they really are who they say they are!

2.       Remove people clients wouldn’t want to meet

3.       Focus on relationship-minded singles not casual daters

4.       Cater to compatibility so people don’t waste time in dead-end   relationships

5.       Save you time, energy and effort by doing all of the hard work

6.       Find you great single people you simply wouldn’t find on your own

Bottom line, a really good matchmaker is like a Mary Berry recipe. You are instantly comfortable with it, you can trust it and know you will be safe working with it, it’s been around for years, has withstood the test of time and has been adapted to suit younger generations who want fast results without compromising on quality. So what are you waiting for? Make like a Great British Baker and try a matchmaker in your dating batter.

Aneeka Patel, Matchmaker and Founder, Project 143 Ltd, the introduction agency for single South Asians in London.