Hired help finds love in the capital

WASHINGTON – Even in the age of online dating, the business of matchmaking is thriving.

Two D.C. matchmakers say a number of factors contribute to the popularity of expert matchmaking.

“People are very, very busy with no time to invest in meeting people,” says Christie Nightingale, principal of Premier Match, a matchmaking firm that services New York, Philadelphia and D.C. “Plus they have exhausted their social circles and don’t know where else to look.”

Michelle Jacoby, owner of DC Matchmaking credits some of the businesses’ success to reality TV, like Bravo’s “The Millionaire Matchmaker” and NBC’s “Ready for Love.”

Jacoby’s clients range in age from 32 to 62, and many are entering the dating scene after long marriages have ended.

“Dating in 2013 is very different than any other time in history,” she says.

Both Jacoby and Nightingale say a matchmaker’s time is spent coaching and guiding clients through the whole dating process.

“A lot of it is intuition, a lot of it is good listening,” says Jacoby. “But maybe there is a little bit of an art to it and a little bit of a science to it.”

Nightingale says people are opening up to the idea of working with a matchmaker.

“We retain other specialists in our lives, whether it’s a financial specialist, a medical specialist or a trainer at the gym,” she says.

“Why not hire a specialist to help you find love?” both Nightingale and Jacoby ask.

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