Online dating is a reality of the love game, whether you’re just looking around or on a serious quest for a lifelong partner. Sites like OkCupid, Match.com and eHarmony try to make finding someone simple, but they can be disappointing and frustrating. Now, one solution to the e-dating conundrum is gaining traction: consultants. These pros help clients strategize and punch up their profiles to stand out in the competitive world of digitalized courtship.
“Most people are not very good at online dating,” says Evan Marc Katz, dating coach and founder of the e-dating consulting service eCyrano. “It’s like the gym. You don’t lose weight by signing up for the gym. That’s why people hire personal trainers — to show them how to use the equipment.”
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eCyrano rewrites clients’ profiles based on a lengthy questionnaire and detailed phone call. Katz, who dated online for 10 years before meeting his wife offline at a party, says his team of freelance writers promise profiles that are more authentic than what most users write for themselves. He contends that the majority of online-dating fumbles involve unrealistic expectations: “Online dating gives people the illusion of choice, not actual choice.”
Then, of course, there are the photos. Companies like New York Image Consultant offer services like a Re-Imaging package, which includes hairstyling and makeup for photos in a range of outfits and poses, plus Photoshopping, for $1,500. Consultant Amanda Sanders puts it bluntly: “The reality is, they choose your picture over someone else’s because it captures their eye. The text isn’t as important as the visual aspect.” Sanders works with clients who travel to New York for her firm’s services. Like Katz, Sanders asserts that her business vastly improves a client’s chances. As always, though, the face to face date is up to you.