Matchmaking in the Digital Age

Believe it or not, online- and app-dating has actually helped some local matchmaking businesses.


You might think matchmaking as a profession has suffered due to the numerous tech-based options now available to the lovelorn. But the ancient art of recognizing people’s romantic compatibility keeps an edge that may surprise you. Independent bliss-broker Krystal Walter and proponents of the algorithm method Secret RSVP (SRSVP) both revealed that the age of online- and app-dating has actually helped their business.

“Some people have tried the apps and had a hard time communicating and getting to the point where they actually had a date,” says Krystal Walter, who runs an eponymous matchmaking service out of Bankers Hall. “It can take a toll on your emotional stability when it comes to dating.”

Her clientele is mostly people in their 30s who have yet to marry and a second stream of back-on-the-market individuals in their 40s and 50s. Walter doesn’t take every prospective client or have a fixed price. “It depends on the person. Some people I won’t have a lot of matches for and their fee is discounted,” she says. “It’s really tailored to the person and what I’m able to get them … Out of every person that comes to me, I’d say probably one out of four I actually take.” Walter says her edge is that she’s fiercely local — clients meet her face-to-face and develop a deeper profile than remote services offer. Walter also advertises that she takes on gay clients and remarks that this is a rarity in the Calgary market, if not the industry at large.

SRSVP is geared slightly more toward millennials and hosts events where attendees use their phones with a web app created by co-founder Jason Connery to add profiles of other attendees they meet face-to-face, while an algorithm is also adding profiles. Afterwards, event-goers vote on whether or not they want to pursue a connection with the various profiles. What sets SRSVP’s method apart from other tech is the algorithm: using direct feedback and other proprietary data factors, it sorts guests into groups which then work together at the event on a collaborative activity. Pricing depends on the event’s scope, but an average SRSVP experience doesn’t usually cost more than $50.

Despite their different approaches, these two matchmakers agree you won’t find a lasting match by cranking your expectation meter up to 11.

“We can’t promise that you’re going to meet the person that you’re going to marry and spend the rest of your life with,” says Connery. “But you will have a good time and you will meet people, and there’s a chance that something could happen.”

Learn more about the people and organizations moving Calgary forward with Avenue's Innovation Newsletter.

This article appears in the February 2019 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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