Although TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington recently posted an April Fool’s joke about hiring a matchmaker to find him a wife, matchmaking services are becoming an alternate (and pricier) way to find a mate (think Millionaire Matchmaker). For those guys who are looking to meet a lady but don’t have the time to devote to the due diligence, outsourcing the job is the obvious option. Trolling Match.com, eHarmony and other dating sites can be a time-consuming and frustrating task. Even setting up an appealing profile on these sites can be daunting. To help these dudes out, VirtualDatingAssistants.com has launched a service to allow busy male professionals to fully outsource their online dating experience.
At a price of $480 per month, the company’s virtual dating assistants will use “advanced internet dating techniques and strategies to create online dating profiles, interact with women and set up dates with them.” The company says it will work approximately 40 hours per month for each customer and guarantees them a minimum of 2 dates per month (or their money back).
Co-founders Mark Anderson and Scott Valdez are overseeing a cherry-picked team of virtual assistants that are referred to as “007” Dating Assistants due to the “suave and sophisticated nature of their undercover interactions.” Yes, they are actually called “007” Dating Assistants. Anderson attests to the power of virtual assistants representing you on online dating sites because that’s how he found his wife. As a pharmaceutical sales exec, Anderson had his assistant manage his online dating accounts and schedule 79 dates with attractive women within a period of a year. One of these women happens to now be his wife.
Virtual assistants will help clients fill out their profiles and then search dating sites like Match.com and eHarmony to find women that fit each client’s tastes and preferences. Once the client informs the assistant of necessary information for a profile, the assistant will take over the process of finding, messaging, and setting up dates with women. According to the site, the “007” assistant will begin “contacting and interacting with the candidates. Once an interesting candidate is qualified as a strong candidate, your 007 Dating Assistant works to stimulate interest, build comfort, and flip her attraction switches.” The client doesn’t have to participate in the process until a “pre-date evaluation” meeting before the actual date.
The service makes me a little uneasy. I get that people are busy but the idea that I’d be trading emails with a virtual assistant posing as the potential date seems disingenuous and gives me the creeps. Not to mention that $480 a month is a hefty price to pay for someone to just handle dating websites for you. There’s no doubt that online dating is a huge market, and there have been similar startups that have emerged to feed off this pool, such as ProfileHelper.com, which assists people in creating the perfect profile for online dating. But I think Virtualdatingassistants.com takes it a step to far. It almost seems like misrepresentation. What ever happened to romance?
(Photo credit/Flickr/Nick Slide)