OUT­SOURCE YOUR LOVE LIFE

EM­PLOY­ING A PRO­FES­SIONAL MATCHMAKER IS BE­COM­ING IN­CREAS­INGLY POP­U­LAR WITH YOUNGER GAY MEN WHO ARE TURN­ING OFF APPS AND LOOK­ING FOR LOVE.

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The 26 to 32 cat­e­gory is the fastest grow­ing age group. They’re tired of meet­ing the wrong peo­ple and too busy to waste their time.

SEVEN YEARS ago, when Vinko An­thony and Andrea Zaza started their gay match­mak­ing ser­vice, Beau Brum­mell In­tro­duc­tions, Grindr had just launched. The se­duc­tive ease of the app meant the end of Gay­dar and Man­hunt, that had dom­i­nated the gay dat­ing busi­ness for a decade.

While it may have seemed that an old-fash­ioned in­tro­duc­tion ser­vice may not have been a wise busi­ness to start, the busi­ness flour­ished from the be­gin­ning and to­day Beau Brum­mell have clients from Syd­ney to Mel­bourne to Bris­bane to Perth, re­gion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally.

“It’s not about the city you’re in, it’s about find­ing a life part­ner,” says Vinko (Com­pany Direc­tor). “Our com­mit­ment to each client is to work with them un­til we’ve achieved suc­cess. We only take them on board if we think they’re suited to our ex­ist­ing client base and our way of work­ing.”

Beau Brum­mell have matched over 260 cou­ples who’ve been to­gether for over a year, with hun­dreds more cur­rently on their books and dat­ing. But if you think it’s just older gents look­ing for love, think again. While men aged 33 to 54 were once the busi­est cat­e­gory, Vinko says the 26 to 32 cat­e­gory is the fastest grow­ing.

“The younger gen­er­a­tion are dis­ap­pointed and tired of meet­ing the wrong peo­ple,” he says. “They are too busy to waste their time [on dates and re­la­tion­ships that don’t work out], and they like be­ing part of a club of like-minded peo­ple. Apps pro­vide sex on tap, but they are like beats used to be in the past. You don’t find your hus­band at a beat. Well, you might find some­body’s hus­band [laughs]… but you won’t find a long-term re­la­tion­ship. The younger gen­er­a­tion are pro­gres­sive thinkers. They see our ser­vice in the same way as us­ing a fi­nan­cial ad­viser or a real-es­tate agent.”

Do younger peo­ple even know what a match­mak­ing ser­vice is? “There are peo­ple who don’t un­der­stand what we do,” says Vinko, “some think it’s like a man­ual ver­sion of Grindr.”

That couldn’t be fur­ther from the truth. Rather than match­ing men by geo-lo­ca­tion or al­go­rithm, the Beau Brum­mell team as­sess each client with an in-depth in­ter­view, then con­sider each man in­di­vid­u­ally be­fore mak­ing a rec­om­men­da­tion that two clients meet.

And it’s here that things get sur­pris­ing. In a cul­ture of “swip­ing left” and mak­ing su­per­fi­cial judge­ments about oth­ers based on their Tindr pro­file or In­sta­gram self­ies, Vinko says most clients choose not to see a pic­ture of their date be­fore meet­ing. Fur­ther­more, 80 to 90 per­cent of the dates that start “blind” lead to sec­ond dates and re­la­tion­ships.

A Pew Re­search Cen­tre study in the US found that only a third of peo­ple on dat­ing apps ever ended up meet­ing any­one. The same study showed that Mil­len­ni­als in New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Bos­ton and Philadel­phia were ca­reer fo­cused and spent long hours in the of­fice and work­ing at home. They were happy to “out­source their love lives” to a trusted pro­fes­sional agency.

While en­gag­ing the ser­vices of a matchmaker has be­come a trend, an­other so­cial change is re­flected in the pro­files of the Beau Brum­mell client list. “We don’t have any smok­ers,” says Vinko. “It is hard to match a smoker, and the peo­ple who come to us are those who are in­vest­ing in them­selves. Smok­ing is not an in­vest­ment in your­self.”

Qual­i­ties that are rated as the most at­trac­tive in­clude in­tel­li­gence, hon­esty, mo­ti­va­tion, so­cially pro­gres­sive views, and the de­sire for a monog­a­mous re­la­tion­ship.

While most men who be­come Beau Brum­mell clients are look­ing for the same thing – a sat­is­fy­ing, long-last­ing re­la­tion­ship, Vinko says they have ob­served slight cul­tural dif­fer­ences be­tween men by lo­ca­tion.

“In Bris­bane they are very fast on the up-take when they meet some­one they like. They don’t hes­i­tate. Mel­bourne men are very open to dif­fer­ent dat­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, they’re open minded. Syd­ney is much faster be­cause it’s a busy city and quite a tran­sient city; peo­ple are com­ing and go­ing a lot.”

Af­ter seven years, Vinko and Andrea are thrilled with the suc­cess of the busi­ness and say they find the match­ing process very sat­is­fy­ing. We don’t doubt their many happy cus­tomers do, too.

VINKO AN­THONY AND ANDREA ZAZA OF BEAU BRUM­MELL IN­TRO­DUC­TIONS, THEM­SELVES A COU­PLE.

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