When you think of a matchmaker, what do you picture?
Maybe your mind goes to fictional portrayals, like the gossipy Yente in “Fiddler on the Roof” or the ink-smeared “Mulan” matchmaker who berates a young woman for speaking without permission.
Or you might think that matchmakers are unobtainable figures who only serve those people willing to dish out six figures for a love match, à la Bravo’s “The Millionaire Matchmaker.”
You probably wouldn’t picture Meredith Golden, the New York City-based mother of two who makes a living handling other people’s online dating profiles.
She’s been dubbed the “Tinder Whisperer,” and for good reason: Golden spends her days logging in and out of dating apps, swiping, liking and hearting potential love-matches for her clients. She’ll even initiate the conversations!
Golden’s dating service SpoonmeetSpoon offers three different dating plans ranging from $500 to $2,000, based on the client’s level of need and willingness to hand over the reins to their love life.
For those who are down on their luck in the dating world or who are just plain tired of sorting through the seemingly endless list of potential suitors, Golden’s services can be the answer.
And hey, all is fair in love and war, right?
The Life of an Online-Dating Ghostwriter
So, what exactly does it take to be a modern-day professional matchmaker, and how does one even end up in such a career? We got the scoop from the “Tinder Whisperer” herself via email. Please note that this interview has been edited for content and space.
Can you tell me about the origin of SpoonmeetSpoon?
I’ve always set my friends up for fun because I wanted them to find someone great. The friends whose husbands I picked out for them are thankfully all still happily married. A bunch of my other friends who picked out their own husbands didn’t have the same happy ending. It was when this group of friends re-entered the dating scene that I was introduced to all the new dating technology — none of this stuff was around when I met my husband.
To say I was fascinated would be an understatement. I no longer even needed to put out feelers to find out who’s single. They were all at the tips of my fingers… on my phone! Eventually I saw the need for someone like me, a modern-day Yente and a super-connector with a previous career as a psychotherapist, to help other singles find love and this discovery naturally led me to launch SpoonmeetSpoon, a combination of all my best strengths.
Is this your full-time job?
Yes, this is VERY much a full-time job and then some. I’m not only doing all the “work” of online dating for my clients but also running a business. I clock a lot of hours, but I love what I do and it doesn’t feel like work. Plus, I have two very active sons, 9 and 4. Initially I thought maybe I’d work an hour or two a day while my kids were at school. I had no clue what it would turn into. I launched my website with the perfunctory Facebook post on January 14, 2016 and within three days I had received 8,700 hits to SpoonmeetSpoon.com.
Does your previous work experience apply to your current match-making job?
My prior career as a psychotherapist definitely helped pave the way for SpoonmeetSpoon. I use a lot of my skill-set from my psychotherapist days in the dating coaching piece of my business. Also, as a mom of two I’m used to being hyper-organized. People see my kids’ toy closet and they aren’t sure whether they want to invite me over to organize their toys or suggest the number of their psychiatrist. Either way, I take great pride in my organization skills and it helps me work more efficiently.
How did you grow your business?
At first my business was entirely grown by word of mouth. A potential client would call and say, “A friend just told me I need a Meredith Golden, so I’m calling.” Social media has also been a godsend. So what does a normal work day as a dating app ghostwriter look like? I look like someone who’s attached to my phone ALL DAY logging in and out of Facebook to access all my clients’ dating apps. Seriously, my thumb and wrist on my right hand ACHE. And I no longer have 20/20 vision.
How many clients do you work with at a time?
For the everything package, I’m limited to no more than 10 clients per month simply because of how time intensive it is. The dating diagnosis and consultation option is less time consuming so there’s no limit… yet.
What type of clients do you normally get?
Most of my clients are between their late 20s and early 50s. They are based all across the U.S. as well as England and Canada. I’ve been approached to work with clients in Australia, New Zealand and Germany but didn’t think I could manage it.
So you’ve had to turn people down?
If I don’t think I can help someone, I’ll tell them. It’s important that a client be happy with my work. If I’m working with someone and they aren’t following ANY of my suggestions and yielding the same results they did before working together, I’ll suggest coming back when they’re more willing to try it my way.
Do you know what your success rate is?
Two years into SpoonmeetSpoon and one of my very first clients just let me know she’s getting married the end of the month. Obviously, I’m doing cartwheels. Two years post meeting feels like a great time to commit. She’s over 40, never had a boyfriend before our working together, and now she’s getting married.
About 70% of my clients end up in relationships resulting from our work together. Some meet while still on my watch, others will email me months later to tell me they met someone because they learned how to navigate the dating landscape through our work together. Situations like this fill my bucket.
Do you have any dating apps that you prefer over others?
I try to use apps that get the most volume and are a good fit for what the client is looking for. I usually pick from the same app pool: Hinge, JSwipe, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, OkCupid, Minder, The League, Match. It really depends on the client and their individual need.
So what are your favorite and least favorite parts of your job?
I meet some wonderful people and I love my clients and our time together. The most rewarding part is seeing them grow and succeed. The most difficult part is I need more hours in the day and a clone — I’m working on this.
What would you say if someone told you five or 10 years ago that you would be in the matchmaking business?
Well 10 years ago, my profession wouldn’t have even been an option. Thank you to Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and all the dating apps innovators for creating my dream job! I spent years searching for something that’s lucrative, allows me to dictate how I spend my day, and gives me joy. If someone told me five or 10 years ago that this would be on the horizon, I would have worried less.
Kaitlyn Blount is a junior staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
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