Tired of swiping left? Meet a modern Utah matchmaker
Nov 21, 2023, 3:00 PM
(Photo credit Kristin Sokol)
SALT LAKE CITY — Her name is Kristin Sokol. She is a Utah matchmaker.
“I really bill myself more as a dating coach,” Sokol explained. “I do believe in the process of matchmaking, but it’s much more affordable for a regular person to be able to learn some of these skills and understand why they’re not making connections.”
Lest you think matchmaking is a thing of the past from ancient Greece or England or maybe the 1964 musical “Fiddler on the Roof“, matchmaking is a huge, modern business. Matchmakers all over the world will earn just under $4 billion in 2023.
The Love MBA and the Utah matchmaker
Sokol attended an exclusive gathering last month of some of the world’s most accomplished matchmakers from around the world called the “Love MBA.” It’s an invitation-only event put on by New York Times bestselling author Rachel Greenwald at her home in La Jolla, Calif.
“We had people from all over the world, from Shanghai, China from London, and all over the United States,” Sokol said. “There were 34 women and one man. We are all servicing our own unique client niches.”
Most of the matchmakers have a clientele of ultra-net-worth individuals. That may explain how they charge fees in excess of $10,000 per month.
“It can go up to $250,000,” Sokol said.
But that’s not what this Utah dating coach is doing.
“My clientele are professionals who are established in their careers,” Sokol explained. “They are teachers, doctors, attorneys in the tech industry. What they have in common is they’re over 35, and they’re single.”
Sokol’s youngest client is 22, and her oldest is 76.
At Love MBA, the matchmakers learned about best practices and innovation in their profession, including how their business is being affected by artificial intelligence.
“There are phenomenal tools out there that will analyze dating profiles and make recommendations based on what emotion you want to convey,” Sokol explained. “So, you just tell the app, ‘I want to convey friendly, or I want to convey apprehensively.’ It can write these prompts in whatever way you want.”
The app, in essence, will write your texts or messages for you.
The goal of these apps, Sokol said, is “getting people in real life sooner.”
Difference between matchmaking and date coaching
There are real differences in this industry between matchmaking and date coaching. One of the differences is price. Matchmaking is exponentially more expensive.
The main difference, however, is recruiting.
“Matchmakers recruit,” Sokol said. “You tell them what you want, what your parameters are, and then they go out and recruit. They try and find you as many matches as they can.” In other words, the matchmaker does all the work.
Coaching is more of an educational process. “We’ll look at what your history has been, and we’ll talk about what you want the future to hold,” Sokol detailed. “We’ll figure out where the discrepancy is. What are some of the reasons you’re not connecting? We’re going to fill those knowledge gaps.”
“We are our own best matchmakers,” Sokol emphasized.
Does date coaching lead to marriage?
“All the time!” Sokol replied. “When my clients hire me, they’re ready to do something different, right? They’re ready to look at themselves.”
She said on average, her clients get married within 6 to 18 months.
And yes, she does get invited to the weddings. “That’s my favorite perk of the job. Being able to go a destination wedding in January.”