I want to meet someone I can feel attracted to, make plans with and have a future together,” said Maura. I was thinking ‘He’s at a certain age, he’s unhealthy, he’s going to need care’.“When people sign up with us and we take their money, we also take responsibility for trying to match them with their ideal long-term partner.That’s a big responsibility, because you’re dealing with people’s emotions and feelings,” he explains. Two’s Company — which is based in Dún Laoghaire, but has agents in Cork, Limerick, Galway, and Belfast — is different in many ways than online dating sites.Privacy is a watchword — Mr Phelan pointing out that many adults looking to meet partners don’t want to be seen openly searching for their prospective partner online.But, two other aspects also set Two’s Company aside from competitors — it is the only agency with a 50%-50% male/female ratio amongst its members.An Irish woman looking for love voiced her disappointment after she paid more than €500 to an Irish matchmaker to be paired with an “unhealthily overweight” gentleman who she had “nothing in common” with. Maura, who is in her late forties, revealed that she felt “feeling foolish and stupid” after handing over the cash to the agency who she believes pair clients at random rather than tailor their interests as promised.
The equality offered by Two’s Company is seen by its female members —a mix of company executives, divorcees, widows, and singletons aged anything between 30 and 80 — as a huge attraction, as they’re more likely to meet a reliable match without sifting through too many non-starters, as it were.
As with gym memberships soaring in the new year, thanks to people’s eagerness to turn over a new leaf fitness wise; the first few months of any year see many sign up for matchmaking services in a bid to shed their single status.
An estimated bn (€14.5bn) was spent on Valentine’s Day gifts and celebrations globally, this year.
Many of those offer free membership and target a younger market not necessarily looking to settle into a lasting relationship at first click.
Two’s Company is an offline (its website only exists to market its services and set out its terms) introductory service, which charges customers between €600 and €2,500 for a half-year’s membership, depending on their requirements.