Canadian data on dating behaviour is scarce, but a representative survey of 5,000 American singles conducted for Match.com this year found 1.3 per cent found their most recent first date through an offline dating service. Another 9.4 per cent scored their last first date at a social event.
Vancouver has plenty of dating clubs and services for busy, moneyed professionals that offer high rates of set-up success, or the opportunity for them to significantly widen their social circles. Here’s a rundown of the most popular ones.
1. Executive Search Dating
Number of members: 3,000+
Success rate: Up to 70 per cent of clients find a relationship
How it works: After clients are interviewed and screened, staff looks through the company’s database for matches. A team of seven to 10 professional “Cupids” also proactively headhunts professional singles at events and hotspots all over the city. As the name indicates, it’s primarily a service for urban professionals and executives, so headhunters lean heavily toward that demographic.
2. Events and Adventures
Number of members: 1,800+
Cost: Refused to disclose
Success rate: This American-owned dating club doesn’t track how many of its members end up in relationships, but a company spokesperson said she has heard anecdotally of at least five couples that met through the Vancouver chapter who married last summer, and some clubs average a wedding per week.
How it works: The club holds at least one event per day, sometimes two on weekends. They include boat parties, paragliding, zip lining, hiking, comedy nights, poker nights, dinners, and more. Half of all events are free of charge for members, while some of the more expensive activities require additional fees at discounted group rates. The ratio of women to men is about 3:2.
3. It’s Just Lunch
Number of members: 1,000+
Success rate: At least 75 per cent of first dates lead to second dates. Anecdotally a spokeswoman said she has heard of many set-ups leading to marriages and children.
How it works: This successful dating franchise helps busy Vancouver professionals develop profiles and matchmakers then set them up on casual dates, such as Sunday brunch, weekday lunch, or after work drinks with compatible singles.
Number of members: 10,000+
Cost: $25-$100 per event ($50 average)
Success rate: 90 per cent of participants 25-40 at each event find a match that leads to a first date. The match rate begins to decline past age 40.
How it works: This traditional speed dating service holds six to 10 events per month in Vancouver. Singles register online for a hosted event at a bar or restaurant that fits their age group and tastes, and the company ensures there are equal numbers of men and women. Each “date” is six to eight minutes long, and each event guarantees 10 to 15 dates.