The world of gay & lesbian matchmaking

The world of gay & lesbian matchmaking

To recognise and celebrate National Coming Out Day recently, I met the lovely Jacqueline Burns who is Vida’s Head of  Gay and Lesbian Matchmatching. It seems that most mainstream dating apps are not designed with gay and lesbian singles in mind making it more challenging for them to find love online. Of course, there are gay and lesbian dating apps and websites out there but for the most part they are not focused on long-term partnerships specifically. Jacqueline offers a personal service which is seen as a breath of fresh air to her clients. At Hey Saturday, we work with lots of gay and lesbian clients so I was keen to find out more about her and the service they offer.

jacqueline-burns

What drew you to work in matchmaking?

I studied Psychology for my Postgraduate Diploma and my research was on relationship longevity, looking at gay and straight couples. One of the gay gentlemen I interviewed for my dissertation was in contact with Rachel MacLynn, Vida’s MD. I met her as she is a Chartered Psychologist and I thought it would be helpful to get career advice and once I heard about Vida, and matchmaking, I thought I had to be involved. I have always been a keen observer of people, relationships, what draws people together and what keeps them together.

It’s National Coming Out Day and I’m sure LGBT people everywhere cannot wait for the day when they don’t have to come out, a day when people won’t automatically assume everyone is straight. Does the fact that your clients may or may not be out impact on how you work with them?

Generally, the gentlemen I work with tend to be out. It would be a very small percentage that come to us who haven’t. It is important for us to work with people who are ‘relationship ready’, therefore they will be in a positive state of mind for dating, comfortable in themselves, and over any break ups with exes. Coming out to your loved ones is a key part in being ‘relationship ready’.

However, we are looking forward to the day that LGBTQ will not have to come out to at all, as there will be no premeditated presumptions of our gender or sexuality. Therefore those who do not identify as straight will not feel any stigma to begin with, that might make them feel uncomfortable in themselves, and as a result there will be no need to be in the closet to begin with.

Why are so many people turning to matchmaking these days?  How popular is it now amongst gay men and lesbians?

With people today being so busy in their day-to-day life, and cultures blending together to form a truly international community, it is now more difficult than ever to find someone whose values truly reflect your own. People come to us because they face the challenge of being unable to meet a partner because of lack of time or opportunity.

Similarly, online dating is not conducive to long term relationships, and this is even more prevalent with gay men. Tinder and Grindr are used frequently as hook up tools, but the age demographic tends to be men in their 20s, who are not ready for monogamous long term relationships. The men I work generally do not want to be on these apps, as they want a more discreet and confidential approach. This would be generally because they have a team of people working for them, and do not want employees to see their private information online.

The gentlemen I work with find it very easy to find dates, but finding someone genuinely looking for a long-term relationship is much harder. This is because men have to have their ‘green light’ on in order to start a relationship, whereas typically women are a bit better at multitasking. Lesbian women are drawn to the service as they want to meet someone likeminded, we attract women in their 30s and 40s, who are kind and genuine, don’t want to sit in bars in Soho, and may not be on ‘the scene’. They simply do not know where to then go to meet someone also intelligent, well travelled and cosmopolitan.

What are the benefits of outsourcing your love life and putting it in the hands of someone else?

We specialize in finding partners for exceptional people. We help people to pull out their core values and aspirations, and help them define their ‘ideal’ future partner, in terms of factors such as look, intellect, personality, energy and aim to find them this person. We have a team of matchmakers, and a wider team of consultants who are based in key cities throughout the world. They assist with the search and feed their referrals into our network which spans c.5,500 people. Cosmopolitan people are seeking someone who is on a parallel journey, but without the professional help of a matchmaker their paths may never cross. We understand the principles of assessing compatibility, and have an 80% success rate in generating relationships for our clients.

Who are your typical clients?  And do you tend to work with more men than women or vice versa? Why is that, do you think?

Our clients tend to be professionals, or entrepreneurs in their 30s or 40s who are genuinely seeking a long term relationship. Although at the moment we are working with more gay men than lesbian women, this could all change! Most of our members have an international lifestyle, they are active, intelligent, and serious about finding a life partner.

I think generally gay men tend to be a bit more proactive at searching for a partner through services such as ours, they are more relaxed about sharing services such as ours with their friends also. Women tend to be more reserved about reaching out to us.

How do you match people? What kinds of things suggest to you that people are going to be a good match?

A lot of what we do is based on getting to know our members as an unbiased third party. We do not use any type of psychometric testing; we profile each member, and then use our judgment, and instinct. After each introduction, we get feedback, and continuously narrow the search as we go along. We look mainly at factors such as values, attraction and energy.

I heard on your recent interview with Soho Radio that as part of your masters, you looked into what elements contribute to longevity in relationships? What were the key things you learned through this?

Through my research for my dissertation I saw that there is a big focus for gay men on equality. It is important for gay men to feel they can share their life with their partner, they don’t want to be guiding someone through life or completing them. Equal ambitions, hopes and dreams for the future, etc are key in making a relationship last. For straight couples on the other hand, equality hasn’t been as much of a focus. This is changing slightly however as the modern day family changes. Gay couples don’t have the years and years of gender norms in relationships to fall back on that straight couples do, which can cause issues.

What is the future of gay and lesbian matchmaking?

It is on the increase! As 3.3% more people between 16-24 identify as lesbian gay or bisexual, which is up 2.8% from 2014. This is nearly double the average across all age groups, with 1.7% of people identifying as LGB across the general population. As these people, same as straight people, become fed up with online dating, and get more and more busy the natural step is to reach out to us, to outsource their love lives and hand the reigns over to professionals.

 I hope you found this interesting. If  there was a question you wished I’d ask but didn’t, please drop me a line and I’ll be happy to put you in touch with Jacqueline directly. 

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Online Dating Photographers
Online Dating Photographers
Online Dating Photographers
dating app profile
✨We are all gorgeous all the time always✨ Dating photoshoot fear? You got this… You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photo shoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
You get a couple of seconds to make an impression, so make those seconds count. Our fave dating photos are ones that are compelling, colourful, creative, story-telling, authentic, vibrant and, of course, ones that make you smile. Great set from Alison in downtown Manhattan, NYC. Photo credit: Alison for Hey Saturday, NYC #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
What are you into? Have fun with your profile pics and use them to visually show people the stuff you love doing and the kind of places you love going. They’ll go down a treat on a dating app near you. Creating your dating app pics could be a whole adventure not a chore… You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photo shoots. All photos taken by Hey Saturday photographers, UK & US. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
Whoop! Reliving happy moments from last month when I was visiting LA and was hanging out in Abbot Kinney, the Arts District Downtown and Silver Lake, all fab Hey Saturday locations. These gorgeous shots, captured by Vanessa, were taken in the Arts District and I’m loving the energy, colour and good vibes. Photo credit: Vanessa for Hey Saturday, Los Angeles. All photos taken by US & UK Hey Saturday photographers. You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages #ᴇxᴘʟᴏʀᴇʀᴇᴇʟs
The Two Key Ingredients for a Great Dating Profile 📣 new blog post alert 📣 A new study has just dropped that encourages dating app users to embrace originality when creating their dating profile text. Just as I encourage our clients to visually show how they stand out from others in their profile pictures, this study has backed up what dating experts, like James Preece, have been saying all along too… Lose the generic, cliché-ridden text and share something meaningful instead - like what makes you special/different from everyone else. The researchers attempted to understand what precisely makes for compelling profile text. They found that highly original text tended to contain one or more of the following 5 elements: • Metaphorical expressions (e.g. “I’m a rock-star at cooking curries” vs “I’m a good cook”) • Vivid descriptions & imagery ….. .. Head to the blog to read more - link in bio. You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages #ᴇxᴘʟᴏʀᴇʀᴇᴇʟs
Love this tried and tested hack for our clients who aren’t feeling ‘enough’ the day of their dating photoshoot. The moment they take hold of something that brings them joy - their camera, their yoga mat, their boxing gloves, their paintbrush or whatever it may be - they immediately relax, smile and feel at ease with themselves. I love this moment so much and it creates such great profile pics ✨ All photos taken by US & UK Hey Saturday photographers. You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages #ᴇxᴘʟᴏʀᴇʀᴇᴇʟs
These dating photos are so my jam. I’m adoring the bold colour and variety of backgrounds. Shouts out to Suze, who shot these on the streets of Clifton Village in Bristol. Photo credit: Suze for Hey Saturday, Bristol You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
If your dating app pics make people smile, they’re going to feel happy while looking at your profile. That means they are waaaaay more likely to want to reach out and connect with you. And that’s the kind of response we love ✨ All photos taken by US & UK Hey Saturday photographers. You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepağes
Our Magic 8 Ball says ‘Heck yes”. Loving this playful set from Alison shot on location on the streets of NYC. Such a fun set. Can you tell, we are the happiest dating photoshoots on the planet :) Photo credit: Alison for Hey Saturday, New York City You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepağes
How can I relax into my dating photoshoot? ✨ Do what you love ✨ When we are in flow, we don’t feel self-conscious. We feel free 🙌🏽 All photos taken by US & UK Hey Saturday photographers. You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
Full disclosure! Our dating profile pics are a gateway to a fun dating life, good times and sometimes an epic love story so strong, it’ll make Oscar Issac and Jessica Chastain’s red carpet moment look a bit meh. J’adoring this ace stand-out set from the talent that is Nicole, transforming the streets of Shoredtich into a gorgeous backdrop for a dating photoshoot. Photo credit: Nicole for Hey Saturday, London You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepağes
Let your dating profile pics show people how you move through the world ✨✨ All photos taken by US & UK Hey Saturday photographers. You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepağes
Heck yes, this is why we call our photoshoots the happiest dating photoshoots. J’adoring these gorgeous shots created by Livia in the colourful Northern Quarter. Photo credit: Livia for Hey Saturday, Manchester You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots ✨ #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
The world is so ready for you to show up in a meaningful way on your dating profile 👏🏽👏🏽 All photos taken by US & UK Hey Saturday photographers ✨✨ You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepağes
Hey go-getters, thrill-seekers and online daters.... our dating photoshoots are a good time. Absolutely j’adoring these gorgeous shots created by Vanessa at Abbot Kinney & as I’m currently chilling in LA, I thought I just gotta share. Photo credit: Vanessa for Hey Saturday, Los Angeles #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
+ Take up space in the frame + Taking up a lot of physical space in the frame instantly makes you more attractive to others…. …Researchers discovered that open body language or “expansive postures” conveys both confidence as well as a sense of openness. People are more likely to come across as warm, friendly, trustworthy as well as comfortable in their own skin - great for dating pics ✨ You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photo shoots. All photos taken by Hey Saturday photographers #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
Well this dating photoshoot is just a whole vibe. Shouts out to Megan for creating this fab set and huge kudos to the client who brought his A-game, dang. Photo credit: Megan for Hey Saturday, Birmingham You have been watching Hey Saturday 🔥 #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
It’s soooo important to get your self-talk right on a dating photoshoot… I mean nobody’s perfect but dang do we all fall short so beautifully 🔥🔥 All photos taken by Hey Saturday photographers You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
Brighton dating photoshoot 🔥🔥 I was lucky enough to head to Brighton this week and catch up with one of our Brighton photographers, Lauren … & I gotta tell you, it's a dang-good gorgeous place for a dating photoshoot. Check out these cool shots from Lauren, who transforms the streets into a Hey Saturday playground. Loving the colour, personality and vibrance. Photo credit: Lauren for Hey Saturday, Brighton You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots 🔥 #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
Never underestimate the power & magic of goofing off during your dating photoshoot. It helps create the best profile pics & usually means you end up having a good time 😆 You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest… & er goofiest dating photoshoots 🔥 *Filmed by @northernmunki #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #goofingoff #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages