Selective Search

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

I would highly recommend Selective Search to any man or woman who is looking to find someone for a real, committed relationship. I am happy to say I met my husband through this company. I signed up with Selective Search over two years ago as a female in their database. The matchmakers were extremely professional and contacted me for a face-to-face meeting several weeks later, in which they had a discussion with me about my interests, goals, what kind of relationship would work best for me and what types of men I'd be willing to meet. The women I met - **, ** and others - were all very polite and kind and had good intentions.

Later I was set up on several dates, before I was eventually introduced to the man who would become my husband. My husband is intelligent, handsome, accomplished, successful, kind and very loving. I feel extremely lucky to have met him. I would not have met him without the help of Selective Search b/c he is not the kind of guy who picks up girls at bars, and we worked in very different industries and would not have easily met through mutual friends or online. Yet we are indeed the perfect match.

To anyone willing to try a match maker, I would highly recommend this company. It's definitely not the same as Internet dating -- this is QUALITY vs. quantity type of dating. And of course they can't work magic -- if someone has a lot of personal issues or undesirable traits, I doubt they can wave a magic wand and make a relationship happen. That said, if you are a normal, healthy, successful, happy, adjusted person, and you've lost interest in the randomness of Internet dating and you don't have the time to chase strangers in bars, well -- this is the right match maker for you. I have no doubt that Selective Search can deliver and help you meet that special person who you've been searching for.

I hired this company in 2013, and was very disappointed at the results. I agree very much with the comments made by **. You are given huge promises but in reality; you get as close to this as they have in their data bank. The women pay nothing, and seem to be lead into thinking the company is working for them, and as the comments show, an attitude is often the result. I disagree with one comment that men only want arm candy; if so, wrong place with many candidates I viewed. It's a frustrating experience, but as the posts show, even with zero results, $20k less, some are still pleased. That is the gift of conning someone. It reminds me of people who paid thousands in real estate courses, made nothing, but still believed it will work.

I have had two years' experience with Selective Search, and recommend them highly. While I have not yet had success in my search, they have been very attentive and sensitive in assessing matches, and in supporting the dating relationships. I have met most impressive women whom I would never have had the chance to meet otherwise. Highly recommended.

I just wanted to post an update about my interaction with Selective Search. After my previous post on 8/15/2014 regarding not hearing back from the matchmaker when she promised, the CEO, Mitchell Berk, personally contacted me. He was very gracious to take the time to ask my account of what happened. I was very impressed with his professionalism.

Many companies would not take the time to do what he did. He understands true customer service and was willing to go above and beyond in order to retain a happy client. In my line of work, it is critical to keep in contact with clients and maintain those positive relationships. In business, reputation is invaluable and Selective Search has just proven that they value their clients, their reputation, and believe in what they do. Thanks to them for reaching out and making this customer feel important! I now give them a 5-star rating for their time and professionalism.

Original Review

I signed up with Selective Search after spotting them in an airline magazine. I'm a very attractive female (a former model), divorced, professional in my early 40's. I never heard a word from them until 15 months later, stating that they had a potential match for me. In fact, I forgot I had even filled out a profile with them. After various e-mails and text messages, I finally was able to set up a time to chat with one of the matchmakers over the phone. The interview took over 30 minutes and basically asked me the same questions that I had already filled out on my profile. Then we set up a time to FaceTime so she could see if I matched the pictures I had sent. Ok, fine.

The matchmaker gives me some information on him and then states that she will be in contact with the gentleman at the end of the week to give him my phone number to contact me. I never heard a word until days later when I received a text from the matchmaker asking if I was available the following week for dinner with this man. I said "yes", and she says "I'll keep you posted". Again, I have not heard a word and it's been 3 weeks since my interview, etc.

Seriously, how unprofessional to keep clients hanging. Is this man no longer interested; is he out of town; does he exist? What takes 3 weeks for Selective Search to give my phone number to this man? They should have been keeping me updated as to what is going on and instead left me hanging and got my hopes up. This firm is a waste of time. Fifteen months and then weeks of hearing next to nothing? Time to move on......

After trying online dating, I realized I was meeting the quality of man I was seeking. While on a business trip I came across their ad mid-flight. I was introduced to one man a year after I signed up for the service. He was 16 years my senior and had been married twice. I specifically told Barbie, the owner, I wanted someone who was marriage minded and wanted kids. This guy told me all the things I wanted to hear and asked me multiple times to move in with him.

I soon found out he had been cheating on me the whole time and he didn't have the courtesy to call and tell me he was moving on. He just quit calling. Come to find out he never plans to marry or have children ever. I was sold a pack of lies. Barbie is not interested in her clients finding love just adding to her own net worth. It's very sad there are people in this world who are so shallow and empty. If you are seeking true love, look elsewhere.

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I learned of Selective Search via an airline magazine ad. I am a very intelligent and attractive woman that is approached by men daily so I had never considered using a service to meet men, but because I was in search of something different I further investigated. A few days after I reading the article, I went to the website and completed a profile. The ad and my research on the organization warned that the likelihood of being contacted by SS was slim, so I didn't put a lot of stock in hearing from them. A few days later, I was contacted via phone by a representative that told me she was going to fly in and meet me (because I resided in a state outside of Illinois). We scheduled a meeting and shortly thereafter I met her locally, where she learned more about me and took an in-person photo. She was an incredibly nice person that was great to work with.

At the end of our meeting, she explained that I would hear from a matchmaker shortly thereafter, but again warned me about the potentially long matchmaking process. I heard from my matchmaker within days of that meeting and she informed me that she had two potential matches for me and asked me a few follow up questions. She ended up setting me up with a man that had quite a bit in common with me. He was significantly older than me (that is my preference), well-traveled, articulate, intelligent, gorgeous, ambitious, accomplished, and had impeccable taste. He lived in a different state than I did, but he traveled to see me. My matchmaker checked in with me from time to time. My match and I went out several times and frequently spoke on the phone in between dates. I began to fall for my match, but couldn't quite figure out where he stood so I backed away.

It has been a bit over two years since that match; I recently updated my profile with SS because I am ready to try again, but I will be fine on my own if I am not set up by them again. I wrote this review because I completely satisfied with my experience with them and question some of the things that others have written. I was not charged a dime, nor was I friend requested on Facebook; I submitted four pictures as part of my application and that was it. I was set up with a high quality man that met the parameters that outlined. My advice is to give it a try, but be prepared to not be what they are looking for. My experience was great and I would not have changed a thing.

Selective Search is very dishonest about its marketing. They say it's free for women to join, to meet high quality men, who are also professional and marriage minded. This isn't true. I am a young, attractive, high status, professional woman, who joined the site in the hope of finding a good match. They wanted to charge me thousands of dollars to begin. They wouldn't even discuss what they had to offer until I agreed to give them $5,000 to "try" their services. Disgusting.

I'm a very attractive, graduate, educated, loving, sincere, generally amazing 32-year old female (not usually this confident, but you must know the kind of woman I am to appreciate this story...). I signed up with Selective Search because I naively thought I'd find someone sophisticated, commitment-minded, and kind. I thought this was a high-end matchmaking service... not a glorified version of "seeking arrangement" (a sleazy sugar-daddy website), but I was wrong. After filling out the extensive online profile, submitting pictures, and meeting for an in-person interview with a S.S. representative, I thought I'd get... oh, I don't know... maybe two decent potential matches within the first 6 months? Wrong. It's been almost two years and I have had a whopping one 'match' who was 56 years old (I said my top age was 42!!) and he had two kids (I said I didn't want to date someone with children), and he lives in Oklahoma and was not willing to relocate (no offense to Oklahoma natives, but after living in Paris, NYC, Berlin, and Casablanca... I'm not exactly an Oklahoma girl).

The best part: Selective Search listed one of his major interests as 'watching television'. Ha!! And as a bonus, S.S. wouldn't even provide me with a picture of this man (you know, so I could look into his eyes and see if maybe there was some spiritual connection that made everything else not matter). I don't get it. Was I not the 'type' of woman Selective Search was looking to pair up with their 'top-notch' guys? (Maybe I'm not plastic enough?? Not submissive enough??) Or was THIS their idea of a top-notch guy? Maybe Mr. Oklahoma is truly a wonderful man, but it's hard for me to believe that there aren't other wonderful men out there who are: 1) younger than 56.... 2) not in Oklahoma.... 3) childless thus far, 4) more interesting interests than 'watching TV'. Selective Search was four for four in totally disregarding my requirements for a companion.

The more I looked into the company and read about what other women (and men) who had tried this service and been less-than-thrilled had to say, the more I realized it's not a high-end matchmaking service at all, but rather a company with an identity crisis. Any 'good' man who signed up reported being set up with a trophy-like young woman who was clearly just looking for financial stability. And the 'good' women who signed up reported being overly objectified and not set up with quality men at all. So what's the deal? Can't the representatives at S.S. pair up a decent man with a decent woman? Is this all a glorified sex-date-superficial-fly-by-night-pseudo-relationship thing? Was I too REAL to fit the mold that the Selective Search representative was looking for? I don't understand, but I'm writing this today in hopes that if any other man or woman is looking to invest time, money, energy, hope into finding 'true love' through a matchmaking service.... GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!

This is a letter I sent to Selective Search. I am an attorney with an impressive pedigree, and a very attractive one at that. I have never felt like a bigger piece of meat. Something that I did not mention in the letter, when my friend (unfortunately) signed up, the company sent her a Facebook request to see more pictures, after I saw that she had already submitted many pictures. I saw the pictures she sent, she is gorgeous and a surgeon. Then they set her up with a guy that made degrading remarks and was not even close to being on the same level of attractiveness, not even in the ballpark.

I understand that things don't work out, and that is how dating goes, but I am 37 and truly look 27 and they were setting me up with 50-year-old men. I actually gave the "plastic surgeon" a chance, even though we clearly looked awkward together. He seemed shy and endearing at first; then I got a more accurate picture. He is quiet and judgmental and has an ego the size of Jupiter (in my opinion). He was absolutely, positively not interested in a relationship. He was interested in giving me 3 hours of time a week (if that) and sex, end of story. They did not screen this guy to see if he was actually "commitment-minded." In my opinion, this is all about money.

Ladies, if you sign up for the service, really ask about how "commitment-minded" these men are. Do your homework and don't assume anything. Also, try to get a picture first, it will save you a lot of time and energy. My letter to the service follows: "I just wanted to touch base and make it clear that I do not want my pictures or bio in your database. I mean this in the nicest way possible, but I am quite disappointed with my experience.

First, I was matched with a plastic surgeon. There is absolutely nothing about that man that speaks "commitment-minded" or interested in any sort of meaningful relationship whatsoever. First of all, the guy works from 6 am to 11 pm, Monday through Friday. He is in private practice, so he works these hours by choice. He works every other Saturday and also works most Sundays. This is the reason why his wife cheated on him and left him (essentially his words not mine; "she was upset I left her home alone all of the time with two young kids."). Isn't this the type of information you try to get out of a client before you set them up with women? I have read quite a bit about Selective Search on the internet, and found quite mixed reviews. In Barbie's Glenn Beck interview, she claimed to turn away men that were not ready for relationships. I call BS on that claim.

I understand that Barbie is a client of the plastic surgeon, so she should also have known what he is like to be around, maybe a good surgeon, but not Mr. Personality. Also, she is probably aware of the fact that the plastic surgeon's wife cheated on him when they had two young kids. Ladies, women don't usually cheat unless they are emotionally abandoned. This should have been examined before his $20,000+ was accepted and he was unleashed on someone that would actually like to meet someone. Another thing that bothered me was the fact that I purposely submitted a humorous picture to demonstrate my humor and it was cropped. So, are you really trying to match people up based on personality, or are you simply trying to match an old man with money with an attractive woman?

Truthfully, I shouldn't have given plastic surgeon so many chances. I really thought he was shy and probably a little damaged by his experiences. However, after a recent attempt to reconnect (and you would love his texts to me... most of his remarks pertained to my phenomenal rear end, nice lips...and the fact that he needed "TLC" he even forgot I own a car even though I have driven to his home!). It is my opinion that the man wanted this: (1) to take a woman out for fancy dinners, (2) be very nice and charming to give the impression of caring in an attempt to get laid, (3) not really care or be emotionally available for a woman (as evidenced by ignoring my birthday, not saying much when my father received a dire health diagnosis, and a long list of other things that someone who cared about another human would do).

I will break it down: it is my opinion that this man wanted an escort or a prostitute, but this service is simply more palatable to the plastic surgeon god. Oh yeah! The last time we went out, he had me park in his garage so the neighbors would see, and looked around to make sure no neighbors were looking before giving me a simple goodbye kiss! I would think that your service would weed out this type. On to my experience with **. Seriously, what in god's name would make any of you think that I would be interested in a decrepit old man? Most of the guys I have dated, including my ex-fiance, are gorgeous and about my age. I could smell his grandpa breath from a mile away. I was completely turned off when he told me that he has dated numerous Eastern European women that were much, much younger than him and could barely speak English.

So, apparently, he moved on from the "mail order brides" to Selective Search. He was a nice enough guy, but would any of you date him? What makes you think I would? I am insulted. A couple of weeks ago, I got a call about a 52-year-old doctor. Really? Do you think I want to change diapers when I am 60? Your service accepts money from men who have the benefit of seeing pictures of women, choosing their hair color, height, breast size, butt size, receive a skin rating, etc., etc. (This is based on what I read in an article written by a journalist that visited your office for a day). The women do not even have the opportunity to see pictures. You match men with women who would never even give these men the time of day under normal circumstances.

In my opinion, Selective Search is more like an escort service, not a matchmaking service. I am sorry that I joined. Again, please do not call me again. Further, I hope that the reputation of your company is more important than the money the plastic surgeon has paid. This man has absolutely nothing to offer and is not remotely capable of having a loving relationship. If you can find a woman who does not like phone calls, meaningful conversations, hugs, nice notes, kind words, time, effort, love, affection, fun times, more than 3 hours of time a week, honesty, then the exalted plastic surgeon is perfect. If you can find a woman who only cares about money, shopping, hanging out at the country club, getting free plastic surgery (yes, he offered me free work, **?), being alone and banging the ** Tennis coach, well, the plastic surgeon is your man.

You are lucky that I did not blast your service online. What an awful and degrading experience. Finally, I regrettably had my neighbor sign up for your service and she was equally repulsed. The woman is hot and a surgeon and you apparently hooked her up with a chauvinist wooly mammoth. I have seen the guys she dates and that guy was gross and a jerk. She was insulted. Please don't take this personally. **, you seem very sweet. I do think you need to be more realistic with your matches. If these men think they are entitled to an attractive woman, perhaps they should go the mail order bride route. The intelligent, attractive and independent women I know, want an equal, not creepy, old men who will treat them like hookers.

For your amusement, I have attached a picture of my ex-fiance. Maybe he doesn't have $20k to find a woman but he is smart, funny, interesting, has a good job but is unfortunately not a perfect match. I know you ladies are not dim. That is my equal, not the garbage you introduced me to. Matchmaking service, my **. You should at least have the stones to tell these men that they are out of their dang league. If you are going to run a service where you are effectively setting up rich men with hot gold diggers, say it and don't pretend that you are doing otherwise!"

I dated a guy who likely paid thousands of dollars to Selective Search. The women who work there are very nice, but they need to run better background checks on their clients. This guy that I dated is a borderline sociopath and a dishonest man who lied to me about having STD and was addicted to pain medication. I am pretty much traumatized from this experience that I won't be dating for a long time, and the women at Selective Search did not really do anything to help me in this situation... They listened and asked me what he had to do "for you to consider getting back together with him." The man is a sociopath who has gone through their roster of women! Ladies, please be ethical and do not keep this man as a client. Thankfully, I did not have to pay any money but I paid the hard way for this.

Me again. It's been a few months and SS has done a good job trying to make things right. They gave me a new matchmaker and she has set me up with a couple of women. None of them have worked out but I appreciate SS going the extra mile to make me happy. At the very least, they were what I was looking for so I am optimistic they will find someone that sticks.

It's me again. Selective Search has got back to me to attempt to make everything right and make sure I get what I paid for. This is very much appreciated. So I withdraw my above complaint to give SS a chance to make things right. I will post again in a few months to let everyone know on the progress! And then I will render my final opinion on this service and company.

I could go forever on how bad I got ripped off by the Selective Search matchmaking service but I will try to be succinct. I am successful and was in the position to finally have a serious relationship so I contacted Barbie's agency. I thought I would meet women I would want to marry (and vice versa) and would be a huge improvement over So I went to Barbie to find the "one." The cost? $20,000 for seven introductions and one year of service.

Now, if I went through this service and did not marry someone from it, I would be disappointed but not irate. I am irate. Why? Well, the pitch is they will search high and low for exactly what you want. Now, I am specific about what I want so if they can actually find it, it would be worth the $20k. But what is reality? Girls see all of SS' advertisements, simply signup online, and then my "personal recruiter" picks out a couple of hotties and hopes it will stick! You know what that is? with a middleman! At 100x the cost!

For example, my type is "understated smart beauty" and the first date went like this. I picked up a girl with giant fake breasts and a dress about two inches below her **. We got drinks at the Peninsula Hotel and after 40 minutes, she says, "Hey, I have to get up early so let's go." Now, this is wrong on so many levels. There was clearly nothing understated about this woman. She was an idiot (took her six years to graduate from Eastern Illinois). She had zero interest in me or a long-term relationship.

If I am paying $20 grand, or almost $3k per date, I expect her to be told about and have her show genuine interest, let alone the fake breast look, blah, blah. And the list goes on--from an Asian girl who they claimed was "Americanized" that barely spoke English to another girl who said, "Gee, they didn't even screen me! They just spoke to me for 15 minutes and didn't even get to know me." How is she a "marriage minded match" if they speak to her for only 15 minutes?

What did all these girls have in common? Well, they were all attractive. But there is no matching involved. And after I complained every week, they gave me more matches and time but if you aren't screening, then what good will that do? And of course, they eventually asked me for more money to "continue the process" as "you can't predict chemistry." Well, guess what? I can predict I will sue! Barbie and her business are an absolute disgrace. There is nothing I can do now but please please heed my warnings and stick to or your own mother for setups. Sure wish I did.

Expert Review

Mark BrooksOnline Dating & Matchmaking Contributing Editor

Harvard Business School graduate, Mark Brooks, has been an expert in the Internet dating business since 1998. He is currently the CEO of Courtland Brooks, a consultancy agency for the Internet dating industry, and runs He prides himself on being a New Media Futurist and can be reached at LinkedIn.    More about Mark→

Selective Search is a matchmaking company that was founded in 2000. The company is considered to be the largest luxury dating service In North America.

  • Relationship expert: Selective Search is headed by relationship expert Barbie Adler, who not only has years of experience successfully matching couples but is also hired to speak and give relationship advice across the world.
  • Success rate: The company says that 87 percent of clients find a match they are happy with.
  • Membership options: The company offers a selection of membership options, meaning customers can tailor their experience to a level that suits them.
  • Holistic approach: The company uses both in-person matchmakers and an algorithm to find the best possible matches for clients.
  • Post-date evaluation: Both members of a date meet with the matchmaker after to evaluate its success, ensuring better matches and dates each time the service is used.
  • Best for Single young people looking for a relationship, and divorcees or widows/widowers looking for new love.

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Selective Search Company Profile

Company Name:
Selective Search
Company Type:
Year Founded:
35 East Wacker Drive, Suite 1920
Postal Code:
United States