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Offline matchmakers take on new challenge during COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 7:33 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 19:33:16-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — You can call it love at first click.

For years, singles have been turning to online dating sites but one local matchmaking duo has always stuck to matching on paper.

"In the online apps such as Match or Tinder, the truth is not always told," Therese Forton-Barnes said. "A computer can only do so much."

Forton-Barnes and Lisa Brydges are co-owners of "Matchmaking 2 a Tee", an offline matchmaking site. They get to know their clients one-on-one with the goal of finding them the perfect match.

But the COVID-19 outbreak has changed the way they work.

"We can't send anybody on a date," Forton-Barnes said. "But we're still gonna do this, we're gonna keep business running, and we're gonna keep it open."

The dating game has changed as most typical date spots like restaurants and bowling alleys have closed their doors. But that's where the duo's creativity reached a new level.

"People are starving for interaction face-to-face," Brydges said. "This is a great vehicle for that."

Matchmaking 2 a Tee has introduced their clients to virtual dating. After a match is made, the couple connects on a video chat for their first date. From there, the creativity takes over including virtual tours of popular sites like the Georgia Aquarium and the Eiffel Tower.

"I think this is an opportunity for people to not be in a bar or restaurant and having all of those other distractions," Brydges said. "They're one-on-one with this person and it's kind of nice."

As long as social distancing continues so will the virtual dates, and even though Matchmaking 2 a Tee never imagined going the online route, it's most likely here to stay.

"I'm going to encourage for that first date, let's do that half hour online," Forton-Barnes said. "It saves you a lot of money and time. Let's see if you like them! It might be the new thing."

Those interested in seeing what Matchmaking 2 a Tee is about can visit their website here.