New York Times

Wary Online Daters Seek Background Checks
"In online dating, it is not what you know but how much you know about your potential suitor that matters. That point was driven home by the Ashley Madison data breach in July, which unleashed the personal information of more than 30 million users of the site. The revelations served as a notice to those in the online dating trenches, some of whom have taken to hiring private investigators or matchmakers. "The dating scene online is a crap shoot, you don't know who or what you will be meeting when you actually get together face to face," says Christie Nightingale the owner of Premier Match, a high end matchmaking service based in New York that states that clients' backgrounds are verified. Nightingale reported an uptick in calls after the Ashley Madison hack and stated that a lot more inquiries are asking about the process and if the dates that are being arranged are properly vetted and prescreened."




Rethinking the Older Woman-Younger Man Relationship
"Over the transom came an urgent 'Cougar Alert:' There is a new book out, and this one distinguishes the real cougar, a confident, strong, single woman over 40, from the comically desperate predator-seductress depicted in television shows like 'Cougar Town,' one of the latest products of Hollywood's obsession with the older woman. According to the Urban Dictionary, the cougar woman is in her 40s, 50s and even 60s and is interested in getting involved with men 10 to 15 years younger. Researchers and relationship experts say that a growing number of men and older women are dating, or at least contemplating it. The women tend to be highly educated and have been married before and are not necessarily seeking out marriage or even cohabitation.

Christie Nightingale, Principal of the upscale matchmaking firm, Premier Match said she has seen a 30 percent increase this year with women (in their early 40s to late 50s) wanting to date men up to 15 years younger. She attributed it to pop culture's infatuation with May-December relationships as well as the underlying demographics. 'It's become so mainstream and accepted that a lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon,' she said. But, she added, it is not always easy to persuade the men to participate. 'I have to be conscious of how many cougars I'll actually work with,' she said. 'If a woman is truly stunning, a really pretty woman who has a good attitude, who is hip and youthful, I can call some of these men on the fence and maybe get them to go with someone older. There are younger men who are sick and tired of women their age - they want a woman who is more grounded and more mature. Age is just a number.'"




Matchmakers Know Superstars Need Love
“Any casual glance at the tabloids will tell you, the romantic life of an unmarried celebrity can be hell; the tyranny of paparazzi, the scrutiny of the fan base, the choices narrow. Turns out, not all celebrities crave familiarity. Perhaps in reaction to Hollywood’s love-life-in-a-fishbowl, a number of movie stars are turning to high-end professional matchmakers to introduce them to civilians with no connection to the entertainment world. One well known television producer and distributor who worked for Paramount and made his fortune syndicating films and game shows, is looking for someone other than a celebrity to date. He said he commonly uses the services of matchmaker Christie Nightingale when he is on the East Coast. ’Having spent a lot of time in California, the caliber of women you get in the Hollywood community - models, actresses-- they’re airheads, essentially,’ he said. ’If you’re in the mode for a serious relationship, you have to go beyond the airhead.’”