Megan Giesselmann is a lot luckier than most who use dating services — she found her husband on her first date through Farmers Only.
The niche dating service aimed at rural matchmaking linked Megan with Matt Giesselmann.
"I had been on Match for a short period of time, but I only went on a couple dates," Megan said of Match.com. "Some of those are so generalized, you don't get as good a match."
As online dating grows in popularity, Cupid is shooting more e-arrows. Dating services of the online and mobile app variety in the United States were expected to bring in more than $2 billion this year, according to IBIS World data.
And it's not just online services churning out newlyweds. Brick-and-mortar businesses are playing matchmaker, too.
Nebraska dating service Omaha Love is one such business. Love can be all yours for fees ranging from $30 to $300 per month, which includes the whole kit and caboodle, including Courtney Quinlan, Omaha Love's president, as your personal matchmaker.
Quinlan said she didn't want to disclose her business' annual revenue.
Lonely hearts who first walk into Omaha Love's office might think they're in Cupid's hideout: White leather couches and pictures of happy couples adorn the walls. First-timers — more than 1,000 per year, she said — meet with Quinlan and fill out a profile: Hobbies, religious beliefs, last date and what they're looking for are all covered.
Need help with style, appearance or makeup? Omaha Love has partnerships with an image consultant and makeup artist. Want to eat better or get in shape? Omaha Love can refer a nutritionist and personal trainer. Having problems in a relationship or with the dating process? A licensed mental health practitioner is available.
Nebraska Dating, another such service, is part of a national network of dating sites. Like Omaha Love, it offers coaching services and other amenities. It also is portable: If a client moves across the country, he or she can get matched by another service in that area.
Nationally, the number of adults using dating services is rising: 15 percent of American adults reported using online dating sites or mobile dating apps, according to newly released numbers from the Pew Research Center, up from 11 percent in early 2013. The group doesn't keep stats on in-person matchmakers.
The Match Group, which owns Match, Tinder, Plenty of Fish and other dating sites, reported fourth-quarter revenue growth of 12 percent when compared with the previous year, bringing in $267 million during the period.
Happily-ever-afters don't happen every time. Pew reported that just 5 percent of Americans in a marriage or committed relationship say they met their significant other online.
Even so, for the Giesselmanns, it was worth it. To find each other, they were paying about $21.95 per month to Farmers Only. Now, they have two children and are expecting a third soon.
"I was 30 at the time when we met, and the whole Omaha bar scene is kind of a pain," Matt Giesselmann said.
And of course, getting a date doesn't have to cost anything. The Omaha Public Library's main downtown branch plays host to a speed dating event at 1 p.m. on Sunday for people 50 and over.