When Mel first spoke to Bruce one Thursday evening, she says they instantly hit it off."I thought, he seems friendly and interesting, seems to read a lot, so we chatted and made a date for the Sunday," Mel says.
For years dating services have been seen as a daggy last resort, used by those who have given up on meeting people in real life.
Thanks to Tinder, dating services have surged in popularity, and the RSVP and E-Harmony's of the online dating world have become increasingly acceptable.
However, the move online is hardly leaving traditional matchmaking in the dark ages.
In fact, old-school, face-to-face matchmaking is still doing well, and not just for the matchmakers: their customers are doing well out of it too.
Mel met her husband and father of their baby daughter, Bruce, through a traditional matchmaker.
Ellouise is just nine months old, and the first child for both Mel and Bruce.While she clearly loves life as a new mother, Mel wasn't always sure she'd get here."I've been married before; I was with my first husband for nine years and we were married for four," Mel says.When they split in 2008, Mel threw herself into serious dating."I tried internet dating, meeting people through friends, hooking up with old acquaintances.It got to point where guys were happy to have fun but they weren't really committing," she says.She always wanted to have children, and being well on her way to 30 made her aware her biological clock was ticking. I did what everyone said; I looked approachable at the supermarket, I went to parties, I really did spend a couple of years on the dating scene," says Mel, who is now 32."I was out there, giving it a go, and I was actually dating with the intention of finding someone I could marry and have kids with."So after about three years of dating, Mel decided to give up conventional dating and give matchmaking a go."One day I was listening to the radio and this ad for Ideal Introductions came on, so I looked up the website, contacted them and had a chat on the phone, and then made my way into the office," she says.Linda Prescott, founder of Ideal Introductions, says the process of joining a matchmaking agency is quite selective."We chat on the phone first and if we don't like sound of someone, we don't invite them in; we knock back about 40 per cent of people who enquire," says Prescott, who has been a matchmaker for more than 20 years.