How does a member narrow their search?
I think the following FAQ from Catholic Match should provide a lot of answers to your question(s) regarding the matching system.
Keep in mind that you can do manual searches yourself with some filtering available for you to decide on the criteria - but the where of the searches is still limited to distance - not specific cities.
We already define "local" in our "willing to search within XX miles".
Why do you want to narrow your search so drastically?
Most of the Success Stories I've seen involved distances over 80 miles. Several were across the continent or the ocean. And my experience has been, very few people get responses from local folks (within 25 miles).
It is often important to remember that when more than one person is involved in any decision making process - there is often a wide range of opinions on what is best. I can say that CM has ALWAYS listened to my suggestions/gripes - and has always been willing to do their best to accommodate all of its members from what I have seen.
The decision of what algorithm to use and the decision not to open it up to CM members is a business decision they have made - but along with that they seem to always listen to suggestions for future tweaks that they may perform.
They even devoted an entire part of the site for CM member requests of features they do and/or do not want: www.catholicmatch.com
The link provides the ability for CM members (might be paying only requirement: do not know) to vote which ideas they are in favor of.
So in short I have never found my concerns here to fall on deaf ears at CM, while I would love 100% of my ideas to be implemented - I am not the one who owns the site. But I can say I am 100% pleased in the 7+ months I have been here with ALL aspects of the site.
Please forgive me for not welcoming you to the forums here. Just noticed it was one of if not your first post. Hope you visit frequently - the more participants in the forum, the more everyone gets to know everyone.