Back in the days a lot of parents used services of matchmakers to find a spouse for their children. They were mostly interested in the future husband’s financial status (how many cows and chickens does he have), the dowry (how many cows and chickens can her parents pay him and his family) and whether the bride was pretty. Love was something that happened to the lucky ones but wasn’t considered important in marriage. This sort of matchmaking is still used in some parts of the world but most kids these days listen to their heart and choose their partners themselves. Could a matchmaker still help them with the choice?
Certainly thanks to dating apps and online dating services there’s much less shame associated with looking for a partner. Tinder may be considered a more chilled and fun thing to do, but many aren’t ashamed to say they’re looking for something serious (or are ashamed but tick the right boxes on their profiles anyway). Online dating apps and websites widen our options but the computer generated matches have their limitations and we still have to put a lot of effort into the search. Now imagine someone does that for you. Instead of you going through hundreds of profiles someone you paid will look for the matches. They’d filter their database for your deal breakers and the treats you desire, hopefully coming up with someone worth your time. Sounds like a sweet deal but at the same time seems a little bit impersonal. Using dating apps at least you end up talking to a person you’ll go on a date with and very superficially you can get a “feel” of them by their looks. Your matchmaker will send you on a date with a complete stranger. Additionally, using such professionals limits the choice of people to those willing to pay a lot for such a service. It can be a plus for people with high status or gold diggers, but maybe average mortals prefer a more personalized approach with a wider number of options. Last but not least, going on dates is a good experience in terms of deciding on you preferences and building your social skills. To minimize the dates can be therefore counterproductive.
We’ve discussed the professional services, but what about the more traditional matchmaking? I’m not talking here about elderly ladies in your community but your family. Surely you experience this or that relative trying to set you up on a date because you’re not getting any younger? I’m afraid your aunt worried about your spinster/bachelor status may be to eager to set you up on a date with anyone. “I know a nice boy/girl” usually means “I know someone who’s single and you shouldn’t be too picky”. We have a saying in Polish which translates into “He can have one eye as long as it happens this year” and I find it very relevant in this scenario. Because of the desperation factor chances of a success are quite slim and you don’t want to be dealing with a family member forever reminding you how “nice” Jeremy or Gillian were and how they don’t get why nothing happened. Rather avoid such set-ups. “Helpful” parents can be even worse aiming at the types with high paying jobs, regardless of how dull they are. Don’t forget that very often our family (especially extended) doesn’t know us too well so don’t get into the trap of giving it a chance. You surely will be better off doing the search yourself.
Last but not least, there are friends. Are their matchmaking skills worth anything? Your friends are likely to know you better than your family or this lady from a paid matchmaking service. I think of the three here’s your biggest chance of success. Of course some may just want to set you up with anyone because “you deserve to be with someone” and secretly they just want to double date with you. Such forced dates can be super awkward and the matches not much better than your aunt’s choices. Most of your friends, however, will genuinely keep their eyes open and if they meet someone they think would click with you, they can arrange a meet up. An introduction at a party is less awkward than a double date sort of vibe but the latter gives you an opportunity to learn more about the person. Of course it doesn’t have to work but I think if you’re on the lookout it’s worth a shot. I’ve matchmaked people (both couples broke up, though), seen people happily matchmaked and even know one married couple, who met in this way. The only disadvantage is that, in case of an unsuccessful date, you may end up seeing such a person a lot due to a mutual circle of friends. It’s not too bad, if you just remember to postpone the panty dropping time till you know it’s worth it.
To conclude, matchmaking can certainly work. Nevertheless, the professional services limit our range of options. Family just doesn’t seem to be a good dating database as they tend to oppose your singledom a bit desperately. Friends are probably your best bet in terms of successful modern matchmaking.
So, Dear Rinsers, what do you think about matchmaking? Have you ever been set up with anyone? Perhaps you played a matchmaker yourself?