Relationships are hard, and getting into one is usually even harder. Whether it’s finding love or just doing something casual, going through the hoops takes time and effort. The Internet has captured the market of several conventional businesses- be it Travel agency or the Newspapers or the Retail shops.Yet online dating, which has ballooned into a $2.1 billion industry used by almost 40 percent of dating singles, hasn’t killed one of the most old-fashioned professions of all: matchmakers. Some of these professional cupids say they are seeing renewed and expanded interest in their services as disillusioned digital daters trade computer algorithms for human judgment.
Says Kamini Iyer, ” Some of the matrimonial websites are highly disappointing. Men use it as a platform to have one-night stands. I was tired of waiting. But after registering with a matchmaker, I have met as many as six prospective guys in the past five months.”At the end of the day, people crave for something old-fashioned and personal – a human touch. That is something a dating app or online dating has failed to provide. Also, with false profiles and people lying on dating and marriage websites, there is a return to the traditional matchmaker, albeit with newer skills on offer.
Most of the founders of the recent matrimonial websites have had trouble finding partners on established matrimonial websites themselves or have watched their friends go through the process. “I have been on more than one matrimonial website and maybe I am still on some of them,” says Anika, highlighting how several profiles on these sites are inactive and inaccurate. “Many of the recently started matrimonial websites are open platforms for voyeurism and that usually makes girls feel conscious,” says Kiran, who thinks it’s crazy to look through 300 profiles just to find one person. We may be curious to know the reasons for the success of a matchmaker. Well, it may be due to the perplexing and, disappointing world of love apps and online dating. There are choices galore but people are not happy with what they find.
In the technology-assisted dating landscape, matchmakers are doing more than just fixing two people to come together – they are ensuring they fall in love. The skeptic in you is probably wanting to know the answer for “can love be tutored?’ Modern-day cupids, the professional matchmakers can make you fall in love. Professional matchmaker Jasbina Ahluwalia explains, “The singles who come to me are highly successful people who can navigate their professional growth quite well; but they have forgotten how to fall in love, something that’s basic, and did not need any formal lessons earlier on.” Ahluwalia adds, “From introducing singletons, telling them how to communicate, learning your partner’s love language, giving the right gifts – I handhold a couple towards a successful relationship, maybe even marriage.”
This is the age of instants, be it dating or hook-ups or break-ups, and moving forward. People today are totally into their professional growth in their youth and suddenly wake up during their mid or late thirties and realize that they have forgotten to prioritize a very vital part of living: love, a sustaining relationship, someone to be with them, to laugh or cry at their happy and sad moments. Sustainable love is hard to come by these days… The role of modern matchmakers is at an all-time high. Young professionals are comfortable outsourcing several aspects of their lives-fitness, jobs, cleaning-so why not this? Highly placed CEOs and many similar executives are paying lakhs to find their life partner! In the changing love landscape, neither youngsters, nor parents have much time, understanding or resources to find the perfect life partner. The matchmakers ease the journey of discovering love an easier one. The charges are from Rs 35,000 onwards, depending on the services asked for. The matchmaking industry is re-inventing itself because it’s not just finding love; keeping love is very hard work these days. And people need a bit of hand holding. These shapers of modern love are the sophisticated version of the family pundits who are much sought after to find a rishta, when sons and daughters, would reach marriageable age. There’s a huge generation gap because of which parents’ choice may not work with 20-or-30-somethings. Or it may take long time to find The Right One. Hence the services of matchmakers have widened its scope these days.
The matchmakers are exploring several fun ways to introduce singles. Naina Hiranandani’s Sirf Coffee makes two singles meet anywhere in the world. Says Naina,
“We have organized 3,657 dates in 18 countries with 61 per cent of them becoming second dates and 115 singles becoming happy couples. We start a relationship with coffee, and help couples navigate towards something more permanent.” This expertise brings someone very close to falling for one another. Hiring a matchmaker is the new way to date today. They say that money cannot buy you love, but maybe the potential grooms and brides were not shopping in the right places. Perhaps a professional matchmaker really is the modern equivalent of Cupid’s bow!