South Koreans look to the professionals to get Seoul mates

South Koreans look to the professionals to get Seoul mates

The young are looking at dating apps and agencies that are matchmaking the S. Korean money and beyond looking for lovers

SEOUL • While browsing pages for an app that is dating Ms Jayine Chung had been interested in a person whom described himself as a person who enjoys good meals and throwing rocks in to the Han River.

“It had been extremely quirky and amusing. Would you that any more? We had a need to fulfill this person,” recalled the freelance that is 32-year-old producer with a laugh.

After a few rounds of shortlisting from a summary of potential times through the free software Norang Narang (Korean for “you and me”) , they finally surely got to trade contact information and arranged to meet up with the day that is next.

But Ms Chung ended up being any such thing but impressed whenever her date, a freelance storyboard musician for television commercials, turned up using a Burberry trench layer and driving a Range Rover, as though flaunting their wide range.

“Maybe he achieved it to obtain girls, nonetheless it sure did not wow me personally. Then we sat down seriously to talk, and then he realised i am perhaps perhaps not the materialistic type. I happened to be interested in their work, like he is shot a film that is short along with his plans, and what exactly is he like as an individual,” she recalled.

After he drove her house, she purchased him a sit down elsewhere to thank him – a motion that amazed him because so many girls he’d dated anticipated him to cover every thing.

Which was the start of a relationship that culminated within their engaged and getting married in January just last year, in the very very first anniversary of the very very first date.

Ms Chung and her spouse, Mr Song Kyung Heub, 47, are included in an evergrowing wide range of couples whom came across with professional assistance – be they matchmaking agencies or dating apps.


Into the booming matchmaking industry worth an approximated 100 billion won (S$117 million), expert matchmakers are increasingly assisting singles to find love – those for whom love is evasive since they are either too busy working or too timid to socialise by themselves.

Another reason behind making use of dating agencies is the fact that social sectors have actually shrunk, with increased people preferring to invest their time that is free alone frequently glued for their smart products. Young adults are less in a position to count on relatives and buddies to repair them up with a night out together, unlike in past times.

Perhaps the South Korean federal government, desperate to raise the nation’s low fertility price of 1.24, has established intends to introduce matchmaking solutions at nationwide and local amounts out of this year, to produce more opportunities for singles to meet up with also to cause them to become get hitched and begin a household earlier in the day.

The age that is median wedding has risen into the previous few decades going to 32.8 for men and 30.7 for ladies a year ago, a growth of over 5 years – 27.8 for males and 24.8 for females – from 2 full decades ago.

Singapore’s Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo, in Seoul month that is last learn the united states’s wedding and parenthood policies, noted exactly just how youth in both Southern Korea and Singapore have actually delayed wedding in the past few years. She additionally noted, nonetheless, that the Koreans had been more proactive in searching for love and adopting commercial matchmaking agencies.

In A twitter post titled “Dating – Gangnam Style”, she urged solitary Singaporeans to begin early, such as the Koreans, and stay available to getting professional assistance.

There are a few 1,600 dating agencies in Southern Korea, that will be house to a populace of 50 million.

Duo, which claims to function as the biggest dating agency in the nation, includes an account of 31,000. It offers made over 33,000 effective matches that led to marriages in past times two years.

It works on the computerised system to crunch detailed information supplied by members, including career, yearly earnings, vehicle and home owned, and domestic zone, and conducts criminal record checks to validate the information and knowledge before combining up users. It generates up to 17,000 matches per month.

Duo executive that is chief Park Soo Kyung said the company’s motto would be to set singles using the goal of making “happy marriages”. It offers supervisors who speak to users to help determine their perfect partner and dating coaches to advise them on the best way to carry by themselves so that you can conquer their fantasy male or female.

A typical member that is male a 33-year-old college graduate who earns 40 million won a 12 months, while a typical feminine user is really a 30-year-old level owner making 30 million won a 12 months.


Matchmakers have typically played a role that is key Korean culture, stated Ms Park. “Marriage lovers had been typically determined upon by moms and dads because wedding had been seen as two families coming together as you. That is why they relied on matchmakers to gather detailed information and suggest a match that is suitable” she stated.

Wedding in our contemporary world happens to be a quest for free love and specific pleasure, resulting in the wane regarding the matchmaker that is professional.

Nevertheless, with young adults now becoming more pragmatic inside their attitude towards marriage, they “would make use of information from matchmakers to locate their perfect partners it is a rational thing to do”, said Ms Park as they feel.

She included that as getting married and starting a family group need big amounts of cash, young adults do not desire to risk going involved with it with no knowledge of their partner’s socio-economic history and monetary status – information which dating agencies provides.

Stated sociologist Kim Soo Kyung, research teacher at Korea University: “Marriage is now like a small business or agreement. individuals worry more about financial status and what university one graduated from, and that will be the good reason why they truly are embracing dating agencies that have actually plenty of that information.”

One concern, nevertheless, is the fact that dating agencies ranking users considering requirements which can be “heavily weighted on materialistic indicators and aggravate sex discrimination”, Prof Kim stated. For instance, some vocations with appearance as a necessity, like journey stewardess, are rated greater.

Another reason behind utilizing dating agencies is the fact that social groups have actually shrunk, with an increase of people preferring to blow their time that is free alone usually glued with their smart products. Young adults are less in a position to depend on family and friends to repair them up with a night out together, unlike into the past.

Then, you could go with “sogaeting”, an one-on-one blind date with a buddy’s buddy, or “meeting”, a tiny gathering of 6 to 8 singles whom typically make new friends by playing some type of consuming game.

Nightclubs would provide a so-called “booking” service, the place where a middleman would help males to approach ladies who they fancy and simply simply simply take them for their tables for a glass or two.

An office manager, a decade ago for financial consultant Choi Min Hee, 35, it was her mother’s colleague who introduced her to her husband. Ms Choi stated she had been under household force to marry very very very early and, as fate might have it, her date turned into her ideal guy. “we liked him due to their good attitude, and I also knew i possibly could trust him she said because we met through our parents.

They certainly were married within per year of these very very first conference, plus they will have two young ones – a seven-year-old child and a three-year-old son.


Southern Koreans today are less anxious about engaged and getting married, with wedding now seen as a choice and never a must. A 2014 study by Statistics Korea indicated that just 56.8 percent of participants believe that wedding is important.

With a high youth jobless and a slow economy, numerous young adults who will be not able to find good jobs are going for to keep solitary.

Some governments that are local their particular measures to encourage individuals marry early while having young ones. Haenam county in Southern Jeolla province is organising a matchmaking that is two-day for singles since 2014. The event that is annual paired six partners this past year, in accordance with officials. The county holds the record when it comes to birth rate that is highest in the united kingdom, with 2.4 births per girl.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government used to organise events that are matchmaking the last, but has switched techniques to marketing tiny and affordable weddings alternatively in modern times, considering that prohibitive expenses really are a deterrent to wedding.

Nonetheless, some observers have the state must not intervene as wedding is an affair that is private. Prof Kim, as an example, said the us government should rather make an effort to resolve conditions that hinder wedding and childbirth, like high expenses of housing and training, and produce a host that is conducive for families.

As society progresses, singles that are now better educated are far more particular in choosing their partners that are lifelong.

Musical actress Song Hyo Jin, 28, is solitary since her final eight-year relationship ended in 2012 . She’s been dating casually, utilizing apps to suss away prospective times. “It is an easy task to fulfill dudes, but harder to develop a significant relationship because we require a large amount of time to heat up to somebody we just came across,” she stated.

She hopes to subside because of the chronilogical age of 32 with a person whom shares her Christian faith. “My moms and dads want us to obtain hitched right as feasible in addition they attempted to matchmake me making use of their buddy’s son. We came across him as soon as, however it ended up being a serious meeting that is short i would like more hours to learn what type of a individual he could be,” she said.

Project manager Choi Jin Suk, 43, has tried dating apps but nevertheless prefers to carry on blind times put up by buddies. Their final gf ended up being introduced by a pal, nevertheless they parted methods a year ago.

He stated it really is harder to date now because their very own expectations have actually increased as we grow older – exactly the same pertains to older women.

Several of their buddies whom tried dating agencies and discovered it helpful have recommended it to him, but he could be in no rush to stay down yet. Their perfect girl is some one whom shares their thinking and way of living.