To trace the very first written record of finding love and matchmaking, we need to look no further than, well, the Bible. In the book of Genesis, it was narrated that God made man, Adam, to serve as the caretaker of the earth, the seas, the plants and the creatures. God figured that Adam was sad and needed a “helper” so he played matchmaker, sedated Adam, took one of Adam’s ribs and created Eve. Due to the lack of other humans, Adam and Eve by default are made for each other, and eventually found love.
The various culture and religions practiced by humans all over earth created a variety of traditions and practices surrounding the subject of finding love and matchmaking. Detailed narratives below shall outline these.
Still a biblical account, a little deeper into the book of Genesis, in Jewish culture, we are familiarized with a matchmaker known as the Shadchan, who according to the story, selects the bride for Abraham’s son through a test that involved a well and a camel, according to Bustle.com. Per Elan London, the Shadchans arrange for Shidduch, which are meetings between potential partners
Matchmaking in Greece involved a lot of gossiping. They called the matchmakers as Promnestria, these are women who approach potential mates, took messages, and serve as liaison to the couple. Being a Promnestria entails attention to detail and accuracy of reports, else, should the marriage be unhappy, it will be on her conscience.
For the Aztecs, the Cihuatlanque provides end-to-end matchmaking services. The Cihuatlanque is an elderly woman with the power of Aztec Law vested upon her and takes care of the pre, during and post ceremony details and practices. This even includes explicit instructions in the bridal chamber.
Reader’s Digest recounted how in the 1100s it was said that in Britain, matchmaking and marriages are rarely founded on love, but instead are founded based on economy. Wealthy families made it their objective to find partners for their children who are as affluent as they are. The future couple’s personality, preferences or feelings were rarely put into consideration. The church’s stance however indicated that the future bride and groom’s consent must be considered and a more compatibility and relationship-driven matchmaking was employed.
Matchmaking agencies sprouted in Britain in the 1600s in the form of parish vicars, who searched through their parishioners for a match based on social class. British practices on matchmaking took a secular turn as time passed, though matching based on social strata continued until around the 1800s. Matchmaking then evolved into becoming the quintessential occupation-slash-pastime for married women. Into the Victorian period, matchmaking was done in a public way through a debutante ball around mid-August where young women aged 21 come out as ready for marriage.
Meanwhile, in Ireland, a festival celebrating matchmaking started way back late 1800s. Around September, in the spa town of Lisdoonvarna, bachelors flock to the town in search for a wife whilst drinking and bathing in the spa waters. This festival is still being celebrated up to this day with up to 40,000 people attending the festival each year.
In the East, matchmaking traditions are being practiced too. In China, matchmaking was said to have originated with the mythological character called the “man under the moon”, similar to Cupid, who ties people meant for each other with a red ribbon as they sleep. Matchmaking is also signaled by the seasons, and the coming of the swallow during spring symbolizes that the time has come for setting up young people.
Matchmaking was a little bit on the wild side for Japan, which they hold through mass orgies they call Utagaki, which take place in the mountains or deep forests in the spring and autumn. The couples who prove themselves in the Utagaki can agree to get married.
Prior to seeking for love, it must be established that the first step should be more introspective. Thought Catalog stressed in the first four points to consider when it comes to love and relationship that one must first look within and recognize and realize their own selves before delving into a search for “the One”.
It is imperative that before anyone desires to be in a relationship and love someone else, one must love one’s self first. This starts by knowing one’s self. Recognize who you are, your values, your goals, your strengths and weaknesses. From having a thorough knowledge of one’s self, self-esteem and confidence will arise. Being confident of your needs, wants, and desires ensure that you will be able to communicate better with a potential partner.
When an individual can realize these, they are more likely to be themselves. Once self-love is practiced, an awareness occurs that your self is enough to please yourself. In effect, they will not find it necessary to pretend to please anyone, in exchange for love. Love will come naturally so long as the individual maintains being themselves.
Factors to Compatibility
Given the varying approaches to matchmaking followed across cultures, and the seemingly nonsensical basis of some of these, one must wonder, what are the real characteristics that matter when it comes to matchmaking and finding love? In current times, people are somewhat fortunate that finding a match and finding love is now being done voluntarily. Everyone’s personal choices and preferences may vary, but there are factors, or guidelines that are universally considered as a good checklist when dealing with compatibility.
Awareness of one’s compatibility to another is one of the most basic steps towards finally finding the love one seeks. Glee Dating and The Logical Psyche enumerated factors to consider in determining relationship compatibility.
- Personality – As was stated earlier, just as knowing and understanding one’s self is important, gauging and understanding another individual’s personality is also vital. Understand whether certain traits are complementary to yours, or if there are opposite characteristics. While it is not imperative that characteristics be exactly alike for a relationship to thrive, it also does not equate that opposite personalities will cause chaos. Finding balance and compromise between differences and similarities is a way for compatibility to grow.
- Interests – It is important to have common interests, or better yet, the openness to each other’s interests. Especially if one is considering spending about 3 quarters of their life with that person, knowing that their hobbies and interests does not bore one to death is key to keeping things exciting and enjoyable.
- Plans / Objectives – A couple might find themselves uber in-love with each other, however if their life plans do not align, this can possibly spell break-up. They personalities jive, their interests in the moment mesh well, but their life goals can be the deal breaker. One might have plans of travelling the world, while the partner plans to settle down in a nice home with kids. This can be quite problematic in cases of long time relationships. It is vital that plans coincide, or if not, can be compromised such that both parties somehow realize their objectives in life.
- Values – Values are embedded on our minds as products of our upbringing and our surroundings as individuals grow up. A couple might be a personality, interest and goals match, but their values are completely misaligned. They can be both very outgoing, loves to travel and have similar goals to be wealthy. However, their values differ on how they can attain their goals, enjoy their interest and manifest their outgoing personality. One is into gambling and cheating, while one works hard. Such a scenario will denote that compatibility is quite low for the couple.
- Temperament – Temperament pertains to how people react to extreme stimuli. Having two hot-heads in a relationship is a recipe for disaster. Meanwhile, two people who are too cool might create distance and indifference to each other. Either way, it will not lead to ideal circumstances. Compromising and a process of give-and-take in this front will lead to better compatibility.
- Appearance – Often viewed as a shallow basis for compatibility, appearance can play a major role in attraction and compatibility. Your partner may not be physically perfect but an individual’s appreciation for one’s partner’s physical appearance is essential.
In other cultures, as observable in India, portions of Africa, the Middle East, and China, parents doing the matchmaking of their children still takes place. Arranged marriages and belief-based matchmaking and practices continue to transpire as an effect of religion, tradition or the ancient belief that matchmaking should be dependent on the parties’ economic status, to preserve wealth.
Matchmaking is now being done among friends. As opposed to parents choosing a suitable mate for their children, friends setting up friends for blind dates or double dates is more socially accepted as the setting does not entail force nor commitment. Meeting through social circles is just considered as a way of checking out the market and seeing if a compatible match will occur.
At a time when people are too busy with their lives, Matchmaking and Finding Love likewise created an industry that is now worth a few billion dollars as reported by How Stuff Works.
Television programs with Matchmaking as its core concept has sprouted from 1980s to today. These TV shows are presented in different platforms as Game Shows, Blind Dates and Reality Shows. There is even an entire Wikipedia subcategory hosting a list of these shows.
Matchmaking agencies also grew as legitimate businesses, Fortune even itemized the top agencies to reac
h out to if you’re affluent and don’t have the patience to go through the tedious process of finding love. One of the most famous of these agencies is Patty Stanger’s Millionaire’s Club which also spawned its own TV show The Millionaire Matchmaker. Patty’s matchmaking agency charges as low as $35,000 for their basic matchmaking packages and a few hundred thousand dollars for premium packages and exclusive services.
Matchmaker agencies, whether it is an exclusive club or the humbler versions of it, host mixers and speed-date events to match people searching for love. A group of individuals, dependent on their sexual preferences arrive at an event where they are expected to mingle with fellow singles in hopes of finding the one in the encounter.
For the rest of the human population who would rather use their money on more worthwhile investments and purchases, online matchmaking and dating sites abound guaranteeing that matchmaking and finding love don’t cost a thing, or, should it cost something, it is not your entire year’s income. These matchmaking sites consider compatibility when they match people to each other such that a questionnaire must be accomplished at first to map their personalities, interests, values and goals in life. A profile photo also ensures that the physical appearance concept is taken care of.
Generic matchmaking sites
http://www.match.com/ One of the top matchmaking and online dating sites, Match.com claims to have a high success rate in measures of the number of dates, relationships and marriages. Their massive database of singles (even divorcees, and anything in between) contribute to the success rate, ensuring there is someone out there for anyone.
https://www.mysinglefriend.com/ For those who are quite shy, or hesitant to get into the Online Dating environment, My Single Friend allows well-meaning friends to create an account to showcase their single friends, basically an online wingman / wingwoman resource, as too often, friends know us better than we do ourselves.
http://www.eharmony.com/ A more scientific approach to matchmaking and dating, eHarmony boasts of a sophisticated program that can match individuals with better compatibility. It considers birthdays, personality traits, physical traits, economic status, interests, preferences and stand on specific issues to ensure that compatibility is spot on.
https://www.gotinder.com/ For the more tech savvy millennials who would like to work on their search for love amidst commutes or lunchbreaks, Tinder is the best bet as the app allows to browsing through people in their database who are within a specific radius of an area where the user is in. It’s just a matter of swipes to thresh through the selection and filter those an individual is interested in.
Niche dating sites
https://www.jdate.com/ A Jewish Dating service, JDate ensures that the values front of compatibility is taken care of, and the Jewish culture and traditions flourish and live on by finding Jewish matches.
http://www.gay.com/ With a massive reach on the LGBTQ front, the site provides matchmaking services that includes live chat, plus articles, gossip and other resource for the LGBTQ crowd.
https://www.christianconnection.com/ and https://www.christianmingle.com/ Online communities for single Christians, the site ensures that your Christian values and faith are in sync whilst finding compatibility.
http://www.muddymatches.co.uk/ and http://www.farmersonly.com/ Resources that cater specifically to those who enjoy the countryside lifestyle, these matchmaking sites ensures that interests in the country living is similar, ensuring better chances of compatibility.
http://www.shaadi.com/ A community that is especially curated to those of Indian heritage who are looking at getting married, the website allows matching based on religion, community and mother tongue.
http://www.ourtime.com/ Our Time is a dating site specially designed with the seniors’ market in mind, celebrating this period in life. The app focuses on specific interests and desires of the market through a messaging and email platform.
https://veggiedate.org/ As interests play a major role in relationships, Veggiedate offers niche dating services for the vegetarians, vegans, pescetarians, among others, ensuring relationship don’t suffer just because of the choice for dinner.
www.milfdating.com M.I.L.F dating is a free website boasts of an extensive database of visitors exclusively matching older women with younger men in a safe and fun environment.
http://www.datingforparents.com/ Created for single parents who intends to find love again and matches that can wholeheartedly accept the fact that there is a baggage in the form of children that must come with the arrangement.
http://www.greensingles.com/ A curated website that provides matchmaking and online dating services to eco-conscious singles. Stand on environmental issues are rarely put as a qualifier on general dating sites, and Green Singles solves that problem.
http://www.lovemelovemypets.com/ For furparents who find that their pets are non-negotiables when it comes to the relationships, Love Me Love My Pets promises that the match they’ll provide will love both you and your pets.
http://www.womenbehindbars.com/ Women behind bars is an online site that matches individuals to women behind bars to serve as a ray of hope, and augment rehabilitation as they are still locked up. It is published online, but the service is through snail mail. Letters will be received by the inmates to which they can respond to.