The idea of a matchmaker is one that has been around for ages. Matchmaking is the process of introducing people for the purposes of dating and mating, usually in the context of marriage. The Matchmaker is the one who makes the introduction or facilitates the meeting. Matchmaking is alive and well in some countries and cultures, and it is not as practiced in others. The idea of matchmaking has evolved over time, and is now often called "setting someone up" or "lining them up" however, matchmakers of the professional genre still exist, and even more interesting, people are now turning to software, such as compatibility matching, to become their matchmakers.
The following is a look at the culture and tradition of matchmakers, in the traditional sense, and then a look at online matchmaking, as well as the ever popular online dating site called Matchmaker.com:
Matchmaker the traditional version:
The traditional version of a matchmaker is a professional that uses some sort of system for making matches. There are several different types of matchmakers, and all from various cultures and traditions. Let's take a closer look.
The Ashkenazi Jewish shadchan, or the Hindu astrologer, are matchmakers that, in their culture, are viewed as absolutely essential for forming a marriage bond that works. If you want to find the right spouse, they are an essential adviser. The reason their matchmaker roles became so professionalized is that they often had social ties and links of faith with multiple families making it easier to facilitate the match.
In some cultures, arranged marriages were common, and matchmakers were used to find suitable spouse for those being arranged. Often times the matchmaker would be an astrologer, and they could then tell the children that the match was sanctified by the heavens and shown to be right by the alignment of the stars. This was a very popular matchmaking tactic in arranged marriages where the parents approved of the match, but where the children were hesitant. For many, their faith was tied up in the words of these matchmakers, and defying the match also meant, in short, defying their God and faith.
Other cultural matchmakers use means of matchmaking that are now most often acquainted with carnivals and fortune telling. Some would use crystals, others tarot divination. And usually the matches were expressed to have been arranged by the heavens.
Clergy played a key role in most Western cultures when it came to matchmaking as they were the most trusted mediators in the society. Matchmaking was certainly one of the secondary functions of the village priest in Medieval Catholic society, As well as a Talmudic duty of rabbis in traditional Jewish communities. While playing a minor role, it was a role none the less.
Of course in the above mentioned matchmaking scenarios, these matchmakers were professionals, and often members of the church. They would charge a fee for matchmaking, and would sometimes arrange the match with the parents first.
Matchmaking was a lucrative business for many reasons, for one, if it was a priest or member of the church officials that made the match, there was a feeling that the match came from God, and was destined. Second, there was not as much opportunity for meeting and courting members of the opposite gender, thus for people to get married at the appropriate ages to start families, etc. they needed some help. In addition to that, it helped some social classes keep their families marrying within the same social classes. However, after a time, as cities grew, and social meetings became more normal, people did not need to turn to matchmakers as often in order to find a suitable spouse, and so the formalized profession began to die out some, and the social position or matchmaker (often called meddler) was filled.
In many farming communities the social dances and town gatherings became the place where young singles met and started to form their love connections. This is where most matchmaking took place. However, at this time, much of the matchmaking was not as much setting marriage age people up as it was keeping certain marriage age people apart. The role of matchmaking became one of either speeding the process along, or slowing it down, instead of actually facilitating it in the beginning. The dances became the facilitators, and matchmakers, acting as formal chaperons would attend these events to keep parents of marriage age children up to date on any budding romances in order to fuel them along, or stop them cold before they went too far.
At this time the role of the matchmaker became less that of arranging a marriage and more that of making sure that the economic relationship was a good one. That he could support a family, or she came from good child bearing stock, or had a good dowry. Generally, in these cases the matchmakers had far less influence, and acted more an informant to those that had influence over the marriage age people.
Matchmaking has all but died out in the formal sense, at least in the United States. Very rarely do people go to their town clergy members in order to find a spouse, but rather they socialize and date. However, matchmakers have not been gone all that long, and in a very real sense the are on their way back, just in a less recognizable form. Today, matchmakers are computers, dating services, and compatibility matching software rather than a meddling social climber or a respected clergy man.
Today's matchmaking services often involve a comprehensive profile that you would fill out explaining your likes, dislikes, and requirements, which is not all that different from the economic factors that once influenced matchmaking in the past. You turn to a computer to sort the profiles and choose people whose likes align with yours instead of a person who knows all of these people. Today's matchmaking is far more wide-spread. In the early 1900's matchmakers were limited to the marriage aged people in their town or area, but today, databases of singles across the world can be searched in order to help you find your ideal match.
Matchmaking has also expanded in other areas as well. Today matchmaking is not solely for the purpose of finding a mate or marriage partner, but is also used in business to find businesses that would work well together, or mutually benefit one another. It is a service used to help line investors up with small businesses they may be interested in, and more. Matchmakers, and matchmaking as a whole has changed significantly, but the idea is still the same: to line two entities up that ought to be compatible.
Let's now look at one of the most popular matchmaker websites out there, a site that is called MatchMaker.com. This particular dating website is not much different from others in that they use specific software to match you to the most compatible or ideal matches. Using a matchmaker is a good way to find people that are right for you, or at the very least eliminate the people that are most certainly wrong. The role of this site is similar to that of matchmakers in the past, and thus the name is fitting. The following is a brief review of this online dating website:
Traditional matchmakers charged a fee, and this website is no different. However, one of the greatest benefits to MatchMaker is that it is completely free to join. You can sign up and decided if you like it before ever paying anything. You only pay if you decide to contact other members. At that point you will have to pay a $24.95 monthly subscription. Paying for the service is easy as there are a lot of options, unlike other dating sites, MatchMaker allows members to pay by check in the mail, online, or via credit card.
MatchMaker is easy to use. When you join MatchMaker, you will upload a photo of yourself and create your dating profile. This profile can be viewed by other members of the site, and is what is used to help match you to compatible singles.
You are then free to search the database for other single men or women and let them know if you are interested in them. To let them know you are interested you have to have a subscription plan, and the various plans allow you to do different things, such as send email, instant messages, video, and chat with other singles. All paying members can upload voice greetings to their profile as well, and all members can participate in interactive polls, receive weekly email updates, ask for advice and post feedback.
One of the great things about this matchmaking site is that the weekly email that is sent out will send pictures of new members in your area, so you can always stay up to date on new potential matches. In addition to that, the site is always trying to improve, and thus the weekly newsletter keeps members informed of updates to the site and any features that may have been added.
MatchMaker is one of the most popular online dating sites, and thus attracts a lot of people, and this means that you will have plenty of singles to search and choose from, or be matched up with.