South Koreans seek out the professionals discover 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 searching pages for an app that is dating Ms Jayine Chung ended up being attracted to a man whom described himself as somebody who enjoys good meals and tossing stones to the Han River.

“It had been really quirky and amusing. Who that any longer? We needed seriously to satisfy this person,” recalled the freelance that is 32-year-old producer having a laugh.

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

But Ms Chung had been such a thing but impressed whenever her date, a freelance storyboard musician for television commercials, turned up wearing a Burberry trench layer and driving a Range Rover, as if flaunting their wide range.

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

After he drove her house, she purchased him a walk to thank him – a motion that astonished him since many girls he had dated anticipated him to fund every thing.

That has been the beginning of a relationship that culminated within their engaged and getting married in January year that is last in the very very first anniversary of these very very first date.

Ms Chung and her spouse, Mr Song Kyung Heub, 47, are included in a number that is growing of whom came across with professional assistance – be they matchmaking agencies or dating apps.


An estimated 100 billion won (S$117 million), professional matchmakers are increasingly helping singles to find love – those for whom love is elusive because they are either too busy working or too shy to socialise on their own in the booming matchmaking industry worth.

Another cause for utilizing dating agencies is the fact that social sectors have actually shrunk, with increased individuals preferring to invest their spare time alone, frequently glued for their smart products. Young adults are less in a position to depend on family and friends to correct them up with a night out together, unlike within the past.

Perhaps the South government that is korean wanting to increase the nation’s low fertility price of 1.24, has established intends to introduce matchmaking solutions at nationwide and local amounts out of this 12 months, to generate more possibilities for singles to generally meet also to cause them to become get hitched and begin a household earlier in the day.

The age that is median wedding has increased in past times few years going to 32.8 for males and 30.7 for females this past year, a rise of over five years – 27.8 for males and 24.8 for ladies – from 2 full decades ago.

Singapore’s Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo, in Seoul final month to 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 modern times. She also noted, nonetheless, that the Koreans had been more proactive in to locate love and adopting matchmaking that is commercial.

In A facebook post titled “Dating – Gangnam Style”, she urged single Singaporeans to start out early, just like the Koreans, and become ready to accept getting professional assistance.

There are many 1,600 dating agencies in Southern Korea, that is house up to a populace of 50 million.

Duo, which claims to function as the biggest dating agency in the nation, features a account of 31,000. This has made over 33,000 successful matches that resulted in marriages into the previous two years.

It runs on the computerised system to crunch detailed information supplied by users, including career, yearly earnings, automobile and home owned, and domestic area, and conducts criminal background checks to validate the data before combining up people. it creates up to 17,000 matches per month.

Duo chief executive officer Park Soo Kyung stated the company’s motto is always to set singles aided by the goal of making “happy marriages”. It offers supervisors who speak with people to help expand define their perfect partner and dating coaches to advise them on the best way to carry on their own to be able to make an impression on their fantasy person.

A typical member that is male a 33-year-old university graduate whom earns 40 million won a 12 months, while a typical feminine user is really a 30-year-old level holder earning 30 million won a year.


Matchmakers have usually played an integral part in Korean culture, stated Ms Park. “Marriage lovers had been usually determined upon by moms and dads because wedding ended up being seen as two families coming together as you. This is exactly why they relied on matchmakers to gather detailed information and suggest a match that is suitable” she stated.

Wedding in our contemporary world is actually a search for free love and specific joy, ultimately causing the wane regarding the matchmaker that is professional.

Nonetheless, with teenagers now becoming more pragmatic within their attitude towards wedding, they “would make use of information from matchmakers to locate their ideal lovers it is a rational thing to do”, said Ms Park as they feel.

She added that as engaged and getting married and starting a family group need big amounts of income, teenagers do not wish to risk going involved with it without once you understand their partner’s socio-economic back ground and status that is financial information which dating agencies can offer.

Stated sociologist Kim Soo Kyung, research teacher at Korea University: “Marriage happens to be like a small business or contract. Individuals care more info on economic status and what university one graduated from, and therefore may be the good reason why these are typically looking at agencies that are dating have actually a large amount of that information.”

One concern, nevertheless, is the fact that dating agencies rank people according to criteria which can be “heavily weighted on materialistic indicators and aggravate sex discrimination”, Prof Kim said. As an example, some professions with appearance as a necessity, like trip stewardess, are rated greater.

Another reason behind making use of dating agencies is the fact that social sectors have actually shrunk, with additional individuals preferring to invest their time that is free alone usually glued for their smart devices. Young adults are less in a position to count on family and friends to repair them up with a romantic date, unlike in past times.

Then, you can go after “sogaeting”, an one-on-one blind date with a friend’s buddy, or “meeting”, a little gathering of 6 to 8 singles whom typically break the ice by playing some sort of consuming game.

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

For economic consultant Choi Min Hee, 35, it absolutely was her mother’s colleague whom introduced her to her spouse, an workplace manager, about ten years ago. Ms Choi stated she was under household force to marry 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 really could trust him she said because we met through our parents.

These were married within per year of the very very first conference, as well as will have two kiddies – a seven-year-old child and a son that is three-year-old.


Southern Koreans today are less anxious about engaged and getting married, with wedding now regarded as an alternative and never a must. A 2014 study by Statistics Korea indicated that just 56.8 percent of respondents genuinely believe that wedding is essential.

With a high youth jobless and an economy that is sluggish numerous young adults who are not able to find good jobs are going for to stay solitary.

Some neighborhood governments have actually their very own measures to encourage individuals to marry early while having young ones. Haenam county in Southern Jeolla province happens russian brides to be organising a two-day matchmaking camp for singles since 2014. The yearly event effectively paired six partners just last year, relating to officials. The county holds the record for the birth rate that is highest in the united kingdom, with 2.4 births per girl.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government utilized to organise matchmaking activities in the last, but has switched techniques to marketing tiny and affordable weddings rather in the past few years, considering that prohibitive prices are really a deterrent to wedding.

Nonetheless, some observers have the state must not intervene as wedding is an affair that is private. Prof Kim, by way of example, stated the us government should alternatively you will need to resolve problems that hinder wedding and childbirth, like high expenses of housing and training, and create an environment that is conducive for families.

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

Musical actress Song Hyo Jin, 28, happens to be solitary since her last eight-year relationship ended in 2012 . She’s got been dating casually, making use of apps to suss away potential times. “It is simple to satisfy dudes, but harder to produce a significant relationship we just met,” she said because we need a lot of time to warm up to someone.

She hopes to subside by the chronilogical age of 32 with a person whom shares her Christian faith. “My moms and dads want us getting hitched just as feasible plus they attempted to matchmake me personally using their friend’s son. We came across him as soon as, nonetheless it ended up being a serious meeting that is short i want more hours to discover what type of a individual he could be,” she stated.

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 had been introduced by a pal, nonetheless they parted methods just last year.

He stated it really is harder to date now because their expectations that are own risen as we grow older – similar pertains to older ladies.

A number of their buddies whom attempted agencies that are dating discovered it helpful have recommended it to him, but he could be in no rush to stay down yet. Their woman that is ideal is whom shares their opinions and life style.