South Koreans seek out the professionals to locate Seoul mates

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

SEOUL • While browsing pages for a dating application, Ms Jayine Chung ended up being interested in a guy who described himself as a person who enjoys good meals and tossing rocks in to the Han River.

„It ended up being extremely quirky and amusing. Would you that any longer? We needed seriously to satisfy this person,” recalled the 32-year-old freelance theater producer with a laugh.

After a few rounds of shortlisting from a summary of possible 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 the day that is next.

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

„Maybe he achieved it to obtain girls, nonetheless it sure did not wow me personally. Then we sat right down to talk, in which he realised i am perhaps maybe not the sort that is materialistic. I happened to be interested in their work, like he is shot a film that is short and his 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 surprised him because so many girls he’d dated anticipated him to cover every thing.

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

Ms Chung and her spouse, Mr Song Kyung Heub, 47, are part of an increasing quantity of couples whom came across with specialized help – 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 helping singles to locate love – those for whom love is evasive as they are either too busy working or too bashful to socialise by themselves.

Another reason behind utilizing dating agencies is the fact that social sectors have actually shrunk, with additional individuals preferring to pay their time that is free alone usually glued with their smart products. Young adults are less in a position to depend on relatives and buddies to repair 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, generate more possibilities for singles to meet up with and also to cause them to become get hitched and commence a household earlier in the day.

The median age for wedding has increased in past times few decades hitting 32.8 for males and 30.7 for females this past year, 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 final month to study the nation’s wedding and parenthood policies, noted just exactly how youth in both Southern Korea and Singapore have actually delayed wedding in the past few years. She additionally noted, but, that the Koreans had been more proactive in shopping for love and adopting matchmaking that is commercial.

In A twitter post titled „Dating – Gangnam Style”, she urged solitary Singaporeans to start out early, just like the Koreans, and become ready to accept getting help that is professional.

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

Duo, which claims to end up being the largest agency that is dating the nation, includes a account of 31,000. It offers made over 33,000 effective matches that resulted in marriages into the previous two years.

It runs on the computerised system to crunch detailed information given by people, including career, yearly earnings, automobile and property owned, and domestic area, and conducts criminal background checks to confirm the knowledge before combining up people. It creates as much as 17,000 matches 30 days.

Duo ceo Park Soo Kyung stated the company’s motto is always to set singles because of the goal of making „happy marriages”. This has managers whom speak with people to help determine their ideal partner and dating coaches to advise them on how best to carry on their own so that you can make an impression on their fantasy male or female.

A typical male organ is a 33-year-old college graduate whom earns 40 million won a year, while a typical female user is 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 usually determined upon by moms and dads because wedding ended up being considered two families coming together as you. This is exactly why they relied on matchmakers to get detailed information and recommend a match that is suitable” she said.

Marriage in our contemporary world is becoming a search for free love and specific joy, ultimately causing the wane associated with expert matchmaker.

Nonetheless, with teenagers now getting more pragmatic inside their mindset towards wedding, they „would make use of information from matchmakers to get their perfect lovers because they feel it really is a logical thing to do”, said Ms Park.

She added that as engaged and getting married and starting a family group require big amounts of income, young adults wouldn’t like to risk going involved with it with no knowledge of their partner’s socio-economic back ground and status that is financial information which dating agencies provides.

Stated sociologist Kim Soo Kyung, an extensive research teacher at Korea University: „Marriage has grown to become like a small business or contract. individuals care more about financial status and what university one graduated from, and therefore will be the reasons why they have been looking at agencies that are dating have actually lots of that information.”

One concern, nonetheless, is the fact that dating agencies rank people centered on requirements which are „heavily weighted on materialistic indicators and aggravate sex discrimination”, Prof Kim stated. For instance, some professions with appearance as a necessity, like journey stewardess, are rated higher.

Another basis for utilizing dating agencies is social sectors have shrunk, with an increase of individuals preferring to pay their leisure time alone, frequently glued with their smart products. Young adults are less in a position to depend on relatives and buddies to repair them up with a romantic date, unlike in past times.

Then, you can decide on „sogaeting”, a private 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 give you a so-called „booking” service, the place where a middleman would assist guys to approach women that they fancy and just just just take them with their tables for a glass or two.

For economic consultant Choi Min Hee, 35, it had been her mom’s colleague whom introduced her to her spouse, an workplace supervisor, about ten years ago. Ms Choi said she had been under household force to marry very very very early and, as fate will have it, her date ended up being her perfect guy. „we liked him as a result of their good attitude, and I also knew i possibly could trust him she said because we met through our parents.

These people were hitched within a year of these very very first conference, in addition they are in possession of two kiddies – a seven-year-old child and a three-year-old son.


Southern Koreans today will also be less anxious about engaged and getting married, with wedding now considered an alternative rather than a necessity. A 2014 study by Statistics Korea revealed that just 56.8 percent of respondents genuinely believe that wedding is important.

With a high youth jobless and an economy that is sluggish numerous young adults who will be struggling to find good jobs opting for to stay solitary.

Some governments that are local their very own measures to encourage individuals to marry early while having kiddies. Haenam county in Southern Jeolla province happens to be organising a two-day matchmaking camp for singles since 2014. The annual occasion effectively paired six partners just last year, based on officials. The county holds the record for the highest delivery price in the united kingdom, with 2.4 births per girl.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government utilized to organise events that are matchmaking days gone by, but has switched strategies to advertising small and affordable weddings rather in the past few years, considering the fact that russian mail order wives prohibitive prices are really a deterrent to wedding.

Nonetheless, some observers have the state must not intervene as marriage is really an affair that is private. Prof Kim, for example, stated the us government should instead make an effort to resolve problems that hinder wedding and childbirth, like high costs of housing and training, and produce a breeding ground that is conducive for families.

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

Musical actress Song Hyo Jin, 28, was solitary since her final relationship that is eight-year in 2012 . She’s been dating casually, utilizing apps to suss away dates that are prospective. „It really is very easy to satisfy guys, but harder to produce a significant relationship because we are in need of lots of time to heat up to some body we simply 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 tried to matchmake me along with their buddy’s son. We came across him as soon as, however it ended up being a serious quick conference and i want additional time to learn what type of a person he could be,” she stated.

Project manager Choi Jin Suk, 43, has tried apps that are dating still would rather continue blind dates put up by friends. Their last gf ended up being introduced by a buddy, nevertheless they parted means year that is last.

He stated it really is harder to date now because their very own objectives have actually increased as we grow older – the exact same relates to older females.

A few of his buddies whom attempted dating agencies and discovered it helpful have recommended it to him, but he’s in no rush to be in down yet. Their woman that is ideal is whom shares their values and lifestyle.