aneeka patel

Why Traditional South Asian Matchmaking Is Enjoying A Retro Backlash

aneeka patel

This is a guest blog by Aneeka Patel, the founder of Project 143.

I love the fact that online dating and apps gives millions of single people the chance to find dates on their own terms and quickly. They are great for time-strapped singles who want to find partners. I know, because I’ve used them myself! However, despite the multibillion pound value of online dating which is used by almost 40% of singles, it still hasn’t stopped the growth of one sector: matchmakers! And why is that? I think it’s because some single, digital daters are becoming a tad disillusioned by computer algorithms replacing human judgment, with many suffering from dating overload. There are just way too many options out there.

As a certified matchmaker, I think that because of this, singles who are looking for love want someone like a really great best friend to help them navigate the vast, and at times overwhelming, dating waters.

A thoughtful, real, romantic curator acting as an almost retro backlash against the immediacy and enormity of dating apps and other tech-based options.

The archaic matchmaker is now a new best friend

When I started my own matchmaking agency, I realised there was a huge gap between how matchmaking had been done in Southern Asia and the aspirations and requirements of today’s westernised, digitised singles. Today, young single South Asians decide for themselves the people they want to marry. Parents or “elders” now only come in later for approval, if indeed at all.

Families that were particular about caste, creed and colour 30-40 years ago are softening and the circle is wider. Previously, family background was very important because a partner from a similar cultural and socio-economic background made adapting easier. The days of box-ticking partners’ credentials have gone. People now look at compatibility between the two parties. What matters is the fact that the people fundamentally like each other. How people feel emotionally about each other is the order of the day. Times have changed.

But by the same token, more and more single South Asians still want to call upon the personalised, old-fashioned, formal help that a matchmaker can give them. Algorithms and technology, great though they are, can’t do that. For my clients, that means a dating solution that gives them human interaction with real, in-person interviews, in order that the matchmaker can learn about them and their preferences. They also want a matchmaker who meets with each of the potential matches in order to fully vet them before arranging a date. It essentially means a matchmaker doing the first date work for them, giving the client 100% control over the choice of people they like most and want to date.

Matchmaking has so moved on from its reputation for being archaic and passé, into one that’s personal and warm. You have a friend in your matchmaker to look after you, to care about you and to watch over your love life. That may seem restrictive and staid compared with the Wild West of modern internet dating, but if you ever fancy seeing how it’s being done with a difference now, you now know who to contact.

By Aneeka Patel

Founded in 2016 by Aneeka Patel, Project 143 is a matchmaking and introductions agency for South Asian professionals in London between the ages of 28 and 45. The company prides itself on offering its clients a personal involvement in the selection of suitable candidates and works with a network of carefully handpicked and approved members, all of whom are personally interviewed by certified matchmaker, Aneeka Patel.