History of matchmaking services
Matchmaking is the process of matching two or more people together, usually for the purpose of marriage , but the word is also used in the context of sporting events such as boxing, in business, in online video games and in pairing organ donors. In some cultures, the role of the matchmaker was and is quite professionalized. The Ashkenazi Jewish shadchan , or the Hindu astrologer , were often thought to be essential advisors and also helped in finding right spouses as they had links and a relation of good faith with the families. In cultures where arranged marriages were the rule, the astrologer often claimed that the stars sanctified matches that both parents approved of, making it quite difficult for the possibly-hesitant children to easily object — and also making it easy for the astrologer to collect his fee. Social dance , especially in frontier North America, the contra dance and square dance , has also been employed in matchmaking, usually informally.
This August 31 is National Matchmaking Day. In the modern sense, matchmaking tends to refer to the apps and sites that we use to do the dirty work of sorting out suitors; but for much of human history, the matchmaker was a person. Choosing a life partner was often viewed as far too complicated a decision for young people on their own, and from Aztec civilization to ancient Greece and China, their elders often women intervened to make sure they had the "right" kind of suitor.
So far, so traditional; but matchmaking throughout human history has had its irreverent moments. How about a ritual biannual orgy, holy sparrow's eggs, or tests involving kindness to camels? The matchmaker as a figure appears often in popular culture; think of Fiddler On The Roof 's " Matchmaker, Make Me A Match ," or Mulan 's disastrous encounter with a snooty matchmaker who declares she'll never bring her family honor ironically enough, of course.
The stilted, often slightly bizarre photos of potential brides that result were satirised by Japanese modern artist Tomoko Sawada in her OMIAI series, in which she appears as thirty different "options" for Japanese lovelorn men. If you are still looking for love, today's matchmakers often involve algorithms and left-swipes rather than in-person interviews though that also still exists , but there might be a charm in going back to more traditional times.
Except for the ones involving shooting guns in the air. The matchmaker, or shadchan, remains an important figure in some Orthodox Jewish communities , and has a pretty ancient lineage: The episode involves the servant of Abraham, Elizier, selecting a bride for Abraham's son by observing women by a well. His choice, Rebekah , passes something Biblical scholars call "the camel test;" she comes to fetch water from the well for her own family, but gives some to both Elizier and all his camels.
Given that there were ten of them, this was some feat of generosity. Ancient Greek matchmakers operated, essentially, as telegram-carriers or go-betweens. Always women, the promnestria, as they were called, did all the negotiations for two families wanting to marry; they made the approach, took messages, and, most importantly, reported their personal opinions of prospective spouses to hopeful brides and grooms. It's likely that some pairs in this arrangement didn't meet each other at all until the wedding day.
The problem with this was that, if the marriage ended up unhappy, it was all down to the promnestria's taste, and whether she exaggerated or traded in scurrilous libel. In one of Aristophanes' comedies, The Clouds , the character Strepsiades, whose wife has slightly too expensive tastes, loudly laments that he wishes the promnestria who set them up would die a horrible death for her liberties with the truth.
Sounds like a risky job. Many matchmaking traditions in history, as we'll see, tended to be tied to the seasons, and had relationships with fertility and the spring. This seems to have been particularly the case in ancient China; according to texts, the coming of the swallows every spring to raise their young symbolized to matchmakers that the "season" for setting up young people had begun, and that they could make the relevant sacrifices to the gods an ox, a sheep and a pig.
The swallow's eggs had ties to ideas of fertility and nobility; the possibly-mythical female figure Jiandi, who may have spawned the Shang dynasty that ruled China for hundreds of years BC , allegedly gave birth to the first of the line after eating a swallow's egg that had dropped from heaven. One region of Japan around the Nara period AD came up with a particularly pagan way of creating matches: Ritual In Early And Medieval Japan , on special times and places associated with fertility deities, like mountains and forest glades.
They seem to have taken place in both spring and autumn, and were one of the biggest chances for young people to meet potential spouses from outside their own villages, as the orgies themselves seem to have been pretty massive. They were also competitive: There's an extensive song competition between two dudes recorded in a poem of the period. Couples who established themselves during utagaki would go on to wed.
In some communities, the role of matchmakers went way beyond sitting families down over some tea and asking them what they wanted in a son-in-law. In Aztec law, the matchmaking service was provided by older women under the title cihuatlanque , who did everything. And I do mean everything. According to sources from the period to , the cihuatlanque actually married the couples they successfully matched , using a ritual in which they tied the groom's shirt to the bride's dress.
And after the celebrations, they euphemistically "put the couple to bed". Whether that means escorting them to the bridal chamber, or giving more explicit wedding-day instructions, is not made precisely clear. The Victorian period in England brought one of the most stratified and intense sets of matchmaking and courtship regulations in history. If there was one thing the Victorians were good at, it was keeping a tight watch on the behavior of young women of marriageable age.
Young English girls of suitable age generally 21 , birth and education were able to "come out" as marriageable women in a gigantic debutante ceremony around Easter in Court, in which they wore white gowns with compulsory nine-foot trains , elaborate feather headdresses, and carried bouquets. If they didn't make a match between those dates, it was pretty hopeless; this being the Victorian era, women were only allowed extremely limited contact with the men who courted them, had to be escorted everywhere by chaperone, and could lose her reputation for everything from flirting to riding in a carriage of the wrong type with an unmarried gentleman.
In the age of Tinder and Bumble, you may believe that the s were the real heyday of the modern approach to matchmaking, but you'd be dead wrong. The origins of attempts to find the "science" at the root of good matches is very old indeed, and a magnificent example shows up in the s. The first is a pulse test while kissing your partner, the second a measurement of your "excitement" while watching your partner suffer, the third a "smell test" of one another's body odors, and the fourth a "surprise".
The fourth is, on the scale of things, very much the worst: It's amazing, but shooting guns around prospective spouses isn't actually encouraged as a method of guaranteeing their fitness these days. We hope, anyway. By JR Thorpe.
From arranged marriages to online dating, here's the history of matchmaking. The first matchmaking agencies in Britain appeared in the s when parish. Matchmaking is the process of matching two or more people together, usually for the purpose of Those who find dating systems or services useful but prefer human intelligence and personal touches can choose Read · Edit · View history.
Matchmaking is the process of introducing a couple as potential partners in marriage. People in diverse cultures , past and present, have sought assistance from matchmakers because they may have a deeper understanding of human character, a wider connection to acquaintances, and greater knowledge and experience to help someone choose a marriage partner. The increase in popularity of "love matches" based on romantic and physical attraction, together with a loosening of the restrictions on behavior and decline in arranged marriages , led to a decline in the use of matchmakers with young people turning to various social situations to find prospective partners. Technological advances, however, have seen the re-emergence of the matchmaking process, as computers and the internet became popular tools in the search for an ideal mate.
One of longest traditions of matchmaking is in Jewish communities in Eastern Europe and Russia, with the height of this tradition occurring in the Middle Ages.
As long as people have entered into relationships, people have been matchmaking—you may even have had a go yourself! Britain's early tribal groups arranged marriages as a strategic tool to ensure their inheritance of, and continued dominance over, land, wealth and status.
A Brief History of Vintage Matchmaking
This August 31 is National Matchmaking Day. In the modern sense, matchmaking tends to refer to the apps and sites that we use to do the dirty work of sorting out suitors; but for much of human history, the matchmaker was a person. Choosing a life partner was often viewed as far too complicated a decision for young people on their own, and from Aztec civilization to ancient Greece and China, their elders often women intervened to make sure they had the "right" kind of suitor. So far, so traditional; but matchmaking throughout human history has had its irreverent moments. How about a ritual biannual orgy, holy sparrow's eggs, or tests involving kindness to camels?
Lee began connecting her colleagues together when she thought there was a good match. So she decided to take her matchmaking hobby to the next level and turn it into a paid service within the Chinese community in Flushing. In , when there were only a few players in the business, she began working full-time as a matchmaker. Although her youngest son works in computer maintenance and they have many idle computers at home, she has never thought of using one to run her business. Lee remembers the license plate numbers of the Q14 bus she takes to and from work. Yesterday morning, she rode the and returned home on the Every day, she memorizes the license plate numbers to entertain herself before and after working a nine-hour day. When going to a meeting, Lee takes no computer or folder with her, only photos on her phone. She uses the notebook to record every phone call that comes in, noting age, job, and phone number. American citizen.
Having a dating agency that can offer you a tailored, bespoke service means that a professional matchmaker can be much more confident of delivering the results you want. While a matchmaking membership leaves the world of online dating sites in a cloud of dust, the topic of matchmaking has been around for a long time.
As long as people have entered into relationships, people have been matchmaking—you may even have had a go yourself! Britain's early tribal groups arranged marriages as a strategic tool to ensure their inheritance of, and continued dominance over, land, wealth and status. The consent of the future bride and groom was of little to no importance to these matchmakers, and all of the arrangements were simply made on their behalf. A page from Decretum Gratiani.
The History Of Matchmaking, In 7 Strange Facts
A Project of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics. Savidge in finding a spouse. In exchange, Snell offered to finance a matchmaking agency that would be run and owned by the Rev. According to the story, Savidge—a back-to-the-Bible revivalist and pastor of an independent holiness church—turned the offer down. Still, the details made for sensational type, and newspapers across the country printed the dispatch. Suddenly realizing the potential demand for a matchmaking agency, Savidge reconsidered. From Muslima. Sites for evangelical Protestants offer perhaps the greatest market for growth. Currently the name most closely associated with Christian online dating is ChristianMingle. Launched by the Jewish founders of J-Date, it is one of the twenty-plus niche dating sites operated under the Spark Networks umbrella.
The history of matchmaking is an interesting subject that finds its roots in the past of countries around the world. The Netherlands, Russia, India, Korea and Thailand all practice the time honored tradition of matchmaking. In some cultures, the role of the matchmaker is quite professionalized. Here at Single Atlanta we have been matching couples professionally for over fifteen years. The acceptance of dating systems, such as eHarmony or Plenty of Fish however, has created a resurgence in the role of the traditional professional matchmaker. Those who find dating systems or services useful but prefer human intelligence and personal touches can choose from a wide range of matchmaking services available at Single Atlanta.
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The evolution of: matchmaking
The History of Matchmaking Around the World | Single Atlanta
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