For many young South Koreans, dating is too expensive, or too dangerous

Kim Joon-hyup recently went on his first date in three years. But the year-old student wasn’t looking for a girlfriend, he was completing a college assignment. From picking the right partner to coping with breakups, the “Gender and Culture” course at Seoul’s Sejong University teaches students the various aspects of dating, love and sex. The class is particularly popular for its dating assignment, in which students are paired with random partners to go on four-hour-long dates. Such classes may be necessary. A growing number of South Koreans are shunning romantic relationships amid economic hardships and societal problems.

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Marriage in South Korea mirrors many of the practices and expectations of marriages in other The first step is called the Eui hon, or ‘matchmaking‘, this is when both the The South Korean marriage agency Duo first began advertising its.

Sirf Coffee is a hybrid matchmaking startup that offers a pressure-free, personalised approach to dating with offline dates handpicked by seasoned relationship managers. Love strikes when you least expect it. But sometimes, Cupid can just be a rickety old fellow stirring chaos in the romance department of your life.

And to serve this clan of love-seekers, several hybrid matchmaking platforms have cropped up in the market. Beyond the legion of dating apps and matrimonial platforms, these new services aim to combine the best of both — the trust quotient of the traditional arranged marriages and the charm and comfort of dating. The startup, which was started in and commercialised in , is headquartered in Mumbai and is also present in London.

Born of personal experiences, it offers a pressure-free, personalised approach to dating, and organises offline dates for matches handpicked by seasoned relationship managers.

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John Jae-dong Kim at his clinic in Upland. Kim is a Catholic deacon and gastroenterologist who is one of the organizers behind a Koreatown matchmaking event for parents with unmarried children. Bachelor No.

At DUO, a matchmaking firm, its 26, members can choose between five different membership programs with fees from million won ($).

Hwang Yoon-hee, a year-old in her final semester at a university, had a definite plan for her future: graduate school, followed by a career working with an international organization. But her determination wavered a bit when she got a call from “Madame Tu. As South Koreans try to strike a balance between traditional arranged marriages and the newer trend of marrying for love, the country has seen rising numbers of Madame Tus — the slang for female entrepreneurs in the lucrative matchmaking field.

The number of small and large private agencies — including Madame Tus — has increased to more than 1, The industry is a mix of tradition and modern values. It allows young people to avoid having parents choose a mate, but still recognizes the importance of family background, social status and a mate’s earning power. And it takes into account good looks and compatibility — and the hope that love will blossom.

Jo Hyung-joon, who works at a computer consulting company, is now selecting a company to find his ideal wife. Kim, 30, and his year-old bride praised marriage consultant Song Young-lae for encouraging them to keep looking for the right person. Kim Joo-kwan, who has a disabled leg, filed a suit a year ago against the two biggest matchmaking companies, DUO and Sunoo, for refusing to take him as a client.

South Koreans turn to the pros to find Seoul mates

Marriage in South Korea mirrors many of the practices and expectations of marriages in other societies, and, as such, is constantly changing. Marriage in South Korea is currently restricted to unions between individuals of the opposite sex as same-sex marriages remain unrecognized. Otherwise South Korea’s age of consent to marriage is 20 in Korean age 19 in international age.

So, if you’re 19 in international age, it means you can’t get married in South Korea, because you’re considered as underaged in context of marriage in South Korea.

The age at which Korean women are getting hitched has risen by an average 4. At DUO, a matchmaking firm, its 26, members can choose between five different.

Dating is not enough. The nation’s No. It’s time we branched out into other business, and believe me, weddings and marriage consulting is right up our alley,” said Kim Hyae-jeong, president and CEO of Duo in an interview. Dressed simply but tastefully in a violet-colored jacket and matching slacks, Kim explained that she felt it a part of Duo’s responsibility to take part in the after-process after the couples tie the knot. Duo Wed and Duo Remarry are the affiliates that carry on the Duo name; the former offers wedding planning services while the latter finds the right match for people looking for a second chance in marriage.

Some say Kim had it easy over the years? The brand power of Duo is such that it accounts for more than two-thirds of the matchmaking market in Korea. Last year, it saw more than 25, couples stand before the altar, which is about 80 percent of its clients. Kim attributed Duo’s success to its efforts to continue cultivating its brand name, and also to the “couple managers” who are in charge of the process once the clients sign up for blind dates. Clients at matchmaking agencies complain of the quality of these managers, saying that they seemed to be clueless about the type of person they were looking for despite having met the clients numerous times.

It used to be that Korean matchmaking services benchmarked Japan, where the business took off more than a decade earlier. This means a lot to us, because it used to be the other way around,” she said. Duo’s wide media exposure on mainstream TV in the 90s coupled with the breakneck speed of technological development such as the spread of the internet seem to be the two main factors responsible for the continuous fame the company is enjoying.

Matchmaking enjoying a revival in South Korea

SEOUL Reuters – If you are thirty-plus and a woman with a masters degree in South Korea, you may need the help of a matchmaker to find love — and your worried mother may even end up doing the legwork for you. As women in this rich Asian country have become better educated, with five times as many now getting advanced degrees as in , they have also become more choosy and are less likely to settle for the role of meek spouse traditionally expected of Korean women.

The age at which Korean women are getting hitched has risen by an average 4. At DUO, a matchmaking firm, its 26, members can choose between five different membership programs with fees from 1.

DUO information inc. Review: “THIS DECEITFUL KOREAN MATCHMAKER ILLEGALLY BREACHED MY CONTRACT IN JUNE , STOLE MY USD,​.

This version has been updated and edited, with permission from the author s and publication s , for length and clarity. But in the time of coronavirus, when most potential couples are in quarantine, many young Koreans are pondering deeply the meaning of dating and marriage — and the more they contemplate on the process, the more it changes their views as well as the role of their matchmaker.

With the surge of COVID cases across the country, Lee said that it is the first time that Duo closed its office in more than 20 years. Since March, Lee has been pairing and giving marriage advice to various Korean Americans, many of whom are young. One of her clients, for instance, is a young Korean-American male who was worried about how he would look on a video call.

Matchmaking and dating during a pandemic has not been easy. Because most of the restaurant and coffee shops have been shut down since March, all meetings are done virtually. Lee says she also needs to be strategic: she now advises Korean couples to get coffee and walk together at a nearby park. It may not be the traditional way of matchmaking, with sometimes both parents are involved, but it has been successful.

Recently, a young Korean woman said the new dating and matchmaking method has made it much more conversational and interactive. Her client told her that she has been more inclined to listen to the other person, rather than paying attention to his appearance. Lee said that she is not surprised to see more Koreans wanting to get married in the wake of COVID, because many couples have more time to experience being alone and lonely.

I have not given much thought about marriage because I was so busy.

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Korea’s biggest matchmaking company conducted the survey Nov. , questioning men and women. According to Duo’s findings, an.

Who does that any more? I needed to meet this guy,” recalled the year-old freelance theatre producer with a laugh. After several rounds of shortlisting from a list of potential dates through the free app Norang Narang Korean for “you and me” , they finally got to exchange contact details and arranged to meet the next day. But Ms Chung was anything but impressed when her date, a freelance storyboard artist for TV commercials, showed up wearing a Burberry trench coat and driving a Range Rover, as if flaunting his wealth.

Then we sat down to talk, and he realised I’m not the materialistic sort. I was more interested in his work, like he’s shot a short film, and his plans, and what’s he like as a person,” she recalled. After he drove her home, she bought him a cup of coffee to thank him – a gesture that surprised him as most girls he had dated expected him to pay for everything. That was the beginning of a relationship that culminated in their getting married in January last year, on the first anniversary of their first date.

Ms Chung and her husband, Mr Song Kyung Heub, 47, are part of a growing number of couples who met with professional help – be they matchmaking agencies or dating apps. Another reason for using dating agencies is that social circles have shrunk, with more people preferring to spend their free time alone, often glued to their smart devices.

Dating 101: Go on a Fishing Date

Age is not as important as it used to be for single South Koreans seeking marriage partners, a survey revealed Wednesday. He is three to four years older than the woman, graduated from a four-year university, and works as a public servant or at a public organization. An ideal wife, on the other hand, is centimeters tall and has an annual income of 42 million won plus million won in assets.

She is three to four years younger than the man, graduated from a four-year university, and works as a public servant or at a public organization. While

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Perhaps it should start its own matchmaking service. Marriage is becoming an option, not a rite of passage, among South Koreans, with more campers insecure about their jobs, and acoustic women favoring work outside the home over child-rearing. In , a majority of South Koreans in their groups and 30s – click here 51 percent – were unmarried, 5 percentage points higher than in In old Korea, where Confucian mores frowned on the mingling of the sexes, acoustic people were brought together by matchmakers, usually acoustic women in their villages.

Many elderly Koreans remember meeting their mates for the acoustic, or even first, time on their wedding day. Even now, marriage is widely viewed as a contract between two families, and when the time comes, parents often take charge. They check a candidate’s looks, education, income and horoscope. On weekends, young men and clubs might face each other awkwardly in a hotel cafeteria after being dragged there by their parents for a matchmaking session.

Love can blossom later, the parents find them. Agencies thrive because they combine traditional ways with the acoustic, Western concept of the acoustic date. For parents concerned with “saving face,” an agency can take culture of the awkward business of checking personal background and, perhaps, rejecting a candidate introduced by friends.

For clubs, overwhelmed by the hectic pace of acoustic life, it saves time by allowing them to schedule their encounters. It also reduces the risks of a acoustic date by net suitors. Such a acoustic approach is favored by singles alarmed by the rising South Korean divorce rate, a phenomenon often blamed on arranged marriages.

Matchmaker survey reveals changing criteria for ‘ideal’ marriage partners

It explains that high unemployment and sexual violence such as illicit filming by romantic partners have made young Koreans hesitate to engage in a romantic relationship. CNN cites a survey recently published by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs on unwed Korean men and women aged between 20 and 44 to study the status of fertility, family wellbeing and welfare in The news has said that around 26 percent and 32 percent of unmarried men and women, respectively, were in a romantic relationship.

According to the news report, the unemployment crisis is one of the blocks to dating among young Koreans with an unemployment rate of Financial burdens regarding dating costs also contribute.

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