Match-maker, match-maker, make me a match
Deccan Chronicle.| Nivi Shrivastava
Unlike the show Bridgerton, the only thing missing in today's time is the unapologetic display of suitable matches at debutante balls
Stills from the show 'Bridgerton'. (By Arrangement)
The second season of the regency romance series Bridgerton is upon us, and there’s one standout takeaway from the show -- all societies are crazy about marriages, including the carefully curated colour-conscious clans of Netflix’s hit show. If you thought coupling in feudal societies was different from the 21st Century, here’s a reality check – parents still love to meddle and play a huge influence in deciding their children’s future partners. Just like the marriage-obsessed mamas and daughters of the show, unmarried women and men feel pressured to find a partner and settle even in this day and age.
The problem of plenty:
Unlike the fictional show Bridgerton, the only thing missing in today’s time is the unapologetic display of suitable matches parading at debutante balls. However, that doesn’t deter parents from showing off their young daughters and sons at family functions and marriages – discreet yet very common practice for arranged setups. "One would think in the age of several dating apps and services it should be easy to find a partner. Sadly, too many options leave people confused and scared about settling," says Hema Srinivas, a 27-year-old IT professional based in Hyderabad. She shares her experiences of dating online and offline, "It’s the problem of plenty, and the swipe left and right culture is creating a lot of commitment issues. I have tried some dating apps and it did not work for me. I moved to matrimony apps and it was even worse with random phone calls and fraud profiles. I think most young people are terrified of commitment and they ghost or disappear without accountability. With the rise in divorce cases, the institution of marriage is difficult to sustain. Honestly, it’s hard to bank on love or arrange set-ups anymore."
Sonali Kapur and Samiksha Chopra of The Perfect Match
Even in today's time when many people wish to live an independent life, the serial memos on marriage keep popping up now and then. Delhi-based Sonali Kapur, co-founder of The Perfect Match matrimony service, feels the characters in the series Bridgeton are quite relatable to our social dynamics. When she started working with her co-founder Samiksha Chopra, she realized that a major difference in arranged marriage set-ups now is the age factor. She says, "Earlier people would start looking for a match in the early twenties, which has now gone up to early thirties. A lot of traditional matchmaking still sees an arranged setup by families but the ultimate decision is made by the boy and girl after they find themselves compatible. The idea of finding a perfect match in terms of financial and societal norms is still relevant in the upper strata of the society, but it is no more restrictive to age, community, or religion."
Marriage obsessed families:
In South-Asian nations, marriages are still regarded to be the union of families, and arranged marriages are the norm in all strata of society. Divya Khanna, co-founder of bespoke matrimony service company the Vows International says traditional matchmaking still thrives in Indian society. From her experiences with many premium clients, she infers that parents are still - more often than not - very much involved in matchmaking right from the beginning. Despite the change in attitudes and values in the context of marriage, and in expectations from life partners, families still pay a lot of attention to finding a quintessential "perfect" match for their sons and daughters. She runs Vows with Payal Chugh and Ritika Sachdev, and mentions that a lot of her younger clients find it more convenient to open up with their team because of their relatively similar age group.
Divya Khanna, Chugh and Ritika Sachdev from the Vows International
She sums up, "While there are many families who let children pick their partners, there are more who are more traditional and the first screen at all the prospects before passing on to their children for setting up formal meetings. Some communities in particular favour arranged marriages for their daughters and, and look actively for the most eligible partners."