Meet your ‘Seoul’ mate: 3 Korean apps for all phases of your love life
SEOUL - While browsing profiles on a dating app, Ms Jayine Chung was drawn to a man who described himself as someone who enjoys korea hook up apps food and throwing stones into the Han River. 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 swipe dating apps 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.
Even the South Korean government, eager to boost the country's low fertility rate of 1. The median age for marriage has risen in the past few decades to hit Singapore's Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo, in Seoul last month korea hook up apps study the country's marriage and parenthood policies, noted how youth in both South Korea and Singapore have delayed marriage in recent years. She also noted, however, that the Koreans were more proactive in looking for love and embracing commercial matchmaking agencies.
In a Facebook post titled "Dating - Gangnam Style", she urged single Singaporeans to start early, like the Koreans, and be open to getting professional help. There are some 1, dating agencies in Korea hook up apps Korea, which is home to a population of 50 million. Duo, which claims to be the largest dating agency in the country, has a membership of 31, It has made over 33, successful matches that led to marriages in the past two decades. It uses a computerised system to crunch detailed information provided by members, including occupation, annual income, car and property owned, and residential zone, and conducts background checks to verify the information before pairing up members.
It makes as many as 17, matches a month. Duo chief executive officer Park Soo Kyung said the firm's motto is to pair singles with the aim of making "happy marriages". It has managers who talk to members to further define their ideal partner and dating coaches to advise them on how to carry themselves in order to win over their dream man or woman.
A typical male member is a year-old university graduate who earns korea hook up apps million won a year, while a typical female member is black women dating interracially year-old degree holder earning 30 million won a year. Matchmakers have traditionally played a key role in Korean society, said Ms Park. That's why they relied on matchmakers to collect detailed korea hook up apps and recommend suitable match," she said.
Marriage in modern times has become a pursuit of free love and individual happiness, leading to the wane of the professional matchmaker. However, with young people now becoming more pragmatic in their attitude towards marriage, they "would use information from matchmakers to find their ideal partners as they feel it is a rational thing to do", said Ms Park. She added that as getting married and starting a family require big sums of money, young people don't want to risk going into it without knowing their partner's socio-economic background and financial status - information which dating agencies can provide.
Said sociologist Kim Soo Kyung, a research professor at Korea hook up apps University: People care more about economic status and what university one graduated from, and that could be the reason why they are turning to dating agencies that have a lot of that data. One concern, however, is that dating agencies rank members based on criteria that are "heavily weighted on materialistic indicators and aggravate gender discrimination", Prof Kim said.
For example, some occupations with looks as a prerequisite, like flight stewardess, are ranked higher. 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. Young people are less able to rely on friends and family to fix them up with a date, unlike in the past.
Then, one korea hook up apps go for "sogaeting", a one-on-one blind date with a friend's friend, or "meeting", a small gathering korea hook up apps six to eight singles who typically break the ice by playing some kind of drinking game. Nightclubs would offer a so-called "booking" service, where a middleman would help men to approach women who they fancy and take them to their tables for a drink. For financial consultant Choi Min Hee, 35, it was korea hook up apps mother's colleague who introduced her to her husband, an office manager, a decade ago.
Ms Choi said she was under family pressure marry early and, as fate would have it, her date turned out to be her ideal man. They were married within a year of their first meeting, and they now have two children - a seven-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son. South Koreans today are also less anxious about getting married, with marriage now viewed as an option and not a must.
A survey by Statistics Korea showed that only With korea hook up apps youth unemployment and a sluggish economy, many young people who are unable to find good jobs are choosing to remain single. Some local governments have their own measures to encourage people to marry early and have children. Haenam county in South Jeolla province has been organising a two-day matchmaking camp for singles since The annual event successfully paired six couples last year, according to officials.