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    Data-Match: Internet Dating Services, the New Matchmaker

    By Kristen Houghton     

    ‘“Matchmaker, matchmaker, find me a find, catch me a catch, match me a match”’ is the song sung by Tevye’s unmarried daughters in the Broadway musical, “Fiddler on the Roof.” To find a husband, they had to rely on a crafty old woman named “Yenta.” However, satisfaction with future spouses was not one of her guarantees!

    For hundreds of years, in all ethnic and religious groups in every strata of society, there have been women who were professional matchmakers. With precision and a keen eye for what constituted a “good match,” they brought together a man and a woman who had similar backgrounds, heritage, education, social status, and finances. The only thing missing was love; that “silly emotion” didn’t figure into the matchmaking process.

    Personal matchmaking services still exist today for certain cultures and traditions. Marriages are made, lives together begun, all with matchmaker savvy and parental consent. Most of the marriages are very successful.

    Today, even people whose traditions or cultures do not require the services of a matchmaker are turning to outside help to find a mate. However, today’s matchmaker is much more likely to be electronic than human. Enter the world of data-match mate search.

    Finding the “love of your life” through one of the many internet dating services available has become more popular than ever. The services provided by companies such as eHarmony.com and Matchmaker.com are similar to the old tried and true methods that have been used by professional matchmakers for centuries but with a twist. People are not only looking for their ideal mate, they are also looking for someone with whom they can be in love and they, not their parents or the matchmaker, are being specific in who they choose.

    Your picture, your answers to questions about what you are looking for in a partner, and any personal information you care to provide, are put into a system that will match you with someone compatible with you. Questions will range from the serious-“how important are religious beliefs to you?” to the cute-“ If you were a contestant on Survivor what item would you bring with you from home?”

    Many of the services provided are excellent and the company’s are protective of their clients’ personal information. After meeting a prospective mate and going on a date, feedback is required as to how satisfactory the date was. Instead of calling a friend to relate the information, you plug it into your computer!

    While the fees vary, (it is a business after all), the services are basically the same. As with any other service or business, however, you do tend to get what you pay for, so shop around for one that suits your needs. There are companies which cater to specific religious or ethnic groups and other sites that are more “across the board” in preferences. Web site matchmaking has a place to suit everyone.

    The matchmaker of old has met modern technology and they have merged to meet the needs of the dating public in 2008. Happy dating!

    Written by Kristen HoughtonRate this article:

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