Hacks for improved matching
At the outset, let me confess that I am a huge fan of the uppit kesari bath model of marriages, except of course when the coffee is unpalatable! Until now, I had not found a way to convince my generation why this model works best in the arranged set up. After recently speaking to a few non-Indians about their intention to marry, I’ve arrived at the conclusion that once you have decided to get married, there’s no better way to do it than hire a broker irrespective of what race you belong to. Agreed that such brokerages don’t exist in most of the western world, but it does in the East and especially in India.
Recently, I was talking to a Bangalorean friend for whom I was not in a position to make introductions due to liquidity issues and that’s usually when I offer these market strategy level services just to help improve their searches at the very least. She’d been in the market for the last one year or so and we were discussing her strategy in the market when I realised that the arranged marriage market is getting more and more inefficient by the day simply because of peer pressure from the new found dating market in India.
To make the marriage market more efficient, we could try to use the Gale Shapley’s algorithm to create matches. However, in order for this to work well, we need to revive the traditional processes of arranged marriages with the improved liquidity offered by new age social networks including matrimonial websites. So, here are a few simple hacks.
Get your filters right
We normally start our search too narrow, then widen it over time and then you finally end up with 300-400 profiles to sieve through and since you can’t do it all in a day, you start to get frustrated going over several pages of very average profiles with a few exceptions here and there. Matrimonial sites do not offer the same pleasure in searches as the swipes on Tinder do. Best way to get around this is to pick 5-6 key criteria that will help filter people you are most likely to get along with. For example, if you are a 29 year old girl, you are likely to have a better hit rate with men between 29-34 (even older for sure), but you have a very low chance of conversion with someone younger than you. Our society has been conditioned to relationships where the woman is younger than the man by 1-5 years and so this is the age group of men who you’ll have the best shot with. Sounds ancient, but it’s the true.
Increase your karabath counter
There have been times when I have exclaimed when people have told me things like they found the right guy/ girl after 20-30 people, but ideally that’s the strategy you need to follow – maximise your turnover. The only way to do this is by minimising your transaction cost. Instead of texting someone for 3 months trying to get to know them, just go meet them or in other words, increase your karabath counter. When you meet someone, you make a stronger impression, you can judge much more in one meeting than over a month of texting. If you create the right atmosphere, both of you may be compelled to make a decision (yes, no or maybe) sooner than later. Else, you can end up endlessly texting multiple people through these 3 months by which time you would’ve lost interest in most of these people, thanks to our ever evading attention spans these days.
Put yourself out there
Be it a funny #Tindertales twitter handle/ blog or even making sure you are present at every family/ community gathering that maximises your chances of meeting interesting people, make sure you are on top of your game. People need to get a sense that they already know enough about you to want to talk to you or be with you. If you had to really start from scratch, then not only are your chances lower, it’s just going to take far longer. Don’t expect your mother or grandmother to do the job for you by circulating your profile like a donation collection pamphlet at family gatherings. Be there since that’s the best way to market yourself. It’s almost like finding yourself that perfect job. This is not love marriage for gods sake, so yes, there is nothing romantic about the process.