Swiping on the mother-in-law
At Marriage Broker Auntie, I have consistently struggled with the sex ratio – I’ve had more sign ups from women compared to men. If you know anything about matching markets, you’ll know that this is the opposite problem of most matrimonial and dating apps in the market today. The safety and privacy offered by a private network is definitely an incentive for women. But this doesn’t explain why fewer men wanted to work with me.
Over time, I have learnt that fewer men (when compared to women) end up being the primary decision makers while choosing a partner. It’s usually their mothers who lead or at least heavily influence their decisions. So, in an attempt to expand my own network to include more men, I have been more accepting of men with larger decision making units. I frequently interact with mothers who guard their sons’ interests. Sometimes, I never speak to the sons.
When I send proposals to these mothers, they’ll respond promptly with a quick decision. While it is a pleasure to receive timely decisive responses, it is unsettling for me as a matchmaker to be matching people based on second hand information. I would want to make matches based on a fit of personalities between the bride and the groom, but sometimes I have more information about the groom’s mother than the groom himself.
Sometimes, it’s gotten to a point where I have to match women clients not with future partners, but the future mother-in-law. So, I have started insisting that I speak to the sons, especially the ones in their thirties. A lot of mothers are reluctant to resign from their goalkeeper posts, and that messes with my matching algorithm.
There’s more to this than me assuming that these mothers are being overprotective. If these men were truly interested and capable of making their own decisions, some of them would already be married by now. So, in a way, these men are self-eliminating themselves from the market by nominating their mothers, and so who am I to continue to scout them when they aren’t even participating?
Now, as a policy, I work only with wards, and not their parents or other family members