Internet dating and matchmaking conference
“The higher the earning power of the man, the more likely he would [be to] ask to date a younger woman,” Li says.
The more affordable “self-service” dating site is popular with those in their 20s, but he says there is a very definite trend that when women reach the age of 27 they opt for the more pricey matchmaking service.
According to figures released recently by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the “crude divorce rate” – which measures the number of separations for every 1,000 people in China – doubled in the decade through 2016 from 1.46 to three.
“You can almost very accurately calculate for every 1,000 yuan salary increase how many more winks he will receive,” he says.
“They want to know from the very beginning, before they waste time, whether the husband and wife will manage the finances collectively, whether she has to live with her in-laws and whether he wants children and how many,” Li says.
The matchmakers get a minimal base salary and earn commission for every match, so it’s in their interest to make good matches and smooth out any dating hiccups.
The matchmaker does a lot more than just introduce people, she – and it’s always a woman as apparently both men and women feel more comfortable discussing their romantic life with a woman – is also responsible for “managing expectations”, solving misunderstandings and serving as a middle person to ask embarrassing questions.
For example, if a woman is interested in a man, but doesn’t want to appear to come on too strong by asking serious questions about the future, she gets her matchmaker to do it.
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“A lot of people are saying leftover women can’t find a man, but mostly it’s because she sets very high standards; she doesn’t want to compromise,” says Li.