According to the New York Times, India has more than 1500 matrimony websites for arranged marriage and their numbers are growing like wildfire! The reason or this growth in the number of matrimony websites is the fact that India has 605 million people below the age group of 25. That’s almost twice the size of the population of the United States! In the next 5 to 10 years, India will see an explosive demand for marriage and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for matrimony websites (pun intended).
Why are matrimony websites popular?
While dating sites are also becoming popular, it is the arranged marriage market where business is booming. Arranged marriage is a family-driven initiative and has all the seriousness of a nuclear reactor going critical! When prospective customers are serious buyers or consumers, they expect results. There are two key reasons for the popularity of matrimony websites:
- The reduction in the median family size in urban, as well as rural areas in India, is a direct result of population control practices as well as preference to move away from joint family set up. As a result, the social network that families typically had within their village or town has shrunk considerably. This has contributed to increased dependence on matrimony websites when it comes to finding matches from the same caste or other cultural parameters.
- Rapid urbanization has also created a similar situation to growth in nuclear families. Urban families find it difficult to find matches for their children in a city that is culturally different from their home town or village, resulting in the growth of matrimony websites that seem to mimic traditional approaches to arranged marriage.
You can read more about this in our earlier blog post titled “Why Do Indians Use Matrimonial Sites?”
While the largest matrimony sites are delivering results, the question is can they continue to sustain their past success in light of the emerging changes. These changes are driven by the improving socio-economic condition of families, greater exposure to the outside world via the Internet, media, travel, and increasing education levels among women. The current generation of parents have benefited from India’s economic reforms back in the 1990s and have a different outlook towards marriages compared to that of their parents.
If you are someone that hasn’t found love on your own, and your parents are breathing down your neck, you are probably planning to sign-up with one of the matrimony websites. Before you do so, you should know the top seven traps to avoid when navigating online matrimony sites. We have done all the hard work for you. Just read on.
1. Beware of the freemium model in matrimony websites
Most of the matrimony websites, if not all, operate on the “freemium” model. This is how the freemium model works – You sign up free of cost to access basic features or limited features and then you pay to access premium features. This is how most of the websites operate as they need to eventually make money to survive and grow. However, you should watch out for websites that don’t offer any meaningful service when you are a “free” user. In addition, you will end up feeling like a prospective customer that needs to be sold to at every turn!
Here are some examples:
- You sign up for free, but you need to pay to communicate with shortlisted matches.
- You see only limited matches and need to pay to see more matches.
- In order for your profile to be made more visible, you will have to pay more.
We are not saying that this model is bad. All successful international online product companies such as LinkedIn, Spotify, Dropbox, to name a few, rely on the freemium model. It’s just that you need to be aware of what you are signing up for when you enthusiastically sign up for a FREE matrimony site.
2. Matrimony websites are the breeding grounds for creeps
While we cannot blame arranged marriage sites for letting creeps and stalkers create profiles and search for profiles, being aware of the fact that you are likely to be a victim of online stalking is a good first step. Many arranged marriage websites give the badge of “trusted profiles” if a user validates their identity. But the real problem is the unsavoury “trusted profiles” you may have to contend with. Here is one very good example of what we mean by creeps.
As you can see this guy decided to “date” women through matrimony websites just for fun with no intent to get married. In fact, his parents were never even aware of the fact that their son was up to no good! Just image wasting your time having multiple rounds of conversations and even dates with this loser!
3. Getting lost in matrimony websites
The most popular arranged marriage websites were created over a decade ago. Their philosophy is based on the premise that you can move the process of arranged marriage online. All the prejudices, idiosyncrasies of real-world arranged marriages were made available online. They decided to add more features or in other words, more features that will make them money. What you now have is a hodge-podge of features that act more as distractions when navigating the sites. You are bound to get a headache or you may end up paying for some “premium” feature inadvertently!
Look at all the highlighted sections of the screen from a matrimony site. The number of menu items and links on the screen is truly astounding and confusing.
Here is the page from the advanced search criteria. Even a supermarket in the US won’t give you these many options and choices. BTW, did you know that having too many choices confuses users according to this study?
4. Be prepared to lose your individuality
The biggest issue with all matrimony websites is that they attempt to classify you or box you into a category or what we call a matrimony profile. You become yet another commodity that will be sold to. Every profile you will see will read the same with the profile photograph being the difference! You might as well not waste any time in reading the profile and just base your shortlist on how “good looking” the potential match is!
Here is how you are boxed into a matrimony profile to fit a stereotype.
Here is an example of a search result in a popular matrimony site.
Can you spot the difference between two profiles? They are both boring and you might as well be shortlisting people from a prison camp! Notice that the profile on the top with the yellow background is a “featured profile”. In other words, somebody paid this matrimony site to show their unattractive and anonymous profile to more people!
5. Who am I talking to?
When you reach out to potential matches, are you sure you are reaching out to the profile owner? The answer is “more often than not”. Invariably, you will end up talking to the parent who has actually created the profile! This is one sure way of making sure you don’t develop any romantic feelings and the entire process of arranged marriage remains sterile and true to the time-tested process embraced by our ancestors!
Here is a screenshot from an online matrimony website. As you can see the number of profiles created by the parents (look under Profiles posted by) is significantly more than those created by the man or the woman interested in getting married.
The dangers of interacting with parents and relatives are apparent. Parents end up describing your expectations based on what they read elsewhere! Decades of being exposed to matrimony ads in newspapers, the practice of submitting biodata for marriages through local religious gathering places (which have now morphed into caste-based Facebook groups) have conditioned parents to write your profile in a certain way. Here
Here is a template parents use to create a profile in online matrimony sites.
“Well educated <your caste here> boy, tall, handsome, looking for a homely, professionally qualified <caste here> girl. Only engineers or doctors, <sub sect>, please excuse.” may well be your profile headline.
6. Anonymous profiles will remain anonymous
Beware of anonymous profiles! Matrimony sites offer users the option to keep their profile anonymous. Guess what it is for? Read the paragraph on stalkers above! The bright side of anonymous profiles is that there is an element of curiosity in wanting to see who the person is behind the blurred out photograph. But brace yourself for a big-time disappointment when you actually “see” the person.
The disappointment is because of the fact that you may have jumped an extra few hoops to see yet another profile that you think is not suitable!
Anonymous profiles are meant to protect the privacy of the matrimony website users. However, the moment you decide to sign up for matrimony websites, you are signing up for a numbers game. If you don’t meet people regularly through online matrimony sites, your chances of finding that special someone comes down dramatically. Anonymous profiles are never exciting and more often than not, flatter to deceive.
7. Matching algorithms don’t work
Matrimony websites have yet another issue to deal with. It’s their search algorithms. You have two types of websites – those that provide matches based on your caste or the skin colour you prefer (which is usually “fair” or “wheatish”) and then there are those that have lined up psychologists and behaviour experts to read your mind. Either way, it’s painful to answer inane questions like how many hands or legs you have or complicated questions like “If you were an animal, what animal would you be?” Here is an example of how matching is done.
Notice that the matching parameters include income range and profession. Matrimony sites end up focusing way too much on hard facts as a means for matching. The ideal requirements would be to align profiles based on shared interests, goals, and expectations and leave all other parameters to the users to decide based on their interactions.
Want a better result with online matrimony sites?
Why not create your matrimony profile or biodata for marriage using Jodi Logik and share your cool, custom profile with people you may have shortlisted through matrimony sites?
Here are three reasons why this approach can dramatically improve your chances of finding your soulmate.
1. Create a customised biodata for marriage
With Jodi Logik, every profile is different. Select from hand-crafted themes to reflect your personality, express your lifestyle and interests visually through photographs, and elegantly express your expectations. That’s not it. Jodi Logik will automatically create a video of your profile. When you create your Jodi Logik profile, you will clearly communicate your personality and expectations. Your Jodi Logik profile leaves no room for surprises.
2. Share your biodata for marriage elegantly
If anybody expresses interest in your matrimony profile or ask for your detailed biodata for marriage, send them a trackable email invite to view your Jodi Logik profile. See how many times your profile was viewed and stop access to anyone. You can even set up a separate password for everyone that has access to your Jodi Logik profile.
3. Communicate elegantly
With a Jodi Logik profile, you can communicate with anyone viewing your profile elegantly. Just look for the heart icons that magically show up when someone has a question. No more inboxes to manage. Carry on multiple threads of conversations independently around your likes, interests, and expectations.
What are you waiting for? Sign up for Jodi Logik. It’s completely free and fun to create your profile.