Apps and online dating services are certainly a popular option.
Matchmaking Makes a Comeback in Hong Kong
Tinder is now a household name and OkCupid is bookmarked on many a laptop. Coffee Meets Bagel, the San Francisco-based social networking and dating app, released data last year showing that people here in HK were using the service more often than people anywhere else in the world.
There are many valid reasons why dates with virtual strangers may be uncomfortable and even risky. A few years back using dating apps had a novelty factor and sense of excitement, but these days many users report a sense of disengagement and even boredom with dating apps.
The issues are compounded for mature daters, with many over 40s complaining that the pool of potential mates online is limited. We spoke to Hong Kong-based clinical psychologist Dr Julia Alisha Andre who supports many expats dealing with emotional difficulties.
Professional matchmakers on the rise in Hong Kong
Casual rejection is an integral part of online dating and repeated negative feedback can dent self esteem, even leading to depression in some cases. Jacqueline and Carol focused on this when they began their matchmaking service, meet. But while all this might be fun, for those of us over 40 seeking a significant other there are additional challenges.
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Could this be where old style matchmaking comes in? Signs are pointing in that direction, as more and more locals of all ages are signing up with specialised matchmaking services to finally land their love.
Jacqueline and Carol launched meet. This matchmaking service focuses on mature, English-speaking Hong Kong residents looking for a partner.
Connie Yung has run Date and Match Consultancy for seven years. Now they accounted for almost half.
Professionals' Matchmaking Consultancy 香港及海外婚姻配對
These figures, and other anecdotal evidence, have shown that more career women in Hong Kong have been seeking help from professional matchmakers to find a mate, or even just a companion. Karen Wong is 32 and works in finance.
The chance to meet the right candidate, however, cost her a quarter of her monthly salary. The turnout was greater than any other Chinese city. Ms Yung at Date and Match said another change to her clientele was the age.
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In , she said, her company had no women under 30 on the books. Today, she said her client list included women in their early twenties. Groomed for success The amounts charged by matchmakers in Hong Kong vary depending on the service provided.
As customers have become more discerning, dating agencies have had to expand their services from merely searching a database for a potential match and booking a table for two. Most premium packages now include not only creating a photo profile, but also coaching for clients on how to behave on a date, and tips on personal grooming. Her standard advice to clients is: She also grew out her hair and dyed it brown, as well as got a set of fancy French fingernails.
The next time Ms Chan met her she had also lost 10 pounds.