Can love be taught?

Can love be taught?<br />
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Picture Courtesy: Leren Lu/Getty Images<br />

Yes, say matchmakers, the new Cupids

In the technology-assisted dating landscape, matchmakers are doing more than just fixing two people to come together – they are ensuring they fall in love. The cynic in you is probably asking, ‘can love really be taught?’ The new matchmakers say, yes.

Professional matchmaker Jasbina Ahluwalia explains, “The singles who come to me are highly successful people who can navigate their professional growth quite well; but they have forgotten how to fall in love, something that’s basic, and did not need any formal lessons earlier on.”

Looking For Love That Lasts

But things have changed. So have people. This is the age of instant dating, instant hook-ups, instant break-ups, and moving on. People are so engrossed in their professional lives from early on, that they wake up in their mid-30s, and realise that they have forgotten to prioritize a very vital part of living: love, a sustaining relationship, someone to be with them, to laugh or cry at their happy and sad moments. Sustainable love is hard to come by…

Niche Service

… the reason why the role of modern matchmakers is at an all-time high. Sample this. High-powered CEOs, executives are paying up to $250,000 (Rs 16822487.50) to find their soulmates! Amy Andersen, CEO & founder of Linx dating, is known as Silicon Valley’s Cupid. “Professional matchmaking has become very en vogue. It seems that most young professionals have gotten very comfortable outsourcing many aspects of their lives – from fitness trainers, to hiring nutritionists, to hiring wardrobe stylists, house cleaners, chefs, and drivers. Why not hire someone who can greatly increase the odds of placing you across from the love of your life? I teach clients how to flirt, how to romance, how to communicate effectively. These skills help bring someone much closer to falling in love.” You can call them Dr Hitch or the new Cupid. Ahluwalia adds, “From introducing singletons, telling them how to communicate, learning your partner’s love language, giving the right gifts – I handhold a couple towards a successful relationship, maybe even marriage. In short, I help single people find sustainable, mutually-fulfilling love.”

Freedom From Million Apps

One of the primary reasons for matchmakers being promoted to Cupid’s job is the confusing, disappointing, and sometimes, sordid, world of online dating and love apps. There are choices galore but people mostly aren’t happy with what they see.

Doctor Jyotsana Khanna, 35, says, “I was put off by some online websites. Men use it as a platform to have one-night stands. I was tired of waiting. After enrolling with a matchmaker, I’ve met four prospective men in the last four months.”

At the end of the day, people crave for something old-fashioned and personal – a human touch. That is something a dating app or online dating has failed to provide. Also, with false profiles and people lying on dating and marriage websites, there’s a return to the traditional matchmaker, albeit with newer skills on offer.

At a posh coffee shop, matchmaker Saurabh Goswami introduces Tanya Mehra (name changed) to Vikas Dhingra (name changed). “In the changing love landscape, neither youngsters, nor parents have much time, understanding or resources to find the perfect life partner. We make the journey of finding love easier,” says Goswami, of Ultra Rich Match, matchmaker for India’s industrialists and Silicon Valley professionals. His charges are from Rs 35,000 onwards, depending on the services asked for.

In a way these architects of modern love are the chic version of the family panditji, who would be called to find a rishta, when sons and daughters, would reach marriageable age. Their services, however, have increased in scope these days. There’s a huge generation gap because of which parents’ choice may not work with 20-or-30-somethings. Or it may take long time to find The One.

Innovative Ideas

The matchmakers are inventing fun ways to introduce singles. Geeta Khanna’s Cocktail Matches makes singles meet informally. Naina Hiranandani’s Sirf Coffee makes two singles meet anywhere in the world. Says Naina, “We have organised 3,657 dates in 18 countries with 61 per cent becoming second dates and 115 singles as happy couples. We start a relationship with coffee, and help couples navigate towards something more permanent.” Varsha Agnihotri Vadhyar’s Footlose No More invites you to their parties till you find a perfect match.

Says matchmaker Nandini Chakraborty, “The matchmaking industry is re-inventing itself because it’s not just finding love, keeping love is very hard work these days. And people need a bit of hand holding.”
One of the main reasons for matchmakers’ success is the confusing, disappointing world of online dating and love apps. There are choices galore but people aren’t happy with what they find
“I teach clients how to flirt, how to romance, how to communicate effectively. These skills help bring someone much closer to falling in love”— Amy Anderson, CEO & Founder of Linx dating “Hiring a matchmaker is the new way to date in 2016. Matchmakers make their clients the best version of themselves, so that they find the love they are looking for”— Carly Spindel, listed in Fortune’s Famous Matchmakers for the ultra-wealthy


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