Are you good enough for my son? The rise of mom matchmaking websites that help impatient parents seek love for their kids
Websites such as The J Mom, Duo, and Telugu Matrimony all cater to parents who are willing to try anything to successfully match-make their marriage-age children.
With 5,000 registered members, TheJMom.com is ‘where moms do the matchmaking.’ Jewish mothers share online profiles of their children with other Jewish mothers for what is described as ‘old school match making with a 21st century twist’.
Mr Leland explained that most profiles are carefully written to ‘make the other moms want to be their in-laws and spend Thanksgivings together, spend holidays together and spend Hanukkah and Passover together.’
While browsing on TheJMom.com is free, a six-month subscription package, which provides contacts and connections, starts at $78.
And a Personal Concierge Service, which provides one-on-one advice, as well as a makeover of their child’s online profile, will set mothers back $199.
Brad Weisberg, 32, and his sister, Danielle Weisberg, 29, based in Chicago, began TheJMom.com in 2010 after their mother, Barbara, 64, spent one night reviewing Brad’s own online matches – with apparently incredible results.
In just a few hours, she had made a list of candidates who she felt were the most promising. The Kentucky resident recalled saying to Brad at the time: ‘Bradley, did you notice this girl and that girl?’
‘Old school match making with a 21st century twist’
Under the heading ‘Why Is Brad a Great Catch,’ Mrs Weisberg wrote for her son’s profile: ‘Bradley is energetic, motivated, enthusiastic and, if I do say so myself, an attractive young man.
‘He is 5-foot-10 with brown hair and blue eyes. Brad is hardworking and very outgoing. These two characteristics serve him well as he is a Realtor, the co-founder of this Web site, and C.E.O. of BodyShopBids.com, at a venture capitalist firm.’
Now, Mr Weisberg is in a long-term relationship with a woman his mother found for him on the site.
He explained: ‘Of course it will be my own decision who I ultimately end up marrying, but I value and respect my mother’s suggestions on women I might like to date.”
According to Julia Lee, a couples coordinator for Duo, nearly 80per cent of the site’s members are mothers inquiring on behalf of their sons.
Duo’s annual fees start at $2,000, which includes seven to nine initial matches. ‘The parents pay for the service and give them as a surprise gift for the children,’ Ms Lee explained.
Parents then monitor the dating progress of their children, ‘because they think that the marriage is not only a union between a man and a woman, but also two families,’ explained Hyae-Jeong Kim, Duo’s chief executive.
Like TheJMom.com, on Telugumatrimony.com, browsing is free. But to send and receive e-mails, $91 will get parents a three-month subscription that includes 20 prospective dates.
Lavanya, 31, wrote her online profile together with her father, the scouting and finalizing dates was left entirely to him.
‘If something good comes along, just let me know,’ she recalled telling him.
Although many of the interested men were from India looking for an entry into America, Mr Polepalle, who rejected many suitors, eventually found one candidate, Dr Krishna Rayapudi, 33, that he forwarded to his daughter – who she ended up marrying.
‘Honestly, I did know my husband was “the one” as soon as I saw his picture and then started talking to him,’ she explained.
Mrs Weisberg, who, despite her success with her son Brad’s match, admits that there are limits on much of a say parents can have in finding a date for their children.
‘People have to settle down when they’re ready to,’ she said. ‘If your parent is assertive or too involved in your life, this is not what they should be doing. It’s only if there is respect for the child, and the child doesn’t mind.’
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