Reasons why Floh Is Better Than Traditional Matchmaker For Singles

This is a guest post by Floh member, Raghav.

Kumar and Garima

This is a photograph of Floh couple, Kumar and Garima, at their wedding. All photographs courtesy Pulkesin Tiwary of North Water Star

As a late twenty something Indian with a considerably large family, it’s no surprise that I am the subject of much discussion and speculation. Usually related to when and how I am to be married to one of many speculative imaginary life partners. Of course, because no one wants to leave a matter of such importance in the family to amateur aunties and distant relatives, I have had the good (mis)fortune of engaging with several professionals in this field as well. So-called professional matchmakers or marriage brokers that seemed to know more about my personality and horoscope, and what kind of girl would bring happiness and stability in my life, than I think even my inner most conscious would.

On a particularly determined afternoon, I decided to give Floh a shot. It makes for an interesting comparison between the the standard-operating-procedures when engaging with a professional matchmaker, as opposed to what has been my experiencing trying to find someone special as a member of Floh.

Matchmakers are usually specialists in collecting a database of singles from one particular community or another. Of what little I’ve had a chance to examine, they seem to focus almost entirely on a person’s complexion, extended 3-generation family tree, a broad description of their professional degrees, inconsequential details about their horoscopes, accurate assessments of familial professions (or in the case of my Marwari specialist, business interests and enterprises). Also included, usually, is a heavily photoshopped studio photo shoot with awkward angles and a lot of smiling.

At this stage, you’re probably expected to express interest. Needless to say that on my first encounter, when I enquire about what I think are probably important questions to consider – ‘What exactly does she do? What are some of her interests?’, the response usually is blank surprise or in some cases, “How is that important right now?”

Kumar and Garima 2

Now, as you move down the the process is when you may be welcomed to a meeting-styled interrogation organized by the professionals where the family of the prospect takes an opportunity to gauge your wit, intelligence, perhaps some degree of confidence and your quarterly earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation. And, once you’ve cleared this obstacle course you may just be lucky to finally meet your future partner over a cup of coffee in between a lot of awkward silence.

I did a quick math on the funnel flow, and it would seem to me for maybe a 100 profiles that are thoroughly scrutinized, perhaps about 25 make it to a phone call or some other kind of communication with the family. Probably 10 make it to a face to face meeting, and then a rare chance of a 1 best-case-scenario where a boy and a girl may sit down for a conversation and a coffee. These are good odds.
Contrast this with what is the typical experience for a single guy at Floh:
A lot of times it goes unmentioned, that rather than just being a network of urban, educated singles, Floh is perhaps the most impressive coming together of intelligent, liberal and highly successful men and women from diverse backgrounds and professions. Meeting fundamentally like-minded people, as opposed to astrologically compatible people, is the natural order of things over here.

Kumar and Garima 3

Perhaps the most startling contrast is the approach to the funnelling process. A large member pool, and regular rotation in event themes ensures that every event has a large number of new faces. It’s easy to interact with like-minded people at comfortable, fun, and informative events where perhaps a lot can be learnt about each other in a very short amount of time. It is indeed likely that the conversation continues over a cup of coffee at a later date.

In my experience as a Floh member of over the last 4 months and about 8 events,  I have a met and engaged with over 40 or 50 absolutely fantastic ladies and have gotten to know some of them reasonably well. Sharing meaningful experiences and getting to know each others’ passions, motivations and aspirations.
It isn’t hard to see that Floh has probably turned the matchmaking process on its head. Defining individuals by what is reflected on an A4 sized profile is perhaps the first fallacy I find incredulous and a little insulting, which is perhaps why I quickly resolved to accept that human interaction reveals so much more about people and emotions.

Finding someone to share a commitment with cannot possibly be engineered by an architect. I would probably believe in an organic and natural process as perhaps being a lot more meaningful, sincere and honest.  I wouldn’t discount the idea that the current matchmaking process is fundamentally broken and flawed. I’d rather take my chances elsewhere, and Floh seems as good an option as any to start with.

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