Official Matchmaking Website Faring Well

Official Matchmaking Website Faring WellOfficial Matchmaking Website Faring Well

The first official matchmaking portal, launched a few months ago to help encourage 11 million eligible bachelors in the country to get married, seems to be faring well.

Nearly 16,500 applicants have registered since its opening, and 140 couples have tied the knot so far, says program manager Zohreh Hosseini.

“It is in conformity with Iranian-Islamic lifestyle and seeks to counter social harm posed by other matchmaking websites which may not be authentic,” she said, quoted by Borna News Agency.

Amid initial criticisms, the website started work on June 15 in cooperation with the Deputy Office for Youth at the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs as an official matchmaking system where information of applicants is registered and kept confidential.

Comprising four sections: registration, counseling, information verification and board of moderators, the entire process is meticulous and couples are given three months time to get to know each other.

In the pilot project last year, 3,000 singles were introduced to each other. About 130 intermediaries from Tehran including university professors and clergymen are registered on the website.

To monitor the success of the project, couples are asked to report their level of satisfaction in marriage at regular intervals. “The first couples now married for nearly six months under the pilot scheme said they are happy,” Hosseini maintained.

Each couple is given an educational package depending on their levels of satisfaction in matrimonial life. If couples express great dissatisfaction, they are referred to family counseling.

So far, most applicants on the websites are those born in the 1980s and have bachelor’s or master’s degrees. Only 8% are divorced or widowed, and the majority is from the middle class.

Prior to the official launching of the portal, many people opposed the scheme on the grounds that marriage is a private affair and government should not pry. They maintained that the process of marriage should not take “a bureaucratic form and must develop in the natural and traditional way.”

 Islamic Values

The portal only introduces prospective matrimonial matches and families can take proposals forward through traditional customs, Hosseini said. “Playing matchmaker is sacred in Islam.”

The program does not provide for direct interaction between girls and boys and has been assessed and evaluated for over a year to incorporate a model that upholds Iranian-Islamic values and observes the social ethos of Iranians.

“Any new plan has its opponents until such time it gains public trust and finds acceptance in the community,” she said.

The portal is officially recognized by the cyber police and the Law Enforcement Forces.

“Several other websites are masquerading as ‘official’ and take advantage of applicants in many ways,” Hosseini warned, adding that is the only viable portal endorsed by the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs.