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The matchmaking business laid bare

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Running successful internet dating & matchmaking business much more difficult than it seems. Dating expert Mrs. Kulchulee reveals her secrets. 

A dating couple share a Valentine's Day kiss. (Source: Wikipedia)

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ONLINE DATING

Stringing Cupid's bow, for the right price

Bangkok Matching tries to bring together busy affluent singles
16 May 2013
Nanchanok Wongsamuth

Cupid with his bow.

Even a master's degree in psychology was no guarantee of success in running an online dating service.

The founder of Bangkok Matching Co., Kulchulee Subsinudom, instead relied on years of personal experience.

Before setting up the company, Mrs Kulchulee claimed to have dated 300-400 potential partners and read many books on dating.

She also took notes on all the people she dated...

"I was into all this stuff since I was young. I wrote why things would end up a certain way after some dates. Eventually I separated the records into different folders of yes, no and maybe," she said.

She sometimes dated eight to nine men at the same time, dumped guys who are not up to her standard, and then attracted new ones.

Set up in 2006, Bangkok Matching is a matchmaking service provided on bangkokmatching.com. The website has 500-800 active profiles

The reputation of a matchmaking service is very important, so applicants are required to bring their diplomas and certificates to registration, as well as sign an agreement stating if they lie they will be fined a minimum of 1 million baht...

...In 2008, "Thai Millionaire Matching" was set up, allowing "attractive ladies and gays" to register for free, then millionaires who underwent stringent interviews were provided passwords to check out the database. After that, the matchmaker conducted interviews of the people he or she chose.

As the majority of Bangkok Matching customers are junior professionals, Mrs Kulchulee decided to launch "21 First Dates", which focuses on seeking partners not based on social and financial status.

"This is based on the assumption that out of 12 people, even the most difficult case will find at least one suitable partner," she said, adding the service includes packages of three, six and 12 dates.

Bangkok Matching's latest service, started in February, is "Love Around The Clock", a free dating service where people contact potential partners under the moderation of the company.

Customers in the premium range include doctors, air hostesses, celebrities, millionaires and singers, all having difficult requirements.

Ten dates cost up to 250,000 baht while three dates for male foreigners cost 98,000 baht.

"Very rich people work all day, hanging around with the people they work with. They are also picky. Rich men don't understand why they would want women who are not good-looking," she said.

I have sympathy for celebrities. Someone once told me paparazzi would write bad things about them if they give their phone numbers to a no-name person. The celebrity may also hesitate to give out their phone number if they do not know whom the person is.

Around 15-20% of the customers are foreigners. The company grew by 80% the first year and 30% every year after.

She said some 500 couples were married last year while 3,000 to 4,000 couples were successfully matched.

The company is interested in selling franchises, but no one has qualified so far. Mrs Kulchulee herself provides dating coaching services for 5,000 baht per hour. 

She also wrote a dating guidebook for her children so they will be aware of the tricks men and women use in relationships

"When a guy loves a girl, he overlooks everything and tries to adapt, unless the woman is overacting," she said

The company has strict rules requiring all employees, including five full-time matchmakers, to have a partner so they can understand the clients

"The job is stressful. But because I love my work, it doesn't feel like I'm working," she said.

She added the current trend is more women are looking for a significant other, while men are still picky.

But those seeking partners in Thailand will find it frustrating, as women do not understand how the process works, said Mrs Kulchulee. Women aged 28-50 mostly seek partners the same age who must have at least an equal level of education and salary.

"Meanwhile, men 50 and over want partners 40 or younger and are not interested in money or education. They only focus on looks and personality. Nine out of 10 women are not aware of this and refuse to lower their standards," said Mrs Kulchulee.

(Source: Bangkok Post, LOVE, Stringing Cupid's bow, for the right price, Bangkok Matching tries to bring together busy affluent singles, 16 May 2013, Nanchanok Wongsamuth, link


Matchmaking Vocabulary

matchmaking - matching people for marriage; the service of finding a suitable marriage partner for people (See Wikipedia)
matchmaker - a person who is an expert in matchmakin, matrimonial agent, go between แม่สื่อชักนำการแต่งงาน, พ่อสื่อชักนำการแต่งงาน

successfully matched - when the matchmaker introduces two people who get married or have long-term relationship

couple - two people who have a romantic relationship สอง,คู่,คู่หมั้น,คู่สามีภรรยา,คู่หนุ่มสาว
couples were successfully matched

She said some 500 couples were married last year while 3,000 to 4,000 couples were successfully matched.

full-time - working as a "full-time job" for eight or more hours, five days a week  ซึ่งเต็มเวลา, ซึ่งทำทั้งวัน
part-time - working less than full-time
full-time matchmakers

dating - when people meet to know each other better and form a romantic relationship การนัดพบฉันท์ชู้สาว, หาคู่

dating service - บริการจัดหาคู่
online dating service  - dating services provided by a website, a place where people can meet (See Wikipedia)

coaching -  providing training for a sports team or in some other activity การฝึกสอน
dating coaching

guidebook - a book that teaches you and introduces you to some subject หนังสือแนะนำ
dating guidebook  

cupid - little angel with bow and arrow who shoots people with arrow to make them fall in love, part of Roman mythology (See Wikipedia)
cupid's bow

bow - a weapon used to shoot people or animals with an arrow to injure or kill them หนังสะติ๊ก; เครื่องยิงชนิดหนึ่ง ทำด้วยแถบยางผูกติดกับไม้ที่เป็นง่าม
stringing a bow

Stringing Cupid's bow, for the right price

laid bare -
1. explained completely so no secrets left; 2. with clothes removed

the matchmaking business laid bare

affluent - rich, wealthy, has lots of money มั่งคั่ง
single - not married
affluent singles

Bangkok Matching tries to bring together busy affluent singles

guarantee - a promise that something will be done or will happen คำรับรอง, การประกัน
no guarantee of success

online - connected to the internet
online dating service

Even a master's degree in psychology was no guarantee of success in running an online dating service.

founder - a person who establishes an institution, business, or organization ผู้ก่อตั้ง

personal - for one person, private, not public, not for everyone ส่วนตัว, ส่วนบุคคล, เฉพาะบุคคล, เฉพาะตัว
experience -
the things that happen to a person or a group or people in their lives ประสบการณ์
personal experience - what happens to one person in their life

rely on - depend on, need something, must have something, cannot do without something
relied on years of personal experience

The founder of Bangkok Matching Co., Kulchulee Subsinudom, instead relied on years of personal experience.

potential - possible ความเป็นไปได้
partner - a person who you love and spend your life with คู่ครอง, คู่ชีวิต, คู่เคียง, คู่สมรส, คู่สามีภรรยา
potential partners

Before setting up the company, Mrs Kulchulee claimed to have dated 300-400 potential partners and read many books on dating.

She also took notes on all the people she dated...

"I was into all this stuff since I was young. I wrote why things would end up a certain way after some dates. Eventually I separated the records into different folders of yes, no and maybe," she said.

records - pieces of information describing something written down or stored on a computer บันทึุก

dump - end a relationship, stop being the girlfriend or boyfriend of someone
dump guys

attract -
make guys or girls like you (so they want to be your girlfriend or boyfriend)
attract new guys

standard -
not up to her standard


She sometimes dated eight to nine men at the same time, dumped guys who are not up to her standard, and then attracted new ones.

matchmaking service
profiles - short descriptions of a person (in a dating website, for example)

active - working, operating
active profiles - people who are using a website
inactive profiles - people who are not using a website

Set up in 2006, Bangkok Matching is a matchmaking service provided on bangkokmatching.com. The website has 500-800 active profiles

reputation - the opinion people have about how good or bad someone or something is (for example, a reputation among his friends for working quickly) ชื่อเสียง ความนับหน้าถือตา

applicant -
ผู้ขอ (person who applies), ผู้ยื่นคำร้อง (ขอจดทะเบียน)
diploma - 
the document and piece of paper a student gets when they successfully finish high school or college อนุปริญญา
certificate -
credentials, documents that prove that you completed a course of study or passed some test ประกาศนียบัตร

registration - recording in an official list
fined a minimum of 1 million baht

The reputation of a matchmaking service is very important, so applicants are required to bring their diplomas and certificates to registration, as well as sign an agreement stating if they lie they will be fined a minimum of 1 million baht...

attractive - pleasant to look at น่าสนใจ

register - have name put on an official list (and receive permission to do something) ลงทะเบียน ขึ้นทะเบียน (ขอใบอนุญาต)
register for free

interviews - asking a person a series of questions to get information (to decide whether to hire them (job interview) or to publish an article about them)
underwent stringent interviews

database - a large amount of information stored in a computer in an organised way ฐานข้อมูล

...In 2008, "Thai Millionaire Matching" was set up, allowing "attractive ladies and gays" to register for free, then millionaires who underwent stringent interviews were provided passwords to check out the database. After that, the matchmaker conducted interviews of the people he or she chose.

majority - more than 50 percent of a group; more than half of the people in a group ส่วนมาก, เสียงส่วนมาก,  คนส่วนใหญ่

junior -
young and without much experience yet
professional
- มืออาชีพ, ผู้เชี่ยวชาญในวิชาชีพ 
junior professionals

launch - to start selling a new product or service to the public เริ่มวางขาย  เริ่มต้น เริ่มโครงการ
launch a new website

status
- the state or condition at a point in time สถานะ
social status - someone's position in society; social position สถานะทางสังคม
financial status - how much money you have

As the majority of Bangkok Matching customers are junior professionals, Mrs Kulchulee decided to launch "21 First Dates", which focuses on seeking partners not based on social and financial status.

suitable
- acceptable or right for someone or something เหมาะสม
suitable partner

assumption - something that you consider likely to be true even though you have no proof ข้อสันนิษฐาน

This is based on the assumption that out of 12 people, even the most difficult case will find at least one suitable partner

package - a set of products and services that are sold together for one price
the service includes packages of three, six and 12 dates

contact - having communication with someone ติดต่อ สัมผัส regular meeting and communication between two groups of people การพบปะ ติดต่อ ระหว่างคนสองกลุ่ม
moderation (noun) - when some moderates or helps in communication or relations between two people or groups

moderate
(verb) - when a person is between two other people, helping them communicate, and filtering and changing what they say กลั่นกรอง,  พิจารณาอย่างถี่ถ้วนรอบคอบ
moderated mailing list
บัญชีจ่าหน้ากลั่นกรอง

Bangkok Matching's latest service started in February is "Love Around The Clock", a free dating service where people contact potential partners under the moderation of the company.

premium - special features or service that you pay extra for
range - a number of different things that are of the same general type ขอบข่าย, ประเภท
premium range - the range of customers who pay extra for special service

Customers in the premium range include doctors, air hostesses, celebrities, millionaires and singers, all having difficult requirements.

hang around - just staying at a place and relaxing with friends (in freetime, outside of work time)
picky -
choosy, will only take things that meet their requirements (will only accept exactly what they want, will not take anything)   
good-looking -
pretty, beautiful, lovely for women; handsome for men

"Very rich people work all day, hanging around with the people they work with. They are also picky. Rich men don't understand why they would want women who are not good-looking," she said.

sympathy - a natural feeling of kindness and understanding that you have for someone who is experiencing something very unpleasant ความเห็นอกเห็นใจ
hesitate - to pause before you do or say something, often because you are uncertain or nervous about it ลังเล

a no-name person - someone who is not famous

hesitate - to not do something immediately or right away (think about it first), to not be sure or certain about something, so you wait and delay doing it ลังเล, ตัดสินใจไม่ได้ว่าจะเลือกอะไร,  สองจิตสองใจ hold back, delay ทำกระบิดกระบวน, ท่ามาก
hesitate to give out their phone number

I have sympathy for celebrities. Someone once told me paparazzi would write bad things about them if they give their phone numbers to a no-name person. The celebrity may also hesitate to give out their phone number if they do not know whom the person is

franchise - the running of a business that another business sets up for you, such as 7-11, McDonalds, etc ใบอนุญาตให้ขายผลิตภัณฑ์ของบริษัท ในนามของบริษัทนั้น, ธุรกิจที่ผู้ค้ารายย่อยดำเนินธุรกิจในนามของอีกบริษัทหนึ่ง โดยได้รับอนุญาตจากบริษัทนั้นๆ โดยมากก็จะขายสินค้า หรือบริการรวมทั้งมีลักษณะการดำเนินธุรกิจ,  และรูปลักษณะการจัดร้านที่แนะนำหรือควบคุมโดยบริษัทผู้ให้สิทธิอนุญาต ตัวอย่างเช่น 7-11 (See Wikipedia)

sell franchises
interested in selling franchises

qualified  - when you have everything you need to do a job (right education, right experience, right attitude) มีคุณสมบัติ,  มีคุณวุฒิเหมาะสม, ซึ่งมีเงื่อนไข
qualified for a franchise
no one has qualified so far

The company is interested in selling franchises, but no one has qualified so far. Mrs Kulchulee herself provides dating coaching services for 5,000 baht per hour. 

aware - knowing that something exists, or having knowledge or experience of a particular thing ทราบ
be aware of the tricks men and women use in relationships

She also wrote a dating guidebook for her children so they will be aware of the tricks men and women use in relationships

adapt - change to meet new situation ทำให้เหมาะ, ทำให้เข้ากับ, ปรับ

"When a guy loves a girl, he overlooks everything and tries to adapt, unless the woman is overacting," she said

strict - very careful and exact เข้มงวด
strict rules

clients - (formal) customer ลูกค้า
understand the clients

The company has strict rules requiring all employees, including five full-time matchmakers, to have a partner so they can understand the clients

stressful - difficult work or situation with many problems making you sad, depressed and think too much; causing stress เครียด, ตึงเครียด

"The job is stressful. But because I love my work, it doesn't feel like I'm working," she said.

current - of the present time ปัจจุบัน
trend - a gradual change or development; a new development in clothing, make-up ทิศทาง แนวโน้ม
significant - important สำคัญ

She added the current trend is more women are looking for a significant other, while men are still picky.

frustrating - making you feel annoyed and impatient because you are prevented from achieving something or you can't do anything about something ทำให้โกรธ ทำให้ข้องใจ

process - a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
how the process works
they do not understand how the process works

salary - a fixed amount of money that you earn each month or year from your job เงินเดือน
seeking a certain level of education and salary

But those seeking partners in Thailand will find it frustrating, as women do not understand how the process works, said Mrs Kulchulee. Women aged 28-50 mostly seek partners the same age who must have at least an equal level of education and salary.

looks - how beautiful or handsome a person is 
personality - the part of a person that makes them behave in a particular way in social situations, e.g., in friendly or unfriendly way, or in a confident or shy way บุคลิกลักษณะ ลักษณะเฉพาะตน

focus - think about and work on one thing  ;the main thing it is concerned with ให้ความสำคัญ
They only focus on looks and personality

standards
- an acceptable level of quality or achievement มาตรฐาน
lower standards - make standards lower (to accept more possible people)

refuse - to say "no" you will not do that
refuse to lower standards

"Meanwhile, men 50 and over want partners 40 or younger and are not interested in money or education. They only focus on looks and personality. Nine out of 10 women are not aware of this and refuse to lower their standards," said Mrs Kulchulee.

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