It’s a jungle out there. And the concrete jungle that we call home, Hong Kong, is crawling with people. You (literally) bump into someone day in and day out on these streets, often without a passing glance or hello. When you’re single and looking for companionship, you may notice this more, and despite the abundance of people on this tiny dot on the map, it’s not always easy to meet a mate.
Jacqueline Chia and Carol DeCandido of meet.mozaic, a new discreet matchmaking service for mature, English-speaking Hong Kong residents, put it best: “You can live in a city with more than 7 million people and still feel disconnected.” So how do Hong Kongers get connected?
Online Dating & Apps
Apps and online dating services are certainly a popular option. Tinder is now a household name and OkCupid is bookmarked on many a laptop. Coffee Meets Bagel, the San Francisco-based social networking and dating app, released data last year showing that people here in HK were using the service more often than people anywhere else in the world.
While the rising use of dating apps is a universal trend, not just in Hong Kong, we’re hearing more stories of dating app fatigue. There are many valid reasons why dates with virtual strangers may be uncomfortable and even risky. And let’s be honest, swiping through an endless stream of possible matches in order to secure a date can be both dull and time consuming. A few years back using dating apps had a novelty factor and sense of excitement, but these days many users report a sense of disengagement and even boredom with dating apps.
The issues are compounded for mature daters, with many over 40s complaining that the pool of potential mates online is limited. We spoke to Hong Kong-based clinical psychologist Dr Julia Alisha Andre who supports many expats dealing with emotional difficulties. “I think the danger for both men and women is losing track of reality and getting a distorted view of themselves based on the feedback they receive through dating apps,” says Dr Andre.
Casual rejection is an integral part of online dating and repeated negative feedback can dent self esteem, even leading to depression in some cases. Jacqueline and Carol focused on this when they began their matchmaking service, meet.mozaic. “We wanted to remove all the anxiety around finding a potential match and possibly facing rejection,” they told us. “We handle everything so that our clients can just relax and enjoy dating again.”
Even those daters who are successful at finding matches via dating apps may find that ultimately they’re trapped in an emotionally unsatisfying cycle of short term excitement, with a lack of deeper connections. As Dr Andre says, “The downside for dating app users is that the ‘high’ of matching is only temporary and needs to be replaced with a new ‘high’, almost like an addiction.”
Take it Offline
With this in mind, perhaps it’s time to go back to a more organic, offline approach to dating. In Hong Kong there are plenty of opportunities to meet like-minded potential dates through activities such as hiking meetups, classes and events that cater to all types of interests, and of course, hanging out at one of the city’s many bars.
But while all this might be fun, for those of us over 40 seeking a significant other there are additional challenges. Frustratingly, many offline social networking meetups in Hong Kong set an upper age limit, and even those that don’t will often attract a younger crowd anyway. While friendship doesn’t come with any age barriers, nonetheless this makes it tough for a mature single person to meet a special someone who shares their values and lifestyle as well as interests.
Could this be where old style matchmaking comes in? Signs are pointing in that direction, as more and more locals of all ages are signing up with specialised matchmaking services to finally land their love.
The Rise of Matchmaking
Jacqueline and Carol launched meet.mozaic with this in mind: traditional matchmaking where singles can meet organically offline and make real connections. This matchmaking service focuses on mature, English-speaking Hong Kong residents looking for a partner. Clients go through a private consultation that includes an interview, detailed questionnaire and background check, and are then carefully matched according to their lifestyle, values and shared preferences. No need to swipe right.
“We found that a personalised service to help people connect was sorely needed in Hong Kong,” explain Jacqueline and Carol. “So we created meet.mozaic. It’s a more organic, traditional method of dating with a personal touch, as we get to know our clients individually.”
A common complaint from their clients is how difficult it is for them to meet people in an older demographic, and many are floating tirelessly and getting nowhere through the crowded sea of dating apps.
“People are coming to meet.mozaic because dating apps or websites aren’t helping them make that special match,” say Jacqueline and Carol. “They’re tired and frustrated with the short-term romances and flings that apps tend to bring, and are keen to go back to basics; namely, old-fashioned matchmaking.”
meet.mozaic’s Matchmaking Service for Hong Kong’s Mature Singles
Matchmaking can certainly take the pain out of schmoozing in crowded bars and awkward blind dates, not to mention the time saved on sifting through potential dates in apps and websites too. The personalised service of meet.mozaic means you avoid all this, as they do the work.
“We have a selective process so that we can find out as much as possible about what you require in a match,” say Jacqueline and Carol. “It’s a discreet and relaxed experience, and we do not charge the matchmaking fee until you have approved the first date.”
meet.mozaic never disclose any personal details to prospective matches, so there’s no fear of an online dating profile causing future embarrassment. And the financial commitment and tailored nature of the service also means you can avoid getting “ghosted”, a dreaded side effect of the current Tinder world of dating. meet.mozaic’s matchmakers will even take care of the logistics of organising the actual date for you, giving you one less thing to worry about.
If all goes well and you find yourself changing your Facebook relationship status, you can leave the matchmaking service. However, if things go the way of “it’s complicated”, you can return to meet.mozaic at any time during the one-year validity period, which is counted from the day of your first date (clients get the chance to go on three dates).
Being alone in a big city needn’t be daunting. And who said dating has to be hard? The bonus of being a mature single is you know what you want. But just when you think you know what’s out there, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised at your options.
“People who join us have various professional backgrounds, and come from different parts of the world,” say Jacqueline and Carol. “You could be matched with someone who shares your enthusiasm for a favourite hobby, or a new lifelong companion to help you complete your travel bucket list. The opportunities through meet.mozaic are very exciting.”
You’ll be making reservations for two in no time.