August 29, 2015 07:58
As more and more young Koreans put off marriage, parents are increasingly taking the initiative to find mates for them. Some have even formed social clubs with other parents in order to find mates for their children.
Smelling opportunity, matchmaking companies are now targeting such parents. Matchmaking company Duo has been touring cities around the country since May, lecturing parents on how to succeed in marrying off their children.
A staffer at Duo said, "More and more parents are taking matters into their own hands."
According to Statistics Korea, only 305,507 couples tied the knot last year, down 5.4 percent compared to 2013, while the number of first marriages for every 1,000 people stood at six, the lowest since statistics began in 1970.
Another factor that is making parents nervous is that fathers are retiring earlier these days. Many Koreans prefer to marry off their children while the father is still employed so they can afford their children's weddings.
Last year, the average retirement age of salaried workers stood at 53 but the average age of people tying the knot for the first time stood at 32.8 for men and 30.7 for women, up 4.2 and 4.9 years from 20 years ago.
That means children are rarely of a marrying mind when their fathers retire.
But young adults rarely appreciate their parents’ efforts. Matchmaking agencies Bien-Aller and Only You asked 532 young Koreans about the attitude they expected their parents to have, and 39.5 percent of the male respondents and 35.3 percent of the women said they just want to be left alone.
Experts say conflicts between parents and children reluctant to get married will only increase in the coming years, due to their different perspectives on life.
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