Junko had served cross-culturally for nearly three years. Knowing that her parents disapproved of what she was doing, one Sunday after the service her pastor told her that he would be glad to help her find a husband. She was delighted and thanked him profusely. She wanted to marry but just did not know how to go about finding a husband because her host culture did not seem to have any way for her to find a mate.
Bill, also single, served with a different agency but attended the same church. A couple of weeks later the pastor suggested to him that he might want to date Junko. Rather than being grateful, Bill politely told the pastor to “mind his own business.” He had previously thought of asking Junko, but this “pressure” by the pastor made him change his mind.
Why did Junko and Bill react so differently? The basic answer is that they were from different cultures, Junko from an Eastern one and Bill from a Western one.
Matchmakers are usually defined as those who bring two unmarried individuals together in an attempt to promote a marriage. Traditionally these matchmakers may range anywhere from individuals who invite two people over for dinner, hoping that a romantic relationship will develop, to those who are certified matchmakers who make their living getting couples together. Today matchmakers also include internet dating services which attempt to match people on a variety of criteria.
Such matchmakers may be appreciated and accepted or despised and rejected. A 1977 Webster’s Twentieth Century Dictionary defines matchmakers as those who arrange marriages but adds “or try to do so by scheming.” Such scheming matchmakers are often rejected with little consideration.