Indian Matchmaking–A Conversation with ‘Single to Shaadi’ Founder, Radha Patel

A Desi Woman Podcast
Indian Matchmaking--A Conversation with 'Single to Shaadi' Founder, Radha Patel


Soniya Gokhale (00:05):
Welcome back to another episode of A Desi Woman Podcast. I am your host, Soniya Gokhale, and the voices I am seeking may have never been heard before but their stories deserve to be told. What is a Desi woman? She is a dynamic, fearless, and strong woman. She’s your mother, your grandmother, your daughter, your sister. She is every one of us who is on an endless pursuit of self-empowerment and fulfillment. I am Soniya Gokhale, and I am a Desi woman.

Soniya Gokhale (00:40):
Hello, and welcome to another edition of A Desi Woman Podcast. I am your host, Soniya Gokhale, and today, we are so excited to be joined by Radha Patel. Radha is the Founder of Single to Shaadi, and is based in Dallas, Texas. Radha has been happily married for 11 years, but she was motivated to launch this business when she spoke to friends and family and realized that today’s modern dating apps in social networks were leaving many Indian and South Asians single, out in the cold, and still searching in vain for their perfect partner.

Soniya Gokhale (01:18):
Radha takes a hands-on approach to her clients and services, and Single to Shaadi has become hugely popular with South Asians all across North America. Radha, welcome to the show.

Radha Patel (01:31):
Thank you so much for having me, Soniya. I’m really excited to be a part of your, uh, episode today.

Soniya Gokhale (01:36):
Well, Radha, we are so excited to talk to you today about not only your business, Single to Shaadi, but we also wanted to cover some related hot topics. And so I wanted to ask you, can you tell us what made you realize that your services were needed for South Asians in North America, which is currently your area of focus? And I think what’s really interesting is that you share on your site that you met your husband at a matchmaking convention. So can you tell us more about this business venture, and what finally motivated you to launch it?

Radha Patel (02:12):
Yeah, absolutely. So, uh, origin story, if you will, I think it all kind of culminated in the summer of 2018. Um, you know, I’ve been married, as you mentioned, I had met my husband at a matrimonial convention, um, and you know, we have a couple of kids, we’re working, living our life in the community, but it kind of all culminated when I had a couple of different friends and family members who were single approach me and say, Radha, if you know anybody, we’re, you know, I’m open to dating, I’m looking seriously. And I was like, oh, sure, sure, I’ll keep it in mind.

Radha Patel (02:44):
But then I actually had two members of the older kinda generation, the auntie generation, if you will, independently, also approached me saying, Radha, my colleague’s son is looking for a girlfriend, or my- my sister-in-law some… knows someone, whatever it may be. And so in my mind, I was like, okay, what’s happening? Why are all these people from different parts of my life coming to me and asking if I know single people? I mean, I’m married and I have a couple of kids, I don’t know any single people. But I realized that I am a connector. I love networking. My whole life, it’s always been about making different groups of friends, being that person who is able to jump from topic to topic and really kinda create this diverse network of people and the community around me, and I always would take those tidbits from everyone’s lives and try to be a connector.

Radha Patel (03:37):
So if I was introducing you, Soniya, to somebody I met, I’d be like, oh, you should check out Soniya’s podcast, she’s an amazing, uh, uh, an interviewer and talks about some really good Desi topics, and vice versa. And so because of this was in my nature and I realized that there’s a need for people to find quality singles when it comes to dating with the intention of marriage, I said, why not jump in, in this space and see what I can do, and that evolved into what we’ve eventually landed on, uh, Single to Shaadi, which is our matchmaking for, you know, people who are looking to be set up but in not quite a traditional way. Our tagline is this is not your parent’s matchmaker (laughs).

Soniya Gokhale (04:22):
That is awesome. I really, really like that. And, you know, I wanted to ask you ab… your opinion the runaway Netflix hit, Indian Matchmaking. One of my most popular podcast episodes is with Dr. Usha Tummala-Narra where we discussed the show and broke it down and I… you’ve made me aware that the show was actually released in India later than it was here in the U.S. But the show follows Seema Taparia, one of Mumbai’s self-proclaimed top matchmaker, and she travels throughout the U.S., India, or really, wherever else in the world her clients beckon her from in order to help families find the ideal match for their son or daughter.

Soniya Gokhale (05:05):
The show has inspired very difficult conversations about the realities of the Indian marriage industry, and it kinda puts a harsh lens on some of the longstanding biases faced by Indians and the diaspora pertaining to gender, patriarchy, colorism and cast, just to name a few. And whether you’re a fan of the show or you detested it, and there’s a lot of viewers who fall into both camps, it’s sort of impossible to ignore Indian Matchmaking and some of the conversation it has inspired. So I wanna ask you, from the lens of somebody that is in North America, what your thoughts are and if you see some of these things in your work as well?

Radha Patel (05:49):
Absolutely. I think the key phrase you mentioned there, Soniya, is when you said the Indian wedding or marriage industry. It is absolutely an industry. And I wanna say, I think it’s like the top business or industry in the country of India is weddings and marriage. So, this is obviously important from a cultural and religious aspect of a lot of South Asians and in the country of India itself, they’ve- they’ve made it the number one industry or business. And so when you mix in business with something that’s so personal, such, you know, as finding your future spouse, there tends to be some opposing forces just by the very nature of what you’re doing.

Radha Patel (06:35):
To dive in to Seema Taparia and her kind of portion or where she fits into this, I will actually encourage your listeners to take a step back, uh, again, regardless of what camp they fall in, whether they loved the show or they hated it, there’s an interesting documentary called A Suitable Girl that also deals with Seema Taparia. And I had actually watched that while I was researching what I wanted to do with Single to Shaadi, and that takes you to, not an origin story of Seema auntie, but it shows you what life was like when you go into her world in Mumbai. And it’s a documentary so it doesn’t have all of that juicy drama the villain versus the hero concept that a reality show, such as Netflix’s version of Indian Matchmaking had, and you really understand kind of what is her motivation, why she’s doing it. It’s not about the money for her. You see why she’s successful and where she kinda gets these claims of being one of the most famous matchmakers in India. So I feel like Seema auntie was given a kind of a villain role in the show because we’re looking at it from a reality TV lens. So I would give your audience some homework to go check out the original documentary made about Seema auntie and see if that kinda changes their opinions on it.

Radha Patel (07:59):
But to add on to your question about what- what about how it brings up these uncomfortable conversations around gender or patriarchy and colorism, unfortunately, that is still so painfully present, even in the diaspora. Even as we’re becoming second generation, these deep-seated cultural attitudes around when a man should compromise versus when a woman should what is a- a woman’s role in setting herself up or choosing for her future, and then obviously, the more pat… more problematic concepts of slim, trim and fair. Literally, one of the episodes was called slim, trim and fair, and- and that just evokes all of this old school versus new school sentiment, which I think that the show might’ve played into a little bit, but absolutely still does factor into the decision-making when it comes to what people are looking for in their partner.

Soniya Gokhale (08:59):
That is so incredibly insightful and helpful, and I will have the link to that…

Soniya Gokhale (09:00):
… so incredibly insightful and helpful. And I will have the link to that documentary, by the way, in my podcast notes. But that explains so much because you’re absolutely right; it was set up in a dramatic context to, I guess, lure in viewers, as you indicated, and it certainly worked. But I do wanna add that, as you stated, as a matchmaker, even in this country, the first question I got when I went to college from other Indian Americans is what part of India are you from? And it really is important because it affects the food, the culture, familial traditions, and so it is still a relevant conversation even in our diaspora as we go into the second and third generation so you almost have to… You know, these are your clients and you’re trying to fulfill their requests. So just wanna hear more about that from you.

Radha Patel (09:58):
Yeah, absolutely. And I think, as you mentioned, it’s that cultural differences. So India, essentially, is a, y-you know, a country that was founded in a, a unionization or where we came together when we realized there was a common cause. Uh, that’s history, we don’t have to get into it. But the idea being whatever kind of framework we cobble together to create the state of India, inside of it we do have cultures that are separated by language, by food, by religious kinda sub-practices, and it’s almost where we’re, a, a, a group of tribes or a group of clans that have formed this, uh, identity for the outside world saying, “Hey, we identify as Indian,” or having these same roots.

Radha Patel (10:45):
And now that we’re traveling to the diaspora, people are seeking new economic opportunities, the world is shrinking, we’re becoming a smaller place; the idea of holding on to these tribal roots or our clannish upbringing is kind of blur, being blurred as that second and third generation is finding out what does it mean to be Indian American, or Indian British? Or, you know, uh, what that looks like in your new adopted home country.

Radha Patel (11:13):
So with my clientele, I see a little bit of both. You’ve got some of those people who are saying, “Well, for my family, I need to stick with a particular region or subset,” or, “My parents really wouldn’t be excited if I brought home somebody that wasn’t from blah-blah-blah area.” But then on the flip side, you see other people who are embracing the concept of the South Asian-ness, right? Let’s celebrate our communal bonds in our communal experiences versus really driving home those boundaries or those differences that really don’t affect how we live our life here in America.

Radha Patel (11:54):
So taking myself, for example, when I was creating Single to Shaadi, a lot of people were like, “Okay, so you’re only gonna do Indians, or you’re only gonna do Hindus, or you’re only gonna do Gujaratis.” And for me, being born and raised in America, growing up here, going into college here, like you’d mentioned, I really identify with the South Asian-ness. My first experience growing up, or meeting other Indians or South Asians outside of my family was in college, and bam, I… All of a sudden, I was like, “Look, these guys are Mohyalian, these guys are even Jewish South Asians.” You know, I experienced other religions, other cultures, other languages and I embraced it, I ran with it. And I really, truly love the idea that we’re creating our own common identity moving forward.

Radha Patel (12:44):
Now, again relating to my personal experience; I knew in a partner the values and qualities that I wanted to pass onto my children would only come or would be more, uh, less friction or easier for me to accomplish if my partner identifies similar to me. But that doesn’t just mean Gujarati and Hindu. For me, it was also important that they realized how, or, you know, came from that immigrant experience. They had a family that might’ve come in the late ’70s, early ’80s that struggle, that living in a mostly white space, eh, when we were growing up. Somebody who identified with those experiences was important for me.

Radha Patel (13:25):
And more and more, that is what I’m seeing with my clients here in the US. They want somebody that identifies with that immigrant experience, and that’s kind of helping blur the lines on not so important where your family hails from, more so that, “Hey, did you grow up in New Jersey? Or do you know what it’s like to grow up in rural Oklahoma and be the daughter of the only doctor in town?” That kinda concept.

Soniya Gokhale (13:50):
Oh wow, that’s so interesting. Yeah, because your task, on behalf of clients in this country, really has a different layer to it; a different element, as you indicated. I do agree with you that there is less focus from our generation, or those that are born and raised here, on, on some other cultural components that maybe were important to our parents and their generation.

Soniya Gokhale (14:11):
But it kinda leads me into my next question, and what do you approach your clients with when they come to you seeking a life partner? Do you start with a questionnaire? I’d imagine it’s very important to understand what they’re looking for.

Radha Patel (14:25):
Yeah, so we do start with a questionnaire, but it’s really more so to capture their information. I wanna be able to… Just because we have certain criteria, we work with only individuals over the age of 25 so that they are dating for marriage and have the kinda serious outlook on why they’re dating, certain qualifications just to make sure that you… We, we require a Bachelor’s degree, identify as South Asian. Just some of those demographicy details.

Radha Patel (14:49):
So we start out with a questionnaire, but when it comes to finding out about what you want and what you’re looking for in a partner, I really drive that into a conversational component. We do a one-on-one interview with every single person in our database so that we can understand those nuanced qual, you know, nuanced reasons for what drives your decision making process or why you’re looking for what you’re looking for or what’s important to you.

Radha Patel (15:18):
I know that a lot of kind of other technology driven platforms such as dating apps or larger matrimonial sites have you fill all that out in a questionnaire, but for me why I chose match making as opposed to developing an app or a platform was because I love that concept of picking up on those subtleties and that nuances and making, making the connections that, uh, based on that and how they aligned in your partner as well.

Radha Patel (15:44):
So we do touch on items around where you’re from, what you’re looking for, language, cult, you know, food, cuisine. Is it ’cause of a religious idealism? Is it more for ethical reasons? But I wanna dr, dive into some of that root cause or that nuance behind it. Also because on the flip side, Soniya, when I suggest matches for people, I might push them out of their kind of filters, quote, unquote, checklist idea because I might’ve picked up on a nuanced concept that I think they would identify with really well in that person that I’m potentially referring to them.

Soniya Gokhale (16:23):
Well, that is so interesting. You are definitely not, um, You seem to take a very personal dive into the candidate or the client’s details which I think is really critical if you’re looking for your life partner, and they’re trusting you with that job of finding that person. I did wanna ask you also about your very unique business model because we were chatting briefly; I just think it’s absolutely brilliant, so if you could speak to that just a bit.

Radha Patel (16:52):
Absolutely. So what we do, like, I call it match making light, but essentially it’s, it’s a database model. Traditional matchmakers, if you look at, like, [inaudible 00:17:03] or some of the even the American matchmakers, they charge, essentially, a head hunting fee. You could think of it exactly like an executive search process or, or, you know, on the business side if you’re looking for a professional career. They will charge you an upfront fee. They will only take a certain number of clients, so either criteria around who can afford, who can afford to pay their fee or who they think could, they could set in matching.

Radha Patel (17:31):
Now, once you pay an upfront fee, they tend to be, uh, more of a hands-on, uh, one-stop-shop. “Hey, you sign up for us, we’re gonna get you six matches, we’re gonna get up the date, get you through it and, eh, you know, all the way until your contract ends.” It seems, again, very much on the business side of the industry. I’m not saying that these matchmakers still don’t have the right reason and intention to heart, but the setup of charging thousands of dollars upfront and only taking a select number of clients; it just, that’s, like, the business aspect of it.

Radha Patel (18:00):
Number of clients, it just, that’s like the business aspect of it. Where we flipped it on the head was like, hey, it’s gonna be real easy to join a nominal fee, get the interview done, let’s really get to understand you and what’s driving your choices and your preferences. And then you’re registered in our database. So, as we continue to find new people, recruit new people, bring them in, we start matching you against our database of curated users that have gone through the same exact experience. And we’ve gotten serious answers to the same questions that you provided details on, and we match make on that.

Radha Patel (18:38):
And you only pay if you’re actually interested in a match that we propose and you want to take it forward. So that you’re able to make an informed decision you’re not against the gun like, oh my contract is ending, I’ve got to say yes, I’ve got to, you know, take this as a, as an opportunity, so that way we at Single[inaudible 00:18:57] are still keeping your true interests at heart, and that our driving factor is to find the one that actually interests you, sparks that, you know, oh I see a future here, and you really are in control of what your cost factor is, and ya’know, when and where you want to move forward.

Radha Patel (19:17):
I also think the beauty of working with us in a database model is that, you know, you’re dating around, you’re on an app, your mom introduces you to someone. That doesn’t prevent you from being registered in our database, and that gives you the flexibility of saying, “Hey, Radha. Thanks for this match. I’m actually talking to somebody right now, I’d rather wait.” And that way you’re not turning away an opportunity just because you’re signed up with a matchmaker because I really believe that you need to be open to the universe. You never know where you’re going to meet someone, hey, if you know tomorrow COVID over, you’ve been vaccinated, you walk into a bar, and meet the man of your dreams or the woman of your dreams.

Radha Patel (19:58):
Why do you need to be locked into a contract with a matchmaker? When, when the universe is giving you a clear direction. That’s kind of how I’m looking at it. Then by reducing that entry, that cost per entry, we’re able to service people that might not necessarily be in that financial bracket to pay thousands of dollars to a commitment or, you know, committing that money up front. So that’s kind of the approach that I took, we wanted to be a matchmaker for all. And in a, in a way that it’s not necessarily having to involve your family, even in a financial perspective to help you in that search.

Soniya Gokhale (20:36):
Take into consideration the fiscal minded nature of our communities, many times. So they will not be paying for something unless they actually utilize it. And, and I think that, that that is an important component in all of this. And I did want to ask you as well, about a potential franchising of your business. Because as I indicated to you we have a huge audience in South Asia, and so it wouldn’t surprise me if we’re being inundated with requests from all around the world, and you’ve indicated that is indeed the case so wanted to hear more about that.

Radha Patel (21:13):
Absolutely, so the more that we advertise the more that the word of mouth is getting out there. People are really identifying with our concept, our philosophy, and embracing the way we’ve chosen to approach matchmaking, in the South Asian community. So I’m always looking for ways to collaborate, to grow, and to change. And so this idea of franchising came up, uh because we’ve spent the time we’ve been doing this for a little over two years now, we spent the time to build up, you know, a questionnaire, a matchmaking system that we really truly believe in and that works.

Radha Patel (21:47):
So, ba-based on what we’ve learned in these past two and a half years, I’m ready to bring on associate matchmakers, continue to spread our global reach and make this same impact in other parts of the, of the world, because, as this, as our global community gets smaller and smaller, my own clients in the US have been asking, “hey Radha, I’ve got family in UK, or I grew up in Australia before emigrating to the US, I’m open to potentially relocating for the right partner,” and vice versa. I’ve also been getting approached by people in those countries saying, “hey, I’m looking for a matchmaker like you, who gets it, who’s got this new and fresh way of introducing people without necessarily that old school way that our parents did it.”

Radha Patel (22:34):
And so I think that this model has so much potential all over the world, including in India. And what that looks like moving forward, I’m really open to discussing it and finding what works best for everyone. I want it to be able to replicate because we want to stay true to our ethics and our, our, our reasons for what we do, but I want to also be approachable and affordable for clients all over the world.

Soniya Gokhale (23:02):
Well that completely makes sense, and I think, um, just from listening to you, our audience will be able to see that you are truly impassioned about this. And I think that’s the key to anyone that you’re working with, not to just have a one size fits all approach to this. And it’s very clear that you take it to heart and very seriously. And so I think I can’t wait to hear and see how that pans out. And when I first reached out to you about this interview, we were having a laugh about some of the similarities between the familial issues and drama that are playing out in the global media landscape between the British Royal Family and Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, or the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Soniya Gokhale (23:45):
There are some incredible similarities between the South Asian and Indian culture, and the Royal Family’s expectations of Meghan Markle the new addition to their family. And her subsequent assimilation and embracing of existing traditions, protocols and even pecking order. And what I think is so interesting, it’s an irrefutable fact that the new daughter in laws in our communities, or across the diaspora, are wholly expected for the most part to adapt to circumstances and be flexible to their husbands family. And even the discussion about skin color of future offspring or comments about skin color, in general, are so pervasive in our families and communities. And regardless of how politically incorrect they might be, and we’re just sort of expected to accept this and deal with it. And so I wanted to get your thoughts on this, and the similarities.

Radha Patel (24:43):
Absolutely, if we thought, Indian parents were old school or traditional the Royal Family puts, puts our parents to shame. (laughs)

Soniya Gokhale (24:53):

Radha Patel (24:53):
As an institution, again institutions are slower to embrace change, and you know, they take more time, but as an institution, they had every opportunity to realize that, hey, the world is changing, our family is changing. If you look at kind of the history with Diana, which a lot of people are drawing that similarity now 20 something years later. So they, they saw that then, the rise of divorce within the British Royal Family, because of matches that were not made in, with the best interests of heart right. So I think that there’s so many similarities with that concept and how the South Asians have always had a patriarchal or families in involving in a, in a couple’s life moving forward.

Radha Patel (25:42):
To narrow it even further, I think that the royal family is coming out looking, unfortunately, pretty bad in this instance because two years ago if we’re relying a couple years ago when Meghan Markle first entered the picture, the royal family seems so progressive the Queen seems so progressive. The fact that she had no issues with the marriage knowing that Meghan Markle was divorced, and we know what happened in the past with when somebody in the world family near to divorcee, things like that. So they had a very amazing multicultural reading hosted in England that incorporated so many elements of Meghan Markle’s culture and community.

Radha Patel (26:18):
And I thought that they did an amazing job at the beginning to embrace her and what she meant, when it became clear adding her to the family. Where things get a little bit convoluted and where I think that they failed, came to light, with the interview recently around stifling her voice or expecting her just to kind of toe the line or come into the fold. Which, it’s just not, it’s not real, that’s not how it happens. I mean and you knew it going into the wedding that she had these amazing revolutionary ideas, and it seemed on the front end that you guys will pay with it, and now all of a sudden aren’t. So I think that’s where their epic failure was in that instance where I think the similarities continue is unfortunate.

Radha Patel (27:00):
[inaudible 00:27:00]where I think the similarities continue, is unfortunately, where we saw in the interview, is that they expected her to fall in line, become that good daughter in law, just become a part of the family. And I wonder how much of that was kind of communicated to Megan, how much of that was kind of like, “Let’s work on this together?” And how much of it was more like, “These are the rules, and you need to follow them.” And I mean, unfortunately, that’s just not how human nature works. And, and as a woman, when you see that in 2020, 2021, what is your incentive to stay involved in that family, when you’re not getting the love the respect and um, that reciprocate feeling that, from all accounts, what we saw on the front end, we thought that both parties were approaching it from a place of love and respect.

Radha Patel (27:48):
So I think that, that is a lesson for a lot of South Asian families to take in, is that if you’re going to present on the front end, I get this a lot. And I laugh when I look at kind of like classifieds in the South Asian papers and stuff about how, you know, they say, a progressive, a modern family seeking a bribe. So in my mind, like, if that’s how you’re presenting yourself to your future daughter in law and her family, they are agreeing to this union, especially a woman’s parents are agreeing to this union saying that, all of the empowerment, the education, the self… the, the, the self esteem that we’ve given to our daughter, we’re entrusting you and your family to continue to foster that. And how much of that gets stripped away once that marriage happens, is that woman empowered to speak up the way Megan spoke up?

Soniya Gokhale (28:37):
Oh, I love that concept that you know, we are entrusting you with our daughter and, and it’s up to you to foster the respect and love we’ve given her through her growing up years. And we are in the Hindu faith. Anyway, we’re the embodiment of Goddess Lakshmi on our wedding day. And so I really wish that would resonate more through not only the matchmaking process, but also after domesticity and, and what it bliss occurs. But I completely agree with your comments and everything. And there’s no irony in the fact that India was a colony of Britain. So we know all too well, what their prejudices with skin tone, skin color, and so many other elements, that they had an opportunity really to come out looking pretty phenomenal. And I agree with you that it’s sort of a mixed review, and not looking very good at this point.

Soniya Gokhale (29:32):
But another element of this royal drama, which intersects with our culture, and communities for change is the way that the daughter in law or the girl, is often vilified or cited as the cause of unrest or discord. And Megan confided, she even had severe depression, and even contemplated taking her own life. And though she tried to seek help, it’s alleged that the quote unquote, “institution wouldn’t consider it due to potentially bad publicity.” And again, I can’t help but correlate this to our communities as well. We often tell women who might be struggling to adapt to their in laws, or new marriage to be flexible and work through issues instead of seeking help. And so wanted to get your thoughts on that as well.

Radha Patel (30:19):
Yeah, this is a classic example of the [inaudible 00:30:22] idea, right? What are people gonna say? How are we gonna hold her head in the [inaudible 00:30:27] of the community that, that gets told to us over and over again, and especially to females, and it sounds like that’s exactly what was happening in the institution of the royal family. And again, I can’t harken back to, to saying that the signs were there. The Royal Family saw this with Diana, she had an eating disorder, they had serious issues in their marriage. I can’t help but wonder how much would there be have helped them. How much would acknowledging that, “Hey, there’s an issue happening in the mental health space in this family.” to set the future generations up for success.

Radha Patel (31:04):
And this is a warning sign, you know, strike two, if the British family cannot figure it out now, I’m really scared to see what strike three is gonna be, and that will ultimately, I think, be what unravels this institution. But talking about that double standard concept. I wanna also bring up that at the same time this was unfolding. We have another kind of twin scandal happening in the royal family with Prince Andrew. And it was interesting to see how they all kind of close ranks, protected him, fall around him. Prince Andrew never had to talk to, you know, the tablets squashed all of their stories around him. There was no internal investigation opened around him. And I don’t know, you know, whatever your values and ethics are, but his allegations are way more problematic than anything that Meghan Markle, might have done with her staff in a bullying perspective.

Radha Patel (32:03):
So I just, I just wanna call them out for that double standard. Is it because of her gender? Is it because of her nationality? Is it because of her skin tone? I don’t know. But there’s definitely a double standard that is there. And I think that… by… I’m not addressing it. It’s not helping their claws, if you will.

Soniya Gokhale (32:22):
No, it’s not and what I think is so compelling, and I hope listeners who may be seeking a matchmaker or understanding that your deep comprehension of this issue rather, because I think these are the skills that make you so good at your job. And it’s such important work that we’re doing and super fulfilling as well. And we just cannot thank you enough for joining us today. And any parting words of wisdom for those who might be trying to play amateur matchmaker? Or for those that might be interested in seeking your services? What would you suggest to them?

Radha Patel (32:58):
Absolutely. So for those of you who are seeking to be amateur matchmakers, I think explore it, I think of meeting new people is one of the the joys in life. So if you have a kind of an impetus around why you’re meeting new people with matchmaking or networking, absolutely pursue it. Reach out to me, I… as you mentioned, Soniya, earlier, we’re exploring options on bringing on associate matchmakers and what that looks like. So, definitely reach out to me. And then on the second part, for those of you who are interested in working with a matchmaker or signing up to be a part of our database, absolutely, I say, take the time to really think about why you’re looking to get married, we do address this in our interview process, because I get it. There’s cultural pressure, family pressure, institutional pressure. But at the end of the day, if you’re not doing it for yourself, and for your future and what you truly want, I don’t see the chances of success being as-as- as much, you know, as great, or the fulfillment, right? You could get married, but are you gonna be fulfilled? Is that gonna be a successful relationship.

Radha Patel (34:06):
So I encourage all of my clients to today to get out there to think about yourself from that perspective of how it is to be in a relationship, how it is to share your life with somebody else. And again, that’s one of the reasons why we do wait until a little bit older at ages 25 and older, because we want you to take the time to focus on yourself and who you are as a person before you open up your life to somebody else.

Soniya Gokhale (34:31):
Wow. That is just such great advice and information. And we don’t often hear it but you’re right. Take a moment to really assess why you would be approaching rather or any other matchmaker. And Radha Patel, founder of Single to Shaadi, thank you so much for joining us today.

Radha Patel (34:50):
Oh, Soniya, thank you so much for having me. It’s such a fun conversation.

Soniya Gokhale (34:54):
It was so much fun. Thank you.



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