DALLAS — Indian Matchmaking, a show featured on Netflix, has opened many people's eyes to the world of matchmaking.
In reality, matchmaking for marriage has been happening since the dawn of the time. And in a place like India where arranged marriages are common, matchmaking is seen as a normal tool for finding love.
Sara Dookhan of North Texas has never used a matchmaker before. But after five years of dating apps, she is at her limit.
"It sucks, it 100% sucks. What I genuinely feel is people don't want to settle down anymore," said Dookhan.
Dookhan is talking about the dating world where dating apps are plenty but the results are often times not. She runs through a long list of platforms she's tried with relatively little success.
For the last several months, Dookhan has been working with Radha Patel and her matchmaking service called Single to Shaadi. The word "Shaadi" is Hindi for wedding.
Radha is based out of Dallas-Fort Worth but her reach is global. Her group specializes in match-making for South Asians.
"We are not your parent's matchmaker. That encompasses a lot for me," Radha told WFAA. "I wanna make sure we're working with everybody who is looking to find love."
One new aspect of Radha's model that sets it apart from other platforms is the meet-and-greet events that are held routinely.
Radha tells WFAA that every client who is interested in being matched starts with a series of questions to help their relationship coordinators identify who they are and who they are looking for.
"Nobody has ever asked them, 'Who are you? Where have you been? What makes you tick?'" said Radha.
"The most important question I ask people is to think 10 years into the future because singles are so focused on finding the guy now," she said.
Sara Dookhan is Indian but born in Trinidad. It is one unique nuance about her in a culture that is filled with nuances.
"I want somebody kind, caring, considerate, loving, and vegetarian," Sara said.
Nuances in South Asian culture like caste, color, and creed don't phase Radha. Her matching is about connection and she extends her services to the LGBTQ+ community which, we're told, is a rarity in the match-making world.
And, as with everything nowadays, there is an online component. Once the team learns about the client and identifies a possible match, they exchange contact information between the two clients. The whole time they are working with a relationship coordinator to make sure the couple is hitting milestones for a successful relationship.
"A big no-no is lying. If you lie to me and I'm supposed to be your trusted advisor and I find out you lied to me about anything, I will never represent you," said Radha.
She has about a thousand clients and her team is working with about 18 active couples at a time. Later this year, she'll attend the first wedding she and her team match-made.
"Anything to get you on the journey from 'single' to 'shaadi,'" Radha said.
Dookhan tells WFAA she has been on two matches so far and the experiences have been very positive.