For S. Korean singles, home is where the heart is | Lifestyle.INQ

For S. Korean singles, home is where the heart is

SEOUL—Mindful of soaring house prices, a South Korean matchmaking firm has launched a program to bring together women property owners with men unable to provide a marriage home.

The idea goes against the Korean tradition in which the man provides the home and the woman supplies “honsu” – the household contents.

But the Sunoo company says 480 men and 150 women, all aged in their 30s, have signed up for its program since it was launched three weeks ago.

Sunoo arranges dates between men with decent jobs but no property and women who already own a home.

Marriage traditions have been changing slowly, especially among young people, Park Young-Sun, spokeswoman for Sunoo, told AFP Wednesday.

“Usually, men would be wealthier than women when they are paired up by us, but due to changes in circumstances such as economic difficulties there can be a reversal of roles,” she told AFP.

She said the response to the program, especially from men, had been much better than expected, with more than 60 matches made as of last week.

“Men think they can buy a home in Seoul when they start working. A few years later, they figure out it’s impossible even to get one to rent,” Park said.

“Women understand such difficulties, so they just want someone with a decent job and a good personality.”

Younger women in the program tend to come from rich families, while the older ones had saved enough from their businesses to buy property.

Park said some older bachelors were still shy about such a match because it hurts their self-esteem. But other singles were realistic.

“It doesn’t matter who’s richer as long as they can help each other for a better start in life,” she said.