The Ashkenazi Jewish shadchan, or the Hindu astrologer, were often thought to be essential advisors and also helped in finding right spouses as they had links and a relation of good faith with the families.
In cultures where arranged marriages were the rule, the astrologer often claimed that the stars sanctified matches that both parents approved of, making it quite difficult for the possibly-hesitant children to easily object – and also making it easy for the astrologer to collect his fee.
"being able to support a family", "good prospects") played a larger role in determining if a (male) suitor was acceptable, is difficult to determine.
Thus the role of the matchmaker has become institutionalized, as a bureaucrat, and every citizen in Singapore has access to some subset of the matchmaking services that were once reserved for royalty or upper classes.
Matchmakers trade on the belief that romantic love is something akin to a human right, and the modern online dating service is just one of many examples of a dating system where technology is invoked almost as a magic charm with the capacity to bring happiness.
The acceptance of dating systems, however, has created something of a resurgence in the role of the traditional professional matchmaker.
Matchmakers, acting as formal chaperones or as self-employed 'busybodies' serving less clear social purposes, would attend such events and advise families of any burgeoning romances before they went too far.
The influence of such people in a culture that did not arrange marriages, and in which economic relationships (e.g.