Almost 50% of Iranians in the 18-35 year age group in their country remain single, and the government hopes to change these statistics by promoting dating among singles, which will eventually lead to marriage, with sites like Tebyan.
Many young Iranians are cohabiting, and not as interested in marriage as what they were before. The regime is concerned about a further decline in the fertility rate in the country, as the birth rate among women of child-bearing age in Iran has dropped considerably over the years.
Although dating websites such as Tinder, are banned in the country, Tebyan is considered acceptable by the regime, as it hires traditional matchmakers and keeps with Islamic principles. The regime aims to double the population so that it stands at 150 million by the year 2050.
Several matchmakers are making a living in Iran in the dating business. Malakeh Mogodam is a traditional matchmaker, and she makes use of her home as a “lonely hearts call center.” She has her staff who assist her by answering the non-stop calls which come through, which are often from mothers in Tehran who are calling on behalf of their sons.
Parents hope to find a suitable marriage partner for their sons, as more young couples are now living together before marriage. But, it’s not always that simple to get married in Iran, as there are many obstacles which couples need to overcome before getting married, namely money and the approval of their parents.
Ali Nazari and Zohre Sadat are one such couple, who are both conservative and religious and are very much in love. They would like to get married as soon as possible, but the two families are still trying to come to an agreement regarding the Mehrieh, or the dowry. Zohre’s parents will not give her their blessing until a decision has been made. A Mehrieh of 14 gold coins was originally offered by Ali’s family. However, Zohre’s parents insist on at least 114 gold coins which amount to $45,000.
Other couples like Ali and Zohre only wish to marry the one they love but also want to obey their parents’ wishes and stick to Islamic principles. With such challenges to deal with, it is not surprising that many couples have chosen to delay marriage and just live together.