What it Means to Be “Matched”

Awhile back, I told you all that I don’t think I read a whole lot of “young adult fiction.” I haven’t fallen in love with the genre as a whole in the same way many other seem to have.


Still, I must confess that, from the moment I picked up Matched, I had a hard time putting it down. My husband would find me standing at the stove, slowly stirring a pot as I turned pages. My youngest child found me sprawled out on her gymnastics mat, tell-tale green cover held high up in the air.


I found the concept behind this story captivating, though eerie as all get-out.


In a nutshell, Matched tells the story of Cassia, a seventeen-year-old girl living in a future society. The Society has determined how to best feed, employ, train, dress, and educate all their citizens– and it involves controlling pretty much every element of their lives.


By far the most critical part of this control, as indicated by the title and the manner in which the story kicks off, is the “matching.” This is the ceremony at which the Society announces which young men and women (children, really– they’re seventeen) are to be paired together to pursue marriage.


You don’t choose your spouse. He is chosen for you. A specially-trained board does the sorting and matching to determine who belongs with whom. It is all very methodical and calculated.


And a part of me wonders if it wouldn’t be just as effective as our current method of mate-selection.


Don’t get me wrong. I do not– in any way– believe this would be a good or desirable method for finding a spouse. But I have to admit I can understand how people, in their frustration with what has become a culture of broken and discarded relationships, might think this was the solution. We tend to like to believe we can fix everything if we just have more control– it makes me shudder a bit because, quite frankly, I could actually see this happening.


Thinking about all this government-imposed “matching” also, naturally, made me wonder about this:


If I had lived in this Society, what are the odds that I would have been “matched” with my husband?


I’m thinking rather slim. (And how sad! Because we’re a super match! :))


What do you think?…


If someone else were doing the matching, following strict sorting and scientific method, how likely do you think it is that you would have been paired with your spouse?

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10 comments to What it Means to Be “Matched”

  • Laraba

    Have you read “The Giver”. Somewhat similar society, it sounds like. FASCINATING book, the Giver. I should probably check out Matched.

    Re your main question, I would like to address it at length but not this minute … kids need me!

  • That’s a funny question. My husband jokingly suggested one day that we both sign up for the free profile on some dating website, to see if we would be eachothers “match”. I immediatly veto’d the idea! We are so alike in some ways, but other ways, not even close. We met by happen-stance, we worked together. We didn’t have the same friends, didn’t like the same music..if we hadn’t worked together, there is no way we would have bumped into eachother out in public. Not even at the same restaraunts or grocery stores. We’ve been married 7 years, been together for 9. I thank God that I didn’t quit my job the month before I met my husband, like I had planned :o)

  • sonja

    No way! Our backgrounds are totally different. My husband is closer to my mom’s age than mine (granted, she’s only 17 years older than me). He hates musicals, I love them. In fact, music is my life (we met because I played the piano for a wedding of his friend)

  • Amanda Wade

    Um…probably not likely. Haha! Especially given how far apart we were geographically when we met. We have vastly different interests that do intersect (kind of), but we’ve kind of joined each other in each other’s interests, at least the ones that we can do that for. For instance, we can work out together (mine) or we can go to the shooting range/play video games together (his), but we can’t exactly knit together (mine) and there are some games (his) that he can only play alone.
    Here’s the thing though. We have some vastly different interests (clearly), but our personalities are VERY similar. They weren’t when we first met a few years ago, but eventually and over time God changed us (that’s why I believe anyways) so we would be perfect for each other. And we are. A few years ago, I told God that I wouldn’t be looking for a spouse, and He needed to find me one if He wanted me to get married. And so He did.
    I believe God is the best matcher possible, and society…would totally fall short on that responsibility. There is no way to quantify someone down to a level that would match them best. Therefore, I am glad God’s in charge, and not people!

  • “The Society has determined how to best feed, employ, train, dress, and educate all their citizens– and it involves controlling pretty much every element of their lives.” <——- THAT frightens me, only because I don't know if it will remain fiction in our lives.

  • mlearley

    This article was in our local paper today. We might be heading in the direction of the society in Matched where our children no longer no how to write using a pencil and paper.


  • mlearley

    What did you think of the 3rd book? I was a tad disappointed. The first book was the best one in the series.

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