Skip Online Dating-get married-Lea Haben-photo courtesy onewed.comYoupid, a self funded startup founded by entrepreneur Ruchika Abbi in Mumbai, India, takes the old concept of arranged marriages into the high tech era.  This site is solely dedicated to your single minded pursuit of finding a marriage partner and doesn’t even allude to the possibility of just a little casual dating first.  This may make perfect sense in India, the land of arranged marriages and powerful family values, but may come across as a little too forward as it comes to the United States.

The idea is to use your social friend network you’ve already built on Facebook or other sites to jumpstart your Youpid network.  Of course there are “friends” and there are “Facebook friends.”  How much personal information do you really want to share in your quest to settle down?

Unlike traditional online dating, Youpid requires you to actively involve your social network friends in your dating…or “matrimonial” process.  There are two basic profiles to select, “cupids” and “singles.”

Cupids join solely to become matchmakers for their friends but the features are fairly limited.  It’s more of a passive role as they can only introduce friends when asked to do so by other members.

Singles join for the more obvious reason of looking for love everlasting in the hope their friends will hook them up.  You send out invitations to join your Youpid network and hope people will accept either as a “single” or a “cupid.”

Currently you can’t change between cupid and single without changing your email.  On the other hand, if you find yourself suddenly single you may be inclined to do that anyway.  Incidentally, creating multiple accounts violates Youpid’s terms of service.

It’s free to join Youpid while it’s still in beta (testing phase) and they’re ironing out the bugs.  Youpid claims not to share or Skip the Online Dating, Let's Get Married!misuse all the personal information they will collect from you and they promise to “strive to cancel your account” within a week or so if you email them with a request to do so.  Maybe not fast enough if your newly found marriage partner is prone to jealousy.

Youpid doesn’t raid your email list or friends list and automatically spam them without your permission, which is a good thing as most of us don’t regularly screen our contacts or Facebook friends list, but Youpid will be more than happy to let you send out invitations to anyone you wish.  Just be aware that once you turn your social networking site into your personal dating database it may affect your friend count.

Youpid takes an old concept of meeting your future spouse through friendly introductions and matches it to modern technology.  It’s not necessarily something you can’t do without the aid of the Youpid software but it certainly makes it easier and makes your intentions clearer.  Despite what your ultimate goals in online dating may be, a little tweaking of the premise from a matrimonial site down to a dating or matchmaking concept would go a long way to making Youpid more culturally acceptable here in the western world.