– from personals in the newspaper, to swipes and emoji

– we explore the evolution of matrimonial ads over the past 150 years –

VAR Association launches Matched Society, a project that delves into the evolution of matrimonial ads, from personals in the newspaper to online dating, with the involvement of an interdisciplinary team consisting of artists, qualified sociologists and psychologists, IT specialists and cultural operators. The goal is to explore the impact this phenomenon had on social behaviours and to find out whether or not some communication and dating tactics were passed down through generations.  

Matched Society is embarking on a process of making a record of all the ads and articles that have something to do with the world of „dating”, providing in due course a historical perspective on how people have connected with one another over the past 150 years. The materials will be analysed by other members of our project that are qualified in sociology, psychology, and fine arts, thus adding a contextual dimension to the research. Through this multidisciplinary approach, we aim to highlight not only the changes and the continuities in the way human connections are sought, but also to provide a deeper understanding of the cultural and social influences that have shaped these social interactions over time. Through our project we aim to better understand the way imagination operates under its tendencies to romanticize love, and how the exposure of a private space in public changes over time depending on the degree of environment sophistication.  

Matched Society is not limited to research and encourages the young-adult public to get involved in its making. Everybody is invited to chip in for the completion of a socio-psychological study by answering a survey by 01.05.2024, regarding the way we perceive and interact on dating aps. The survey is available here:

By creating four audio podcasts and an interactive multimedia presentation, Matched Society will become an opportunity to meet with the public during four events that are due to take place in September – two in Bucharest, and two in Târgu-Mureș. We will also develop an open-source online platform – the first digitalized archive in Romania that deals with matrimonial ads and online dating. 

In case you have a story you’d like to share, a story about your experience in the world of online dating, one that fascinated you, amused you, or even outraged you, don’t hesitate to contact us at We’ll make sure we’ll turn your story into a cultural product! The performativity of your dating experience will help us reflect on the intimacy, the vulnerability and the strong feelings that emerge in the world of online dating, while the process of turning your story into a cultural product will provide the distance that is required to better understand what is real and meaningful in a hyperconnected world. 

Follow our journey and the Matched Society events with the help of our online diary available on VAR’s social media platforms. We’ll stay in touch on our Facebook and Instagram pages.  

This project is co-financed by the grant NCFA / National Cultural Fund Administration and supported by AMIQ. A cultural initiative undertaken by the VAR Association from March to Octomber 2024.

Our partners: TEATRU FIX, 3G HUB, IQads, Radio România Cultural, București FM, Revista Cultura, Munteanu Recomandă, Zile și Nopți.

The project does not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of the National Cultural Fund Administration. NFCA is not responsible for the content or for the means in which the results of the project are used. These are responsibilities that fully belong to the funds’ beneficiary.