“It’s quite hard to meet the right kind of guys, and there’s a lot of competition so you do feel a certain pressure to try extra things to make yourself stand out.” With the gender imbalance predicted to worsen over the next decade, such measures are only going to become more popular.Some enterprising individuals have set up dating companies to try and match lonely Hong Kong women with eligible men in South China, but the number of these relationships remains small. Choi believes that unless social traditions change over the next two decades and Hong Kong women become more prepared to accept men with the same or less earning power, the city will face profound social problems.But even if you remove migrant women from the data, population demographics remain significantly lopsided in favor of women. One explanation is the increasing number of cross-border marriages between Hong Kong men and mainland women, which, in 2012, accounted for more than 30 percent of all registered marriages in the city.

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“As things stand, if the marriage norm does not change, the gender skew will deteriorate further,” she says.

The 45-year-old architect recently received a phone call from her matchmaker, Rachael Chan, to ask why she had missed a dinner date with a 55-year-old property company executive. Instead of meeting with a potential partner, Miss Lee had been busy finalising a project in Japan.

Connie Yung has run Date and Match Consultancy for seven years.

She said less than a third of her female clients in 2011 were in the middle- to high-income bracket, earning HK$30,000 (£2,500) a month or more. These figures, and other anecdotal evidence, have shown that more career women in Hong Kong have been seeking help from professional matchmakers to find a mate, or even just a companion. She signed up to a “premium package” with Rachael and Smith Matchmakers, and described the service as similar to that of a corporate headhunter.

“I could tell Lee was really into (the property executive) ...

She asked me to send him a box of chocolates on her behalf.” But it was too late.“Hong Kong women are highly qualified and independent, but the marriage norm of men marrying down and women marrying up has remained largely intact.So some men may be unable to find a local wife due to their comparative socioeconomic disadvantages.certainly has a built-in market: The numbers of women seeking professional dating advice have risen rapidly over the past decade, and there are now almost 50 practicing plastic surgeons in the city.One of the most coveted procedures is upper blepharoplasty or double eyelid surgery, where patients obtain a set of upper eyelid creases.But some may also want to find a wife with lower qualifications and earning power anyway, so they can conform to social expectations.