Last year in August, Shreyoshi decided to download Bumble, a dating app, on which she found Ritam who happened to be back from the USA and was under hotel quarantine. The couple spoke for a few days and decided to meet even though they hardly shared any common interests. Owing to the lockdown restrictions, there was no place they could grab a coffee or a drink at, so they ended up driving to a lake close by. That day, as they drove home, their car got stuck in a ditch at midnight while it rained heavily around them. Shreyoshi realised then that Ritam is the guy she wants to spend her rest of her life with. Five months since, they are married and happy.
Dil maange more
There has been a ‘digital revolution’ regarding dating, courtship and romance, and the Internet has become the ‘matchmaker’. One such matchmaker is Bumble, a social networking app for everyone, which was founded in 2014 by women. In fact, on Bumble, women are empowered to make the first move and forge meaningful connections across dating, friendships and business networking.
Samarpita Samaddar, Bumble India PR Director, shares about the trend, “Single Indians now go on ‘pre-dates’ where they use video dates to get to know one another before meeting in person. Our recent nationwide survey revealed 40% of single Indians want to opt for virtual dating in 2021.”
Taking dating a step forward is Gleeden, a dating platform open to married individuals who want to spice up their love lives by providing a safe and private environment where members get in touch with likeminded people to flirt with.
As per Sybil Shiddell, Country Manager India, Gleeden, most of the time, those who subscribe to Gleeden are looking for a distraction from their routines. “Gleeden offers a safe space where these people can unwind and rediscover the thrill of seduction,” says Sybil. “Now that people have potentially the chance to meet again, after an initial approach they try to move the date in real life. Lockdowns, social distancing and health safety have taught us that you can have meaningful relations even without direct contact. We believe that 2021 will increase this kind of ‘slow dating’ rather than the ‘binge dating attitude’ that Tinder-like dating apps got us used to.”
Tech to the rescue
OkCupid, founded in 2004 by Harvard mathematicians who believed in the power of questions to lead you to meaningful connections, has an algorithm that is helping Indians strike the balance between love and compatibility. “With AI-powered matching based on 3,000 questions at the heart of it, OkCupid is committed to helping users find their kind of love — filmy, adventurous, pragmatic, OTT, etc. This is a connection of deeper things from views about career and a stance on gender rights, to how to plan a vacation and split chores. This is the only platform that put you, your beliefs, values and quirks at the center of your search for love instead of reducing you to merely your looks, height and alignment of starts at birth,” says Anukool Kumar, Marketing Director, OkCupid India.
New age new rules
Millennials today are being more accepting of the reality that there is more to a person than their picture and that they can ask for what they want up-front. Millennial India’s idea of love has evolved and is unapologetic and free from compromise, one that embraces differences.
Tanisha Ghura Kanani and Priyanka Ghura Kuka are the co-founder and business head and co-founder and creative head, respectively, of Not So Arranged, a new dating site. The site has specially designed a one-of-a-kind Compatibility Quiz that factors in thoughts, habits, values, personality and quirks to help subscribers find their right match.
“This ensures a more meaningful connection and a higher chance of getting those sparks flying. After all, compatibility leads to chemistry. Our compatibility test has been specially curated by a psychologist with years of experience in relationship and pre-marital counselling, which can help us find you a match based on who you score highest with based on your Compatibility Quotient(CQ),” say the duo.
Small town fix
QuackQuack caters to needs of Indian singles who want to chat or break the ice even before they match. What’s a stand out about this app is that most of its users come from Tier 2 cities, unlike in the case of the other apps.
According to Ravi Mittal, Founder, QuackQuack, the average age of users on the app has dropped from 29 years a couple of years ago to 25 years today. “It means more youngsters are signing up on dating apps,” he explains. “We are also seeing a keen interest from women, with a 12% rise in women’s traffic as compared to last year.”
Ravi also believes that the trend is certainly shifting from casual dating to more meaningful and serious relationships. “People are okay with exploring profiles from far-off cities and are not confined to just their surroundings. What’s more, there’s a 300% increase in users signing up from smaller towns and cities as compared to those from metros—dating is shifting to smaller cities where the trend is catching up.”
Clearly, 2021 seems to have ushered in a sense of optimism and hope among single Indians as they get more intentional about finding love in 2021. Who knows, the date fix might even result in a match that is love all!