If you binge-watched Indian Matchmaking, chances are, you were rooting for sweet-natured single mother Rupam—who sought the services of ‘Sima from Mumbai’ for a second chance at love and stable family life after her first marriage fell through. But the real Cupid in the mother-of-one’s life turned out to be the dating app Bumble. Rupam’s storyline on the show came to a close with her revelation about a “humble guy” she had matched with on the app, and had been chatting with on the phone ever since.
Who was the mystery man and did the relationship eventually work out? We asked the New York-based physician herself. In an email interview, Rupam tells Vogue India that the couple got engaged during the lockdown and have been quarantining together ever since. “As a single mother, I was often told by traditional matchmakers that my options were limited. I refused to accept this and did not want to let societal pressures or stigmas pull me down,” she says. “Moreover, I was determined to write my own destiny. So, on the recommendation of a friend, I downloaded the app two years ago when I was ready to date.”
What drew her to her now-fiancé Nitin (a banker by profession) apart from his progressive mindset was that his profile also featured a picture with his daughter. “Our first date lasted an amazing 24 hours—we spent the whole day together brunching, hiking and finished with dinner at a steakhouse. It was one of the best dates I’ve ever been on!” says the bride-to-be, adding that Bumble’s video chat feature came in handy during the early days of their relationship when they were living in different cities.
Rupam wasn’t skeptical about using a dating app, especially one that required women to make the first move, to find love (and a life partner). Quite the contrary, in fact. “When I was ready to give myself another chance, an app seemed like a good place to start. It took some time, and a lot of first dates. But ultimately, I did find my forever: One who respected my past, accepted me as a mother, and shared the same values as me.” So where does that leave her on the traditional matchmaking vs dating apps debate? “The app empowered me to find love on my own terms. But the foundation of a meaningful relationship lies in kindness, respect and equality with a partner who is considerate and trustworthy—irrespective of where and how you find them.”
Rupam represents an entire generation of women who aren’t writing off dating apps as a serious medium to find lasting love. “We launched in India as a way to give women the platform to make the first move in their romantic lives. Thereby making it easier to find the kind of partner they want,” explains Priti Joshi, vice president, strategy at Bumble. “We have countless stories from our community across the world who’ve found love on the app. Rupam’s story is a great example of just that,” she adds. In fact, Joshi has found that women in India are sending twice the number of messages on Bumble compared to women anywhere else in the world. It’s a new world indeed, and ladies, the ball is in your court.
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