Tips and tricks on finding love in the modern age.
By Ashima Sethi
Trust me when I say that we’ve all been there. You are seated at the dinner table and questions begin piling in about when you are going to find ‘The One’, and when it finally does happen, are you going to choose a beachside wedding or a city celebration? Talk about high pressure! It is understandable that the older generation views marriage as the official start of a relationship, but times have changed, and more Indians are exploring their options before tying the knot. A part from long-term commitments, several are choosing to go the other way and meet their potential bae online.
And why not? Technology has made the world a smaller place. With communication at your fingertips, pining for a kismet or cosmic connection has been replaced with the possibility of making a digital one. More people are finding romance through the assistance of smartphone apps, online dating services and casual meet-ups. So this Valentine’s Day, worry not, as Masala is here to help you in your quest for love – which won’t involve a visit to your neighborhood astrologer.
Move aside Cupid, because Matchmaking Apps are here to stay! They cater towards urban Indians who want more control over the dating process without sacrificing the chances for a long-term relationship. This is the perfect balance between traditional matrimonial services and casual dating sites.
Sirf Coffee is a bespoke dating service with many unique selling points that are targeted towards the global Indian professional. These include its exclusivity, as the app requires potential members to meet certain qualifications, such as having a university degree and respectable job. If your application is successful, the site will contact you for an online or face-to-face interview to further understand what you are seeking in your partner. With this information on-hand, their ‘relationship managers’ will set up potential dates. The process is very much personalised and heavily dependent on your feedback. Sounds good? Well of course it does! But slow down lovebirds, because these tailored services don’t come cheap. The site offers three different payment plans beginning at US$300 per year, which may seem steep to most, but for those willing to invest, ‘just coffee’ might turn into so much more.
Dil Mil is one of Southeast Asia’s leading dating apps, but what sets it apart from other mainstream options? Traditionally, family and friends play the role of matchmaker, but Dil Mil uses artificial intelligence to pair you up with potential matches instead – many reviewers even describe its AI as a ‘virtual aunty figure’. Interested? Well, the site requires members to sign up with an existing social media account, whether it be Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn for verification purposes. Once your application is successful, the site will ask you to fill in key information about yourself by ticking off all the essential questions you (or your parents) might ask about a potential partner, such as age, height, religion, community, education and career. Once the app’s carefully constructed algorithms generate matches, you can submit up to 10 likes or ‘dils’ a day with the option to purchase more.
Use single meet-ups to broaden your social circles. This has risen in popularity because it offers a relaxed approach that is preferable to diving straight into a one-on-one date with a stranger. Joining groups on Facebook that target your interests or looking into local meet-ups can guarantee a way to meet individuals who have the same interests, eat at the same restaurants or know similar people.
A meet-up site that has recently taken India by storm is Floh. This offers a range of events for people to get to know each other and bond over shared experiences, as well as their general likes and dislikes. Examples include brunches, wine tasting, board game clubs and even salsa classes. Another plus point is the exclusivity of the membership process. Firstly, potential members will need to fill out a short form, which is followed up with a call to verify your identity. If you are invited to join, you will need to pick a membership payment plan and submit an imbursement. Now look, I know, it is not free. But on the bright side, choosing apps or sites that require money will filter out those who are serious about finding relationships from those who are just online for a laugh.
Another popular site is Meet Up, which doesn’t advertise itself as a dating site but offers a vast number of activities and get-togethers that could boost your chances of meeting someone with the same interests. The app is easy to navigate, as you simply sign up by choosing your interests from a set of categories, which will then filter scheduled meet-ups that adhere to your criteria. It’s a great way to explore your city and passions, while getting together with like-minded individuals.
Friends of Friends
Don’t be afraid of asking your friends for a little bit of help because chances are they’ve been around you long enough to know the important details, like whether you enjoy the outdoors, what you enjoy eating and how funny you actually are. There are a number of advantages that come with this approach as it minimises the chance of getting yourself into an awkward date situation, because you’ll already have things to talk about. Also, rather than meeting on a one-on-one date, hang out as a group! The possibilities are endless if only you’re willing to make the effort.