It has been a year since Raj and his friends graduated from a premier college in the state and are now working in the city.Raj hangs out with his buddies on weekends, has a girlfriend, is not shy to admit that he used to be on dating apps but is less active now.Almost all his friends are using or have used dating apps; the girls though, are not so forthcoming in admitting that. These three words best define the new dating paradigm.
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Well, at least, you'll get access to the gender of your choice; what happens next is still your karma. Is it just a hookup for the evening or is it a quest to form a long-lasting relationship that will finally lead to the altar?
For the uninitiated, dating apps work on the premise that you are either looking for a man or a woman, that you will have age criteria, and that you’d like that person to be somewhere in the vicinity near you so that if all goes well you’ve got your evening sorted. Able Joseph, Founder and CEO of Aisle, a dating app that claims it is tailor made for long-term relationships, says, “I think casual hookups, short-term affairs, long-term sustainable relationships, and infidelity -- all come under the umbrella of what we simply refer to as 'dating'.
Being on a dating app is like walking into a room full of beautiful people and realising you could date all of them. You make your destiny just by the direction in which you swipe on the mobile screen. And dating apps in India facilitate all of this.” With 38,000 “hand-picked” users from 60 plus countries, Able claims that 25 percent of their user base has connected with somebody they were genuinely interested in meeting.
“Compared to men, urban women are almost as pro-active in reaching out to men who meet their own set of expectations,” he says, sharing his insights into human behavior, adding, “though single Indians under 24 are less likely to pay for a dating service.” That should not be a concern because last year this sector was flush with VC funds, and startups like i Crushi Flush, Banihal, Truly Madly, Plush, and Dil Mil, including Aisle received a lot of VC love.
But from the louder shrieks and laughter of his friends around, I know he is the guy I am looking for.
Twenty-three-year-old Raj (let’s call him that for now) is giving away their secrets to a total stranger — me.
“Yes, she is on Tinder,”…“Haha, he does not get any likes,”… this one’s girlfriend is on Tinder and he has swiped her left.” Denials flow thick and fast around the table and mock fights erupt amid a lot of giggles and bantering.
This circle of friends at an upmarket nightclub in the heart of IT city, Bengaluru, is surely not one of a kind.
The millennials are making their presence felt everywhere.
They have freedom and access like never before – riding on the touch of the magic screen on their smartphones.
How then is this mobile revolution changing the attitudes of the next gen of young boys and girls in India?