What I Learnt From Online Dating In India as a Guy
Dating in general or even establishing social contact with the opposite sex can be a challenging task for men, especially so in India. The order of people to impress includes a rigorous background virtual check (Facebook can be surprisingly revealing), mutual friends and then overly analyzing any visible photographs for signs of trouble. But virtually, the dating scene is a different experience all together.
I tried my hands out at the top three dating apps in India, in order, Tinder, OkCupid and Truly Madly, and learned that there’s more than what meets the eye, and there are plenty of fish in the sea!
Everyone’s curious about the virtual dating scene – or they’re lying
The phenomenal number of registered users on online dating apps is a testimony to future of socializing and dating. You’d be surprised who you find online, your ex, your crush, or even that special someone who turned you down because they said they’re already in a happy relationship (turns out they weren’t – they just didn’t like you). In fact the networks work only on a cyclic form of growth – more users encourage other users to join, and new users are encouraged by the number of already registered users.
Safe spaces allow more honest interactions
Given the anonymity, privacy and comfort of virtually logging in from anywhere, a lot of people will reveal their true self way more easily than they would in real life. This adds to a comfort level that takes forever to establish in real life. Your crush might as well be swiping sitting in the loo, or sneaking a quick swipe under a table at their work/college, but saying they’re comforting tucked in their bed. People will present their best side, and the option to block off creeps forever with just a click ensure women feel safer to share their true self more comfortably. Cherish this established trust, and use it to step out of your comfort zone.
Be wary of what you see and believe
However, the corollary is also unfortunately true: the same anonymity and privacy that enables people to open up faster and be more honest also enables everyone to exaggerate. There’s a famous quote that best describes this phenomenon “On the internet you can be literally anything you ever wanted to be – yet you choose to be such a troll?” Photoshop isn’t the last of your worries. From identity theft, to absolutely fake profiles – people exaggerate and stretch facts. I’m not promoting stalking back to verify information – but be a skeptic. Everyone’s innocent until proven guilty, right?
Not everyone’s there for dating – or hook ups
Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on what you’re looking for, not everyone is using these apps for hookups or dating. Many users, including me, who might be in committed relationships with no intention to cheat are actually looking for just networking, socializing or making new friends. I’ve made great foodie friends, drinking buddies or other committed friends that are great to just talk to. So don’t keep your hopes unrealistically high when you get a match. Conversation practiced honestly and in your charismatic way is the surest way to find out what they’re looking for.
Don’t jump the wagon too soon
Catchy pickup lines certainly work – but gross generalizations never apply as a definite statistic for an entire gender, race, or population. While people will appreciate your honesty and confidence, some might be creeped out too soon. Your safest bet is to play it slow and easy and see where things go. Patience builds anticipation anyway, doesn’t it?
Keep it casual and entertaining
The momentum band wagon hits more strongly than one without adequate speed. This is not Linkedin, so avoid talking about professional skills or your job too much – unless you’re the CEO of a startup or doing something spectacular. Nor is this Shaadi.com – so play your excitement on a low profile and remember to stay in the same boat as your match. Nobody wants to talk to a depressed soul who is still stuck up on their ex, so keep conversations casual, simple and entertaining. There are plenty of generic questions on the internet to ask that can help you know each other’s perspectives quickly.
What has your experience on Tinder and its counterparts been like? Do you rarely get matches back or have a secret to virtual wooing? Let us know in the comments at our official Facebook page Entrepreneur India.