Online dating is one of the most popular ways across the globe to find a mate. Once a place with strict dating customs, India is projected to actually be one of the fastest growing online dating markets. Dating ways are changing as more and more people find love online.
Modern vs. Traditional Dating
Modernization has changed the way many Indians date. Traditionally the parents usually arranged dating and marriage for their children. This was set ahead many years in most instances. Nowadays many parents are giving their children the chance to seek their own partner. Though arranged marriage isn’t as popular as it once was, being single in India can be tough.
In most areas of India single people cannot participate in religious ceremonies as it is considered unholy. Society isn’t as open to adults being single. Whether it’s the judgement from others or the need for companionship, many in India are turning to online dating.
Online Dating Apps
Yearly expenditures or marriage-related services in India are about $57 billion. There are more than 100 million single Indians between the ages of 18 and 35. Many apps in India are the same as they are everywhere else.
There are the apps like Tinder, Happn, OKCupid and TrulyMadly that rely on geotagging and algorithms to find matches. It’s a slow start for many of these as they aren’t as socially acceptable as others. There are also sites that market themselves as more of a matrimonial service like Shaadi.com. It is all about innovation leading the way to matrimony. This means Indians still have a sort of “arranged” marriage without the stigma of online dating.
Going Further Than Just Matching Personalities
Some Indians find love online, yet still believe in traditions that don’t let that love go much further than a few clicks. Many believe both sides of the family must accept the person with open arms. If they don’t give their blessing, the relationship is a bust. This could be true in any culture though as many people want their family to accept their significant other.
One thing that stands out for many people is some online dating sites’ use of an astro sketch. This is a character analysis based on the sign of the person. It is used to match users. Some Indians, mainly Hindus, believe in Vedic astrology in every part of their lives.
A priest studies the moon signs, called Raasi for marriage between two people and puts it into a 36-point system. The higher the number of the Raasi, the greater the compatibility of the two people. If the number is low, it could mean there is no hope for the couple.
Many Indians are hesitant to go all in when it comes to online dating due to the social stigma many still have regarding dating. Some say their family would be more inclined to open their arms to a significant other that they met on an arranged marriage site than one they met on a dating match site.
This may sound hypocritical, but to many in India, dating should be strictly just a lead to marriage. Many say sites like Tinder help pass the time as they strike up conversations with people, but the family wouldn’t like them to bring someone home from the app. The odds of actually meeting a person they will marry might not be high.
By matching personalities together and swiping a certain way just because someone is attractive or seems interesting doesn’t seem appealing to many Indian families. They were set in arranged marriages for years and years, so many wonder how a computer can better pair two people together than a set of families.
The Growing Number of Fish in the Sea
Online dating in India is on a steady stream upwards as more people grab a smart phone and download dating apps. Some remain secretive to appease the traditions while others are proud of their new dating status.
The sample size is getting bigger and bigger meaning there are more people to choose from so the more fish in the sea, the bigger the probability of finding a potential mate. People don’t talk much about dating in India because emotions aren’t usually an open thing so online dating is a new portal where another world is just waiting to hear your emotions and dreams for the future.
In addition to the online dating trend, International marriage agencies are becoming popular in India. For example, according to Best-Matchmaking.com, a Slavic matchmaking agency, more and more Indian men register on their site to meet a Slavic woman for dating and marriage.
Many in India are proving times are changing as arranged marriages become less formal. More people live separately from their parents until they marry and many people are even dating and having sex out of wedlock. These things are traditionally taboo.
Though people choose to live the less traditional life, the Indian government is not yet on the bandwagon. On some of the matrimonial online sites there was an advisory note sent to the service providers asking them to make users sign a declaration they were there with intent to marry, not just for a date.
No matter the area on the map, dating has come a long way in only a few decades. From meeting after years of writing letters back and forth to meeting after a swipe of a screen, finding love seems to be always changing and always challenging. If online dating could promise everyday struggle of life wouldn’t pull apart a couple, every single across the globe would probably jump on the bandwagon. India is no different than any other country as they just want to find and stay in love.