Social spaces are shrinking. Our hectic work schedules have taken a toll on our personal lives. In this ultra urban scenario, we get to meet new people in the virtual space only. We are very wary of the person next door. We’ve also come a long way from the days when relatives used to take pride (and responsibility) in arranging marriages. Now, mobile apps do that. And often, before ab-toh-shaadi-karle.com, comes the try-out-the-guys-before-finally-marrying.com.
There are several dating apps (or e-Cupids) in the market. I’ve used this particular one which “lights a fire” of a tender love among its users. Let me repeat – it’s a dating app. What amuses me is that several people use it as a marriage bureau – confusing it with the we-will-get-you-married apps which act as matchmaker for those who can’t find love themselves (for whatever reasons). Hook-ups are different from getting hitched (the meaning can be debated, but the usual meaning is what you and I believe). So, it intrigues me when people (pretty girls, in this case) spell out interesting expectations and no-hook-ups warnings in their profile pages. Several of them declare themselves ‘holier than thou’, with the ‘strict’ warning: “Not here for hook-ups”. Really? They perhaps forget which platform they are on. For example, one such dating app, Tinder, says on the download page, “Making new connections on (this app) is easy and fun—just Swipe Right to Like someone, or Swipe Left to pass. If someone likes you back, It’s a Match!” It then suggests it could be taken forward in the real world (which I sure understand doesn’t mean hook-ups only; it could also mean a cup of coffee or showing him to her family).
What amuses me is how you want to be there in the dating space, yet camouflage your presence there.
Thirty-two-year-old Mehak says in her profile that she is looking for “someone to backpack with. Here to meet interesting people and not for hook-ups. Swipe left in case that’s what you are looking for.”
Okay, perhaps she is not aware that there are better chances of finding that ‘someone’ on the Meet-Up app, which has several groups dedicated to backpacking.
Then there is 33-year-old Monalisa who plainly states: “No hook-ups. Only long-term.” Well, I believe there are several testimonies of successful marriages arranged by apps/websites like shaadi.com and jeevansathi.com, and I guess marriages are conventionally supposed to ‘last long’.
Let's sample a few more:
Ayesha (22) writes: “Cute n innocent. M here to make frenz. Nothing else^^” (sic). She didn’t explain if ^^ stood for ‘conditions apply’ or ‘to be explained later’.
Tarannum (29) -says: “Not here for hook-up or dating. Looking for like-minded people and interesting conversation.” (Conversations are best over WhatsApp/Facebook/Twitter. But no harm in making your own choice).
A 28-year-old manager, Rasika, put out her warning rather explicitly in her fairly long profile note: “lol m not here for random s** too... if you are looking such lol m not the one...” but also ‘I am straight’. (All I can say is: LOL.)
Poonam, a 34-year-old, says, “Looking for a serious relationship. No hook-ups please.” While another starts her bio with: “NOT here for hook-ups! Despos go away!” (Would anyone log into any dating app unless s/he has an urgent urge to meet new people?)
Meanwhile, another says, “Please swipe left if you are looking at friends with benefit partners.”
What amuses me always is how we disguise our feelings and emotions (or are forced to). I would prefer people to say something like this: “A lot can happen over coffee. Let’s meet for coffee, and see if it goes any further.”
Or something like: “Here to meet interesting people. :-)” When you put out that warning about no hook-ups, you are kind of sharing your guilt for being there. And if you are the pious soul that many claim to be, then why not log into marriage apps?
As 31-year-old Ritu declared, “This dating app is great to find real fake people.” All I can say is, “Ma’am, I couldn’t agree more!”