Jan 11 2016

Tinder guilt!

Many mobile based dating services have made meeting people much easier!

Are we in India ready for it?

I was introduced to Tinder a few months back by a concerned friend who felt I should be going out and meeting people more! It was touted as a revolutionary app which was different from all other dating services. To be honest I didn’t really see the big deal about Tinder! If anything straight people are late to this game! Mo’s have had these mobile proximity based dating services like PlanetRomeo for over a decade now!

What makes Tinder somewhat different as compared to the other services, is that the objective of the people on here is very clear – the service is purely for casual dating and hookups. There is little ambiguity of purpose, which helps greatly in closing the objectives.

Heard some describe the process as being “judgy”. Sure it is! There is an element of judgemental behavior in regular dating as well. People are judged on how they appear – thats just the way it is! Earlier you went to a club or a bar and if you liked someone bought him/her a drink and struck up a conversation while just ignoring the “ughos”!  Technology has just made this process more transparent – like someone, swipe right. Dont like how someone looks – swipe left!

If someone is putting their profile up on Tinder to find dates, they should really not be queasy about being judged or judging others. And why be guilty about finding a person who matches your personal preferences? Everyone has these preferences about looks, likes, personality, life choices etc etc. Tinder greatly accelerates the filtration & selection process for looks.

Heard some girlfriends describe the process as being judgemental in another way too. Apparently some Indian guys have the habit of stereotyping girls who may choose to be on the service. If a girl is using the service and she has swiped right on your profile, it just means there is an initial connect. It doesn’t mean that a hookup IS going to happen because girls on Tinder are “always available”. But this mindset is a cultural thing and not really the fault of the service!

To be sure, like with everything concerned with relationships & sex in India, there is a fair bit of hypocrisy associated with Tinder as well. To give one example, I know someone who met up with a wonderful woman in Pune through this service. And whatever it may have started as, they have been together for over a year. I heard he is looking for a suitable match to get settled down and I asked him why not her? They are very compatible, of the same caste, both UP brahmins, same culture, both well educated and professionally well settled earning 6 figures, and people say “they look good together” – important for many guys. So why not? The answer didn’t surprise me, but was distressing nevertheless. He couldn’t marry her because she was a Tinder hookup and you don’t marry “girls like that”. IIT followed by IIM, a top corporate job, but the thought process is still stuck in medieval ages! And please! Don’t tell me this is the minority view!

To give another example, I happen to know a married couple who are both enthusiastic patrons of the service. Kind of dangerous game to play when living and working in the same area! But I am sure they know what they are doing! The wife, a very good friend, knows the hubby plays around, indeed knows all the little details as well. The hubby(my former squash buddy) on the other hand is clueless both about how much his wife knows and her own presence on the service! I cant help but appreciate just how much more comfortable the womenfolk I know seem to be with the concept and the complete lack of hypocrisy. And then contrast it with their menfolk! I wonder how the hubby would react if he found out!

Honestly, its just easier for the gays, and I can totally see why these services became popular with the community a decade before straighties took to it! My own personal experience with Tinder has been that I have matched with a few, had a few dates both in Delhi and when travelling. And I have found people on the service are just as shallow as I am. Since I am not really the kind of person who has hookups with strangers, the interactions have ended at adding each other on Facebook – if at all! The other fascinating part of the Tinder experience for me has been how many familiar faces I see when opening up the app! Just proves my earlier theory of how people live double lives so comfortably! Well, I am just glad that Tinder has evolved as an alternative to the silly R3 game! smile

To summarize, I think Tinder and other services like that are the future of dating & relationships as we know it. The idea of being in a lifelong monogamous relationship doesn’t seem to be in the future of Millenials and future generations. There is hypocrisy yes! But thankfully there is a also a growing number of people who can see the difference between physical infidelity and emotional infidelity. Technology now allows us to meet far more people than before. Combine that with outdated laws on divorce and its no mystery why so many people are opting out of traditional marriages. And to those people who do bow to social pressure and get into traditional marriages, you can bet many will use this technology on the “down-low”.

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