Going to dating apps with the hope of finding something meaningful or something fun has become the new normal. No more do we meet people by chance, it’s all about the algorithm now.
I’ve been on dating apps since 2015. Back then, Tinder had just been introduced to India, and it was the new exciting plaything. I’d been in one relationship that lasted over three years and it was enough to put me off dating for a long time. But then my friends started getting on Tinder and I wanted to know what the fuss was all about. I must have uninstalled and reinstalled it a hundred times since. Honestly, it’s just easier to turn to my Pulse full body massager instead of entertaining another “So, what are you looking for?” in my DMs.
From #NoHookups to Uber ratings, I’ve seen it all. You can tell that global warming is a real thing because people aren’t posing with tigers and fish to get quirky profile pics. I remember when people used to use group pictures and looking for the profile owner was like a game of ‘Where’s Waldo?’ But, I digress.
I’m not sure whether it’s the algorithm of Indian dating apps or the fact that some people seem to keep orbiting around you in the digital space and in real life; you’re bound to bump into the same people over and over again. And if you’re someone from Delhi, Bombay, or Bangalore, you would agree when I say that it’s a small world because you end up finding mutual friends—which begs one to ask the question, why wouldn’t your friends just introduce you to them in the first place?
Anyway, here’s the lowdown on all the dating apps I’ve ever been on. It’s got the good, the bad, and the downright disappointing.
Swipe right, swipe left, swipe left, swipe left… Thanks to Tinder, we’ve perfected the art of judging a book by its cover. In a world where thirst traps get the most eyeballs, writing a long, well-thought-out bio is practically useless. I met a bunch of really lovely people on Tinder and some downright trashy folks too. It used to have a very clunky UI, but recently it’s gotten a lot smoother.
Of all the dating apps I’ve ever been on, Bumble is the one that I’ve stuck with for the longest time. Sadly, the same cannot be said about all the people I’ve met through this app. I’ve been ghosted so much even during the talking stage, that my phone is now a graveyard of phone numbers.
Hinge proudly calls itself, ‘the dating app designed to be deleted,’ and I think they’ve taken it a tad too seriously. The UI/UX sucks so much that you aren’t left with any option but to move to another messaging app. While messaging people with common interests is a lot easier on Hinge, it’s also definitely a place where I’ve met lots of unhinged folks. Jeez!
Aisle is essentially a matrimonial app for millennials. As someone with a fair amount of commitment phobia, thanks to how much I’ve been burnt in the past, it really wasn’t for me. But, for the sake of research (read: boredom), I downloaded it anyway, just to see how it works. The pool was so bad and the location setting sucked so hard, I uninstalled it in exactly 27 minutes.
One of the newest kids on the block, Jalebi is designed for someone who’s ready for commitment. They ask so many questions, it’s almost as if they want to covertly build a matrimonial profile for you. I was on Jalebi for 1 day and it’s just too tedious and overwhelming to go back on it.
Update: I just found out that Jalebi is owned by Aisle. Yeah, now everything makes sense.
Thursday, is super niche and really tests your patience. In a world that is moulding itself around short attention spans, Thursday positions itself as an app for those who want to be intentional in their search for a partner. You can only use the app on one day of the week—Thursday, obviously. TBH, I keep forgetting about it until Saturday night.
I’ve been on a bunch of dating apps for varied periods of time. There’s also Coffee Meets Bagel, Truly Madly, and even OkCupid. And they all taught me the same exact thing—geographical location truly doesn’t make a difference. You’ll still find the same frogs in different pools.
Also, modern dating is so complicated now. There are so many new terms to keep up with. I can neither confirm nor deny that I haven’t googled, ‘What is a situationship?’ at least once. Or, ‘Isn’t friends with benefits pretty much the same as dating but without the label?’ without any conclusive answer. Hate the players, don’t hate the game, I guess?
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