Know your type
I had been dating people on and off through my teens and most of my adult life. I feel in love but it wasn’t reciprocated and that broke my heart. I downloaded Tinder, thinking ‘What’s a few more men added to the list’. I told the first guy I met that I wasn’t interested in a relationship. He laughed and said ‘me neither’. We hit it off!
We became good friends and sounding board for all the subsequent dates I had through the app. One day, it struck me that this guy has been such a great friend, why not just date him. I asked him out, he said yes and four months later we were engaged. Friends thought we were being hasty but two years later, we are still happily married. Would I recommend dating apps to people? Sure, just be sure you know your type.
Alyssa Viega, 27, copywriter, Mumbai
Be upfront about your feelings
Tinder and Hinge are very popular back home so when I moved to Mumbai, I didn’t expect too many problems. I was, in fact, looking forward to it. The first few dates were nice – the girls chatted a lot and we had some fun evenings. The problem arose when I made my intentions clear – Tinder is known to be a hookup app so I didn’t understand why the women reacted the way they did when I brought up sex.
I believe in being upfront, so I spoke to them instead of being that creepy guy and making unwanted moves. And yet, one date actually threw her drink in my face; another one stormed out of the restaurant in a huff. It was quite embarrassing. After that, I learned my lesson. Now, I make sure my profile clearly states my interests so there’s absolutely no confusion. It has helped, oh yeah!
Manny Singh, 31, bartender, Mumbai
Do not be fooled by the ego boost
At first glance, being on a dating app is amazing. Every time you swipe right on a person, there’s an instant match. I’m aware the gender ratio is skewered against us and that I shouldn’t read too much into these ‘matches’ but they’re such an ego booster. So many men find you interesting based on a few words you’ve written and a few photos you’ve shared.
Initially, I would go out with anyone who asked me. They were all so nice to me and would say nice things about me and shower me with compliments and sometimes, gifts. They all wanted a second date or more. If I refused, they would turn ugly. I soon realised that their words were hollow and they were just paying me lip service. It made me doubt myself, my character and my personality. Was I even pretty or interesting enough to be dated? It was a bitter pill to swallow.
Jenny Misquitta, 22, student, Delhi
You can actually make friends on it
It’s true. Some of my best friends in recent months have been through Tinder. We met, went on a date and realised we were better off being friends. We ‘friend-zoned’ each other and it proved to be such a good idea! Now, we hang out, follow each other on social media and are each other’s plus-ones for events/gigs/ last minute travel plans if we don’t find another company.
Because we know we didn’t click earlier, there’s no tension about whether ‘something will happen between us or not’. We can enjoy each other’s company properly.
Anuya Joshi, 27, content writer, Mumbai
Good networking space
As a journalist, I use all social media to network and possibly find ideas for stories. And dating apps have proven to be a veritable treasure trove of them. Beyond the fact that there are so many kinds – for hook-ups, for relationships only, for people with disabilities, and now for married people – you meet the most fascinating people.
I shamelessly ask them for help with stories. As soon as you tell them you are a journalist, most people want you to write about them, or someone they know. I am mostly glad to oblige.
Melanie Almeida, 25, journalist, Goa