Swipe left or Swipe right? ‘Dating’ in today’s era.


Part 1..

My short lived experience in online dating via these so called dating apps which are in reality just hook up apps, which claim to have filtered the lot and have the cream of well-groomed and sophisticated guys as their members is as follows. I can’t really comment on the kind of girls because well, I haven’t chosen girls as my interest.

So there goes my theory. My generation and beyond (both guys and girls) who have had few or tons of fucked up relations in the past or are in a messed up relationship at present including a failing/ failed marriage, who have given up on ‘relationships’ and want to get some ‘pleasure time’ are here, seeking for some adventure. But alas, this is only to further mess up with their brains after a few hook ups and one night stands. After all not everyone is mentally/ physically ready to have ‘time pass relations’.

Most of the guys and girls are up front about their needs and clear about not looking for anything serious, while many just don’t know what they are doing in the circle.

And then there are few people (like me) who don’t believe in matrimonial sites, (which are nothing but dating aka hook up sites under parental guidance), and are out here to explore options for a relationship.

Let’s come to the much anticipated ‘the first date’ situation. The guy actually bothers to shave, shower, maybe even get a hair cut and actually presents himself well. The girl puts on her best dress, wears some make up and visits the parlor. The thrill of the unknown and unexpected begins, they meet, have small talks, general life stuff and then comes the various scenarios.

They click, have a good time, a little too good perhaps, one thing leads to another and bid each other goodbye the next morning. Sometimes they don’t click, and depart ways asap and then comes the ‘dangerous’ situation when the two click, they like each other, have a great evening and part on a happy note with a promise to meet again. But the excitement has just begun, its unexplored territory, the endless praises, messaging in between work, the late night chats continue.. until the day they meet again and have a great time and bid goodbye the next morning. Now arises the demon, the demon of expectations, but the guy has achieved his goal and moving on to his next target. Now, work comes into picture, busy schedules and bad network become major issues, until it’s clear to the other party that’s it was over long ago.

So well in a nut shell, few have some good time, enjoy it while it lasts, while others lose track of what they are doing in life and fall in the vicious cycle of ‘I am not meant to be in a relationship’ and ‘Sab moh maaya hai’.

Very rarely, and I mean one in a thousand, some click beyond the physical level and legends do claim to have found a partner (short term Or long term one) through them.

Now, comes the point, what am I doing here? Why did I decide to enter this cycle of ‘dating’? Well first I would like to clarify what’s the meaning of dating? What I define dating as, is definitely not what most of my generation believes in. (I might just sound unreasonable and old fashioned to you now).

Dating is when two people, despite their busy schedules and long traffic laden distances, put in efforts to meet up. Some of them click, while some don’t and then the day could end in various ways. But at least you meet with the intention to get to know a person and see where it goes.

Today’s dating might be practical, suits our life styles, satisfies our lust, keeps the hormone levels going, but why are we so scared to let go and let ourselves ‘feel’ for once? What’s up with this mechanical, working, convenient ‘relations’? I too have been heart broken in the past, not once but multiple times, I too have vowed to be happily single ever after, to not get into a relation ever again. But here I am, a part of a dating app. Why? I wonder if this is a part of ‘getting out there’ or just ‘go with the flow’. Am I going to be judged because I don’t want to sleep around or have a one night stand? Cause I do believe in finding ‘the one’ for me? Maybe I don’t mind getting to know a few guys, maybe make some good friends in the process, get to know what’s going on in the world beyond my work place, may be find someone I click with? Why is everyone so scared to just let go and take risks, to give someone a chance? Maybe it works out, maybe it doesn’t and you part ways. But I believe there is no harm in trying.

And well, if sleeping around does work for you, then well, have fun, no judgement there.

That was my monologue, penned down as these thoughts flutter in my head. I am not the best judge of dating, relationships, after all I am ‘happily single’.

Part 2…

So how do you initiate this process of enrolling yourself in this online dating world? There are tons of apps which promise you nothing but the best. So you choose one, probably a paid one (hoping to get the really obscure guys out). Though I believe no one minds spending a couple of hundred bucks a month if it gets them to meet even one girl a month. Nevertheless, you got to choose some pictures (obviously the best of the best), enter your personal details such as name, age, then comes the hobbies and likes and dislike section. You can also add your favourite spots to hang out, your vices and your education/ profession. And yes, now you are ready to go.

Now you can either wait to be pinged/ liked/ messaged or you can start profiling out few options. If you are a girl, it wouldn’t be long until you find your inbox filled with a dozen of messages. I for one found it to be a huge morale boost. The compliments I received were cheesy, but surprisingly I didn’t mind them, one even wrote a poem for me (awwww), one proposed to me for marriage but majority asked me if I would like to meet them on a date. One particular person really put me off by directly asking if I would like to sleep with him. Later on, I found his frankness and honesty welcoming, instead of pricks who went into the manipulating road.

So how does one choose? Whom do you meet? Do I go for the exciting one? The insanely hot one? The one who couldn’t stop praising me? The nerd one? The seemingly well to do- high society- wine lover? Or the one who had way too many selfies of his (all in the same damn pose) or the one whose shirtless frame revealed muscles that bulged more than the frame could capture?

Well, I for one chose the funny one, the IIM pass out who made me laugh with his very first message. It’s not every day that I find someone who could genuinely make me laugh (not the pretend laugh I often fake to satisfy other’s ego).

The precautious me was overtaken by the spontaneous me as I couldn’t help but agree to meet him the same evening. Now it’s the first time I was meeting a guy I didn’t know, for a date !! I was nervous, excited, ready to run back home if needed and eventually sweating in anticipation. What if he isn’t what I expect him to be (though I had no idea what to expect), what if I am not what he expected me to be? I often believe that I bore people (though I often amuse myself). I wasn’t sure whether to dress up formal or go casual, to be flirty (God knows I can’t flirt to save myself) or be quiet, to be chatty or to be a listener. And then it dawned upon me, that I am who I am, like it or not. So there I went in some mismatch attire, ready to meet my date. And then I saw him, and it took him just a minute to realize that I was a newbie. The ice broke and soon minutes turned into hours and I was… myself…no pretends, no masks.

I got back home, wondering what I must have done right to meet a charmer in my first attempt. Alas, this ain’t a love story and like any other attempts of mine, it was too good to be true. A couple of more such dates and then came the busy schedules, traffic laden distances, long working hours. Back to basics, DO NOT expect anything. You feel you click, the other person feels the same, now.. standstill, not ready to move ahead.

‘Like reflections of my mind, I know I don’t possess you, so go away God bless…’

I was sure now, there isn’t any space for relationships in people’s life anymore, a formal hi and bye there is all you are worth of at the end. But I didn’t want to give up yet. So here I am talking, texting and meeting more guys. There is Mr. Fancy pants, the desi hot dude and the fellow butcher. Each one nice, respectful, frank, decent looking and interesting. But, (the big, fat BUT) the one who left an impression, ain’t getting rubbed off my system that easy. It isn’t love, its attraction which goes beyond looks. Sometimes I wonder why I am so foolish, here I have some nice guys who are interested in me, and few more new ones texting everyday (yes, I still exist in the app), and yet I look forward to seeing the one who made me laugh.

Irony is the baap of all situations, I started to date to get to know the opposite gender, to meet new people, for new experiences, to see what is out there, to have my chance of finding the one for me and just maybe to fall in love?  And I got to meet and talk to some interesting people, maybe even get a glimpse of ‘what men want’. But I am back to square one, perplexed with this dating world, yet to understand how it works, why people fear relationships and run away from commitments.

That was some more of my monologue, penned down as these thoughts flutter in my little head. Time for disclaimer, I am not the best judge of understanding dating, relationships, after all I am ‘happily single’.

Part 3..

Amongst all the blanks filled up in the ‘my profile’ bit, I find ‘your hobbies’ the most useless of all. And of course I have a reason for it.

Someone who has made one sketch in his life, calls himself an artist, someone who has cycled once in his recent years, calls himself a mountaineer or a cyclist, some even stretch it to call themselves an adventure enthusiastic. What would be the possible purpose of this column in the profile, I wonder. I presume it’s so that like- minded, or people with similar interests can meet up, share some of these activities even. But does it ever come to it or people just meet over dinner/drinks/coffee and next visit is a home visit.

By now I am sure I sound like a pessimistic loner, but I am anything but that. This new system of ‘dating’ isn’t going to dampen my spirits, instead I am amused everyday by the kind of people whom I interact with. Various professions, various interests, different life experiences.

There is so much more to life, so much to do, a lot to achieve and so much to explore. Its full of ups and downs, lot of fun and lot of stress. Balancing it all and moving ahead is what I do, the idea is to make it fun and have someone to share it with. Perhaps, a different era, a different time zone. So for now, I keep going, enjoying my time here on this planet, to meet people and have some amazing time. To keep my positive outlook on, to keep my wit on (as I said, I do amuse myself) and yes, keep my larynx hydrated. To do new things everyday, to be spontaneous and keep the light of life on.

With this note, I shall end my monologue on this topic, andante andante, keep the music on, as I type my thoughts from the temporal lobe of my gray matter. A lot goes on it this, but the understanding of ‘dating’ is beyond me.

Signing off,

Yours truly,

“Happily single”


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