Honest And Open: How Have Gen Z Women Reevaluated Dating Today

Marriage? Great sex? Multiple partners? Gen-Z women have a plethora of ideas on what they'd like from relationships. Speaking to SheThePeople, they shared some of their red flags and green flags in partners.

Tanya Savkoor
New Update

Image: Unsplash

"What do women these days want in relationships?" might seem like a tough nut to crack for some, as the definition of dating and relationships continues to widen. As confusing as it may be, Gen-Z women are using these expanding possibilities to their advantage as an opportunity for self-discovery to find out what they like, how they identify themselves, and also what they have to offer to future partners.


With the advent of dating apps, exploring different relationship opportunities without taboos and judgements has become ever-so-easy for Indian women, especially Gen-Z. Such technology has given the chance for women to discover their self-identity, different options, the chance to realise what they like or don't like, or even the chance to be happily single but lurk on the lookout for available options.

Open Conversations

Having conversations about their expectations from the relationship beforehand and during a relationship is one of the most common green flags among Gen-Z women. Whether the relationship is long-term or just a fling, women say that talking about their likes, dislikes, safe words, and future expectations helps them feel more secure in dating.

"I prefer dating casually because I am still young and want to see the different possibilities before I can settle down with someone; but since 'casual' can mean different things to different people, I make sure I tell my dates what exactly I am looking for so that there is no miscommunication on anyone's end," says 21-year-old Sakshi Goyal, a BCom student from Kolkata. Goyal added that casual dating gives her the opportunity to really get to know a person and allows the course of time to reveal their red flags and green flags.

"For me a big red flag is a person who shames me for having "rules" in a casual relationship when I tell them my boundaries," Goyal said, adding, "A major green flag is when a guy doesn't assume I will get into bed as soon as I lay my eyes on him, just because I said I am into casual dating."

23-year-old Pakhi Gaba said that her rule for any relationship is to be her honest self. "Be blunt and do not try to hide yourself. If you are not honest because you fear that people will judge you, you will attract the same kind of [dishonest] people," she said, adding that this has been the biggest learning from her past relationships.  


Stuti Gangopadhyay, a marketing associate from Bengaluru agrees. "Mutual trust and open communication are baseline rules for me within a relationship. If you respect me as a person and treat me as a normal individual it goes a long way," she said.

"Whenever I'm dating someone new I always try to have as open of a communication as possible. With all of the experiences I have had, I realised that open communication helps the other person also to calm down and reply to you with a level head rather than getting angry or something," the 22-year-old added.

Commitment And Trust

Contrary to misconception, a lot of Gen-Z women look for long-term relationships over casual dates. "I want to grow old with my boyfriend," says Soundariya Thambi, a 25-year-old MBA student from Bengaluru. "We have been together for four years and since day one, we have known that we want to be in this relationship on certain terms, one of them being seriousness and commitment to each other," Thambi said.

Similar to Thambi, many Gen-Z women look for trustworthiness in a partner, which they say gets revealed in small ways right from the beginning. "If you notice a serious red flag in a guy, like a habit or his politics, he will definitely not grow on you later. Stop waiting for him to change or thinking that you can change him. This is not Bollywood," exclaimed Sarah D'Sa, a 20-year-old student from Mumbai. 

Sexuality And Intimacy


A major catalyst in any relationship is physical or sexual intimacy. While some Gen-Z women consider sex an important part of the relationship, some others consider that the absence of it plays a crucial role in the understanding of their sexuality.

Pakhi Gaba who identifies as bisexual, said that she has explored different types of relationships-- long-term, casual, with men, with women, and open relationships. She talked about how these experiences over the years have evolved and shaped her expectations.

"I used to look for excitement in relationships but now I just want stability and some basics of any relationship. As long as my partner is caring, loyal, good in bed, and a good listener, I am happy," adding that she is now on a journey to embrace her femininity. 

For some Gen-Z women, sexual intimacy is the last thing they expect. "I am not ready for sex yet, and that is something that exposes a lot about a romantic partner's character," said another Pune-based 21-year-old woman, who did not want her identity disclosed. "A lot of times when I say I am not ready, men pretend to be okay with it but keep hinting for me to change my mind after some weeks of dating. That tells me a lot about their true colours," she said.

Similar to her, Siddhi K, a woman from Bengaluru who identifies as asexual, talked about her experience of dating as an ace-romantic woman (unable to feel physical attraction, but can feel emotional attraction).

"As a 24-year-old people would expect you to have the urge for sex gushing through your nerves all the time. I realised I am asexual when I was in college and even though it has been three years since college is over, I have not been able to find a single person ready to commit to me because of my sexuality or more like lack of sexuality," Siddhi said.


Gen-Z women have revealed the different ways in which they navigate relationships in today's fast-paced and demanding era, where there are so many options for people at the tip of their fingers. While these opportunities keep growing, Gen-Z women continue to have the traditional expectations from any relationship, be it communication, trust, honesty, or good sex.

Gen-Z women's dating lives are a testament that although these expectations may take on different forms over the years, they will continue to be some of the basic foundations of any relationship.

Views expressed by the author are their own

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