Dating Burnout: How To Find Love Without Paying For An App?

I still see profiles of people who still propel regressive beliefs, gender expectations and more. All this makes me wonder will match-making procedures ever see the dawn of modernity?

Rudrani Gupta
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dating trends 2024

It is that time of life when my parents are sliding the topic of my marriage into every conversation. Rishatas from random people are coming in to check whether I have realised the primary goal of my life- marriage. Biodata for marriage, arranging heavenly filtered photos and efforts to make my body look good are all happening at a slow but constant speed. Discussions on which type of man I want are being struck but they all end with "You will never find a guy like that". So my father insisted on creating profiles on match-making websites to give a modern dress to his old beliefs regarding arranged marriages. Well, as an adult woman whose marriage is an unpreventable reality, I did make a profile to take things into my hands. But, I was heavily disappointed. 


When I made a profile, I made sure that it sounded as authentic as possible. I was not ashamed of my feminism, my past relationships, my age, my colour, my job, my illness or even my preferences. What was next? I started receiving random people's requests on my account, which somehow made a way into my personal DMs. Although no one misbehaved, I did find it weird how the messages kept coming even after I deleted the account. I did not care to interact with any of the DMs because there was an assumption that I would be signing up for a creepy conversation.

Experience with online dating/match-making

I don't know how your experience with online match-making websites has been. But in the short span, I learnt that I can't trust people online.

Moreover, I could see profiles of people who still propel regressive beliefs that women must cook, should be of a particular height or look. Even outside these apps, marriage advertisements are filled with regressive expectations surrounding caste, colour, and more. So the point is whether a person walks on the ground or in the virtual world, the mindset remains the same. Until that is changed, match-making procedures will never see the dawn of modernity. I am living in 2024. But they want filtered pictures (with extra whiteness on the face of course) to be the first impression bait. What can we expect from the next generation?  

Cases of fraud on these apps

Just yesterday, I came across a case in which a woman and a man who met at an online dating site led to an unravelling of scary secrets. The man, who was already married, posed as a millionaire with a fake name. While the woman, unaware of the man's lie, tries to corner him so that she can kidnap him and ask for ransom. When the two met, the woman, along with two other men, kidnapped him and demanded ransom. Upon learning that the man was lying and had no money, the woman accepted whatever he had and then killed him ruthlessly. 


This is not the only case of online dating/match-fixing apps screwing up people's lives through fraud. Many times, people get on these apps with fake identities to just hook up with women for a night. Rape threats, MMS, injuring families and defaming people are common ways in which ransom is demanded on online dating/match-fixing apps.

Parents handling offspring's accounts 

Nowadays, parents are taking up the role of seeking grooms/brides online by handling the accounts of their offspring. I did meet one such account which I had right-swiped by mistake. They immediately sent their son's details I think and were inquisitive about my interest. But, being paranoid that I was, I didn't respond. But then, I thought, how is it better if parents handle the match-making websites? My Uncle and Aunt also seek help from marriage bureaus and websites to find the right match for their daughter. But all I could hear them do was deal with money. If you pay a certain amount, your account will be visible for a year. Offers like these come to them almost always. 

Hailing from a middle-class family, my elders are not very digital savvy. They easily get fooled by schemes and scams. In such a situation, is their involvement in money-oriented match-making websites really a good idea? 

Okay, even if we keep aside the knowledge of the digital age, how does it seem fair if a woman has to interact with her parents first? Or it is not fair even if the man has to talk to the girl's parents first. In that case, we will be back to where we started- parents deciding the life partners for us. 

Sure, there is nothing wrong with that. But can we confidently say that our parents' choice will match ours? Even if in the rarest cases they do, are we ready to blame our parents if the marriage doesn't work? 


Let's bring back the original aim of these apps

In my opinion, online platforms like these were made to simplify the process of finding your love. It was intended to let people take the front seat when it comes to choosing a partner. Dating or match-making apps were supposed to provide singles with the freedom to make their own informed decisions about having a partner in life. Because, let's accept it, marrying someone just because your parents like them is not healthy at all. It will not only make the marriage unsatisfied but also bring lumps in the relationship with parents. But when you marry a person you like, you will blame yourself if it goes down the drain. Believe me, you cannot decide how others deal with guilt and accusation but you can surely make those decisions for yourself.    

So if scams, fraud, sexual predators and liars are kept aside, online dating apps and match-making apps can be really helpful in finding the one. Of course, the changing of chairs will go on in the virtual world too but if there is no foul play or a well-organised rule against it, you can definitely find the chair you are comfortable in.  

Views expressed by the author are their own

Matrimonial Matches Dating and Women match-making