In today’s society, most arranged marriages are fixed through matrimonial sites. The concept of dating continues to be frowned upon. While many parents are completely fine with putting up their daughters’ details and photos on a matrimonial site, they wouldn’t encourage their daughter to have a profile on a dating app. Why is there a notion that predators will only be present on dating apps and not on matrimonial sites? What makes matrimonial sites any safer than dating apps?
While our parents are fine with fixing rishtas within a couple of meetings, modern women want to get to know their partners before taking the giant leap of marriage. Women are educated, independent, and prefer to take major life decisions at their own pace. So, like Dr. Jeh says in Dear Zindagi, women want to check out various "kursis" before deciding which one is comfortable for them. After all, it’s a lifetime commitment, and we deserve to decide at our own time and pace.
Are Matrimonial Apps Safe?
In a video posted on her Instagram account, singer Chinmayi Sripaada unmasked a predator who had harassed women for over a decade through a matrimonial site. One of her followers told her about being harassed by a potential alliance who contacted her on social media after viewing her profile on a matrimonial website. After the girl had stopped responding, he began verbally abusing her. Sripaada went on to warn about the presence of creeps on matrimonial sites, which many aren’t aware of. Most parents accept alliances that have a horoscope and preference match. The girl, who sometimes has no idea about this, gets messages from random men on her social media, opening doors to incidents like the one mentioned above.
With news of Shraddha Walkar meeting her partner Aftab Poonawala on a dating site and him murdering her, parents have become more concerned about the safety of their daughters on dating apps. But how safe are matrimony apps? What is the guarantee that there won’t be another Aftab Poonawala on a matrimonial site?
The fact is that many parents fail to realise that predators have a global presence. Not necessarily all men on matrimonial sites are good, and not all men on dating sites are bad. Despite both matrimonial sites and dating apps trying to mandate features like verification badges, predators still find a way to infiltrate all platforms alike.
Parents, however, argue that because many profiles are created and managed by parents or family members, it adds an extra layer of security. It not only has the prospective groom’s details but also his family's details. But who is to say that all families are legitimate? What if it were a fraudulent family? What if the profile was created by the parents but handled by the prospective groom? Or what if some men infiltrate matrimonial websites posing as their parents? The risk of being catfished is everywhere, regardless of the platform.
Given that there isn't any technology to identify a potential perpetrator, no platform is truly safe. Also, no technology can identify a potential narcissist or abuser. Only after a woman is knee-deep in a relationship does she get to discover the devilish side of her partner.
"I met him on a matrimonial app," might sound very "sanskari" opposed to "I met him on a dating app." But at the end of the day, it all comes down to women carefully choosing their partner at their own pace and time and after a lot of consideration. Rushing into marriage or a committed relationship just because the horoscope matched, parents liked the guy, and he is seemingly perfect might not always turn out to be happily ever after.
While no one can truly know anyone, it’s always better to date for a year or two and get to know the other person as much as you can before committing to a relationship. So, it’s high time parents accept that predators could be everywhere and are more open to their daughters' decisions regarding relationships.
Suggested Reading: Tinder And She: Swipe Right On Self Discovery