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From simmer dating to blank canvassing, GenZ rebrands dating with new trends

While this era of virtual dating is all about instant gratification, generation Z is carving out its own unique path focusing on mindfulness and depth over superficiality and speed. Dating app, QuackQuack's, latest study on GenZ dating patterns and tendencies shows that this new generation of daters are rebranding dating with innovative trends. The app's online poll in the last week of May 2024 was attended by more than 11,000 daters between the ages of 18 and 26. The majority of the participants were students, IT professionals, and engineers, along with a mix of healthcare and finance professionals, content creators, teachers and sales and marketing experts. The app's Founder and CEO, Ravi Mittal, commented, "GenZ has been making waves in the dating world for quite some time now. We have a large portion of GenZ users and almost regularly we observe them dating quite differently from their predecessors. For instance, GenZ is not afraid to pick themselves, they are more thorough and slow, and they are very much focused on mental health; they would drop a relationship any day if that happens to affect their mental health. These trends might look drastic but they are equally important for a healthy dating life." Simmer dating 47 per cent of GenZ daters from Tier 1, 2, and 3 cities disclosed that they prefer taking a slow-paced approach, calling it "simmer dating," instead of the previously famous rapid-fire matching and quick meetups. This trend focuses on gradual buildup and emphasizes patience while finding a partner. The responses of these participants give a clear picture of the shift toward meaningful connections over instant chemistry that tends to fizzle out as fast as it grows. 4 out of 5 people also mentioned that relationships that grow organically over time are more lasting and fulfilling. Blank canvassing GenZ is all about mental health and with it taking center stage this year, there is another notable trend, Blank Canvassing, making considerable noise in the dating world. In this trend, daters take their time to reflect on their past relationships, assess how that has affected their mental health, and take the time to ensure that they are truly ready for a relationship or doing so under peer pressure or because of the fear of missing out. 35 percent of women between 20 and 25 said that this approach focuses on emotional well-being over rushing to find love. This also helps build a more stable relationship between two people who have let go of past baggage and are starting over with a blank canvas. This generation of daters is setting a new standard of readiness for giving and receiving love. Digital courtship GenZ is actively bringing back the traditional courtship period to the modern dating world. 29% of daters between 18 and 26 are all in favor of digital courtship; they said that instead of jumping straight to chatting regularly or planning a meetup, they allow their matches to court and impress them. This is more specific to daters who are particularly looking for a serious and exclusive relationship and one unique factor of this trend is that a dater only courts one match at a time. There is an air of honesty and genuineness to this trend. Moreover, female participants said that it gives a more personal touch to virtual dating and enriches the experience. Alia Bhatt: I avoid giving parenting advice as everyone’s journey is different  

21 June,2024 04:50 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Mid-Day Premium Legal status of live-in relationships in India: What you must know

A diva, charmer of the hearts and one of Bollywood’s veterans, actress Zeenat Aman has been making news forever, be it for her sensual performances or her woke opinions. The actress has especially been in the spotlight since her Instagram debut. Recently, her unabashedly honest attitude once again stirred up conversations online when the actress spoke in support of live-in relationships.    Her relationship advice also received flak from her counterparts in the industry who believe that the concept of live-in relationships - a concept of the Western culture, goes against Indian customs and values.   This is not the first time that the topic of live-in relationships has attracted such extreme reactions, despite it being legal in India. spoke to legal and relationship experts who list down a guide for couples considering living together.    Ruchi Ruuh (@therapywithruchi), a relationship counsellor and therapist tells us that a large part of India remains resistant to live-in relationships due to traditional values and cultural beliefs. “Many view live-in relationships as a direct challenge to Indian customs and values. We traditionally emphasise marriage as the only acceptable way to live together. Love marriage too, is still a taboo and parents prefer arranging a match for their children. Lots of parents and even couples fear the judgement and criticism that might come from society. We also still have a narrow view of premarital sex and exploration.”   Yet, Ruuh highlights, “The Indian society is gradually becoming more open to the concept of live-in relationships, particularly in urban areas. It's happening due to more open conversations within society and family about the changing relationship needs. Exposure to global cultures is also helping Indian society evolve its values. Moreover, Indian courts and laws have also recognised live-in relationships, providing some legal protection.” Legality of live-in relationships in India “Live-in relationships are thought of as another curse of the West on our cultural and religious beliefs, however, that being said, it is not illegal in India if two consenting adults decide to cohabit,” says Bhaavya Roy, managing partner and founder, Kranti Law Offices. However, such partnerships and relationships aren’t common and socially accepted yet, and hence, do not have well-defined and specific laws, which leaves crucial aspects of the union up for interpretation, particularly when it comes to property rights, financial obligations, and the status of kids born out of these kinds of partnerships.   As a result, couples go through social stigma and other challenges. “This is not to say that the Indian Supreme Court hasn’t recognised the legal status of cohabitation. It has also highlighted the need to safeguard the rights of those who live together,” says Shreya Sharma, founder, Rest The Case. Sharma tells about some significant legal rulings and factors about cohabitation in India. These involve:   The Domestic Violence Act of 2005 This act protects women who are in marriage and even those who are in live-in relationships. The Supreme Court had stated that women in live-in relationships who might experience abuse of any sort, including physical, verbal, emotional, or financial, have all the rights to claim protection under this Act.  Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 Regardless of whether a woman is in a live-in relationship or is legally married to the male of the home, this Act recognises a woman's right to reside in a shared household. Live-in relationships are included in the definition of a "relationship like marriage" in this clause. It gives women in these kinds of partnerships access to the Act's protections.  “Through several rulings and judgments, the Indian Supreme Court has upheld that live-in relationships are legal and should be granted the status of a couple. Such rulings provide legal protection to couples,” says Sharma.   Additionally, Roys adds, “After a decade-long tussle between the morality and legality of live-in relationships, the Supreme Court also decided to strengthen the legitimacy of the same by stating that children have a right to property as per a co-parenting agreement and/or to the self-acquired property of the parents.”   Exploring the benefits of live-in relationships for couples  Nikita Girdhar (@off.yourshoulders), therapist and relationship expert, Off Your Shoulders Psychotherapy, opines, “When we talk about the transitioning from singlehood to partnership, our identity and our mindset needs to make a shift from “ME” to “WE”. I truly think that especially in the Indian context, where families get so involved and attached post-marriage, couples need to form a strong WE identity before families are involved. This helps both partners support each other and have each other’s backs when families pose obstacles. I believe a live-in relationship may solidify the “WE” identity.”   She says, “Live-in relationships help partners practise togetherness living under the same roof daily. Partners can explore how they manage chores together, financial habits, fluctuating sex drives, ways to deal with conflicts and other behavioural aspects.”    Also Read: Navigate love, dating and communication trends Before entering into a live-in relationship, Ruuh suggests considering the following factors:  1. Please ensure that both partners enthusiastically consent to living together. Let no one feel pressured to get into a situation they don't want to. 2. Maintain open and honest communication about expectations, boundaries and plans like marriage. 3. Discuss how expenses will be shared and managed by the couple. Try keeping a track of the expenses so that no one feels cheated in the end. 4. Respect each other's need for personal space. Living together doesn't mean that you cannot have a life of your own. It is important that your’s and your partner's space is well respected. 5. Discuss long-term goals such as marriage, career aspirations and family planning beforehand.  6. Understand the legal implications and your rights with live-in relationships before you start living together.  Commenting on conveying one’s decision to enter a live-in relationship to parents, Girdhar states, that for some couples, sometimes, no persuasion/communication stands to change their parents’ mind because they fear of what a live-in relationship will mean for your well-being and your reputation in the society.   “However, if there is any scope for convincing, take the adult route. An adult doesn’t throw a fit, beg/plead or threaten. An adult is gentle, assertive, honest, clear and concise about how they feel.  It’s important for you to first understand why this live-in relationship is important in your journey towards marriage. Show confidence in this path - not that it will surely go as planned but that if things go badly, you will be able to cope with the consequences. Besides, if living with your partner is more important than maintaining a relationship with your parents (this is fully possible and understandable, just think it thoroughly through) then remember that you are an adult and that you don’t technically need anyone’s permission.”   Legal challenges couples in live-in relationships face In India, there is still a hue and cry about inter-faith marriages, inter-caste and inter-religious marriages. Therefore social stigma engulfing live-in relationships too, is massive and often becomes a source of agony for families of the individuals, following which the moral policing by the society makes this lifestyle choice a constant struggle. Roy states, “There are abundant legal challenges faced by persons in live-in relationships. The nature, duration and sexual intimacy are factors which are taken into account while extending the limited legal protection, which in more ways than one is invasive of the personal liberty and privacy of the parties involved. Further, there is no relief or benefits in taxation, social security, property and housing.”   She adds, “Since the live-in union is considered a valid marriage only in certain circumstances, it still does not come within the ambit of the Hindu Marriage Act, hence there is no bar on the parties to enter into an agreement with regard to their finances, inheritance, property, social welfare benefits etc.”   Further, as stated by Sharma, the lack of legality and clarity in Indian laws causes the society to discriminate against individuals who are in live-in relationships. Women in live-in relationships, especially, may be more vulnerable when there are no legal protections, particularly in situations where there may be disagreements or abandonment and no appropriate legal redress.”   To prevent legal complications, Roy suggests couples willing to enter into a live-in relationship to be of legal age. This can help avoid the relationship being a criminal offence.   Housing challengesSharing her own experience, Roy states, “The progress in our nation is at snail speed, in cities like Mumbai and Delhi, it’s a hassle for even single women to get housing, let alone live-in couples. Most Resident Welfare Associations have hanging boards that read ‘Tenants and Bachelors not allowed’. While I was a single lady lawyer living in Delhi, I had to provide a letter from my employer that I was employed with them. Subsequently, my partner and I had the lease signed in both our names and individually provided the security deposit.”   Despite the challenges, Sharma says that there are several ways couples can safeguard their rights and ensure fair treatment. 1. Legal agreements and documentation Rental agreement:Joint tenancy: Ensure both partners' names are on the rental agreement. This formaliSes the tenancy and provides legal protection to both parties. Lease clauses: Include specific clauses that outline the rights and responsibilities of both tenants, covering aspects like rent payment, maintenance, and notice periods.  2. Legal frameworks and fights Right to Reside: Section 2(f) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA) includes live-in relationships under "relationships in the nature of marriage," granting women the right to reside in a shared household. Protection from eviction: Women in live-in relationships can seek protection against wrongful eviction and harassment under this Act.  Tips to go about entering a live-in relationship “The Uttarakhand Assembly on February 7 passed the UCC (Uniform Civil Code) bill, which may serve as a template for other BJP-run states to enact similar legislation. UCC calls for the registration of live-in relationships just like marriages and states that live-in partners must not be under 18. However, this process is yet to come into effect, and training and other aspects of the registrations are awaited and limited to the state of Uttarakhand as of now,” informs Sharma.   Here are some of the things couples can do for mutual understanding:  1. Open communication: Discuss your decision to live together openly and honestly with each other, and if possible, with your families to manage expectations and potential backlash.  2. Legal documentation: Although not mandatory, drafting a cohabitation agreement can help outline financial arrangements, property rights, and responsibilities, providing a level of legal clarity.  3. Financial planning: Open a joint bank account for shared expenses and keep clear records of contributions to avoid future disputes.  4. Healthcare and emergency contacts: Ensure both partners are listed as emergency contacts and consider setting up a medical directive or power of attorney.  5. Living arrangements: Choose a residence that is mutually convenient and secure, considering factors such as proximity to work, safety and social acceptance.  6. Support networks: Build a support network of friends and allies who are understanding and supportive of your living arrangement.  Also Read: Anant Ambani-Radhika Merchant's pre-wedding cruise  

13 June,2024 09:17 AM IST | Mumbai | Aakanksha Ahire
Hum Tum provides timeless lessons about love and relationships that resonate with Gen Z's modern dating values. File pic

Relationship expert shares why Gen Z finds Bollywood movie 'Hum Tum' relatable

As per Bumble’s recent survey,  71.5 per cent of single Indians (71 per cent GenZ, 72 per cent Millennials) enjoy movie post-mortems, reviewing movies together. As Hum Tum, a classic Bollywood Romcom recently celebrated 20 years, Ruchi Ruuh, relationship expert, at Bumble India dives into how relatable the movie still is. The 2004 Bollywood film "Hum Tum'' is known for its exploration of romance in a modern context. Interestingly, the film aligns closely with Indian Gen Z's approach to dating and relationships today. Below are the five ways Gen Z daters can relate to the film's timeless narrative: Rejects the idea of one true loveIn Hum Tum, the protagonists Rhea and Karan challenge the concept of a destined soulmate or one true love. Instead, they understand that meaningful relationships can emerge from mutual respect, compatibility, and shared experiences. In fact, 71 per cent of Indians (69 per cent Gen Z, 74 per cent millennials) only choose to date someone today, with shared interests and/or hobbies. This mindset aligns with how dating apps like Bumble encourage users to form genuine connections with multiple people before finding the right fit.  Also Read: Jab ‘they’ met: What to do when you run into your ex? Believes true love grows over timeIn the film, Rhea and Karan's relationship is a slow burn, evolving over many years and stages of life. This mirrors the Gen Z dating ethos, which values the growth and deepening of relationships over time. Bumble’s recent dating trend of Everyday Dates also shares that 33 per cent of Indians prefer mundane dates over elaborate ones as it helps them build deeper, genuine connections over grand gestures. Acceptance of character's quirks instead of seeking 'Perfection'Karan and Rhea's relationship flourishes as they learn to embrace each other's unique personalities and imperfections. This aligns with Gen Z's emphasis on authenticity in dating, rather than striving for an unrealistic ideal of perfection. 38 per cent Gen Z surveyed by Bumble also stated they embrace authenticity over perfection.  Also Read: Zeenat Aman sparks heated debate on live-in relationships: What you need to know Both characters follow their own path of self-developmentA key aspect of Hum Tum is how both Rhea and Karan pursue their own personal growth and self-discovery before eventually coming together. 71 per cent of single Gen Z  share this sentiment, valuing self-development and individual fulfilment as crucial elements to seek a healthy relationship.  Rhea's character embodies freedom and autonomyRhea's character is a representation of independence and autonomy, breaking away from societal expectations. She challenges traditional gender norms and chooses to live life on her own terms. A majority of the women surveyed (86 per cent) in particular  (85 per cent of GenZ and 87 per cent of Millennial women) are choosing to take active steps to be happier with who they are here and now, putting the fun back into dating, in a trend Bumble is calling ‘betterment burnout’.  Hum Tum provides timeless lessons about love and relationships that resonate with Gen Z's modern dating values. Through the film young daters can find a reflection of their own approach to romance—one that values personal growth, authenticity, and mutual respect.Also Read: 'I thought I was the problem,' Why some people find it difficult to end a toxic relationship

05 June,2024 06:36 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Tinder's dating starter pack for first-time queer daters

Just ahead of pride month, Tinder has released its first queer dating starter pack in India. Developed with Gaysi Family, a queer-owned, queer-run media platform, this visual checklist is aimed at assisting young first-time queer daters on Tinder, offering essential guidance on self-discovery, dating etiquette, consent, safety and self-care. Building on the guide and glossary launched by Tinder in 2022, the new checklist is integrated into this resource to be a trusted companion, providing quick check-ins as they navigate their dating firsts.  Tinder has also announced the return of Queer Made Weekend, one of India’s most popular pride festivals, dedicated to celebrating, supporting, and amplifying businesses and products made, owned, and run by India’s LGBTQIA+ community. Tinder Queer Made Weekend will be held on June 8, 2024 at Jio World Drive in Mumbai and DLF Promenade in Delhi on June 15 and 16, 2024. Dating apps are becoming a space where young adults comfortably explore and express their gender and sexuality, with 7 out of 10 young daters in India agreeing that dating apps offer more freedom for self-exploration and have helped dismantle stereotypes and expectations surrounding gender, sex and relationships. Given the growing comfort in using dating apps for self-discovery, this checklist gives first-time queer daters a crucial edge in navigating various dating scenarios with confidence and clarity. To support queer newbies to be the most authentic selves on their dating journeys, the dating starter pack, curated with insights from The QKnit, offers practical advice based on real-life experiences of the queer community. The FAQ section addresses common concerns and uncertainties that may arise during the dating process, such as readiness to date, exploring one’s identity, and understanding boundaries.  In June 2024, Tinder users in India will see the Swipe Cards directing them to detailed checklists on Tejaswi Subramanian, digital content editor, Gaysi Family shared, “We are now addressing a significant need for young queer daters who are navigating their dating lives for the first time. Many existing resources offering dating advice are often neither thoughtful nor inclusive. Our checklists fill that gap by encouraging young queer daters in India to engage thoughtfully with their connections while staying true to themselves. This effort complements the resources that we have co-created over the years. Here's to creating a safe and enjoyable dating culture for young queer individuals! ” “Tinder has always supported the freedom of its users to explore their individuality both on the app and in real life with features like More Genders, Sexual Orientation, Traveler Alert, among others. We’re so honored to play a role in the dating journey of Tinder’s queer users, from coming out to finding a community, and are committed to creating more inclusive ways to help them make authentic connections we know today’s daters value the most. The Queer Dating Starter Pack underscores this commitment by providing essential support to our users, especially first-time queer daters navigating their dating firsts on Tinder," shared Aahana Dhar, Communications Director for Tinder in India. Also Read: Gleeden explores top three dating trends emerging in married couples

30 May,2024 12:12 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Gleeden explores top 3 dating trends emerging in married couples

A noteworthy phenomenon has surfaced in the maze of contemporary relationships, where love, intimacy, and social standards converge: the exploration of desire within the bounds of commitment.  With 2.8 million users in India, Gleeden, an extra-marital dating app has observed some of the most common dating practices rising among married couples in its new Gleeden pan-India poll, which provides insightful information about the complexity of contemporary love and desire. The study revealed three major themes: 1. Proximity for intimacyIn secret relationships, proximity is crucial; a significant percentage of users would rather locate partners in their local areas. According to the survey, 28 per cent of men and 27 per cent of women look for companions in their communities who can provide accessible opportunities for physical proximity. Cities such as Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Kochi became hubs for local relationships, especially for people in the 25–35 age range. 2. Exploring connections outside local boundariesFor individuals uneasy about the potential for local entanglements, nearby towns or cities offer a covert setting for covert gatherings. About 21 per cent of men and 25 per cent of women choose a company outside of their city limits so they can develop relationships without having to deal with the hassle of travelling. The trend was found to be most prominent in Bangalore, Delhi, and Kolkata, emphasising the appeal of anonymity outside of one's comfort zone. 3. Privacy from the public eye keyEspecially in busy cities where privacy is paramount, a large portion of users have private conversations away from prying eyes. Top cities for these kinds of activities were found to be Delhi, Bangalore, and Kolkata, with 11 per cent of male users preferring the anonymity that comes with being in an urban setting. “Apart from these in-person meetings, the internet has developed into a haven for covert relationships, with a significant portion of users favouring virtual exchanges as a disguise for adultery. Cities with a higher propensity for online flirting are Bangalore, Mumbai, and Kolkata, which highlights the relationship between technology and intimacy in contemporary relationships,” says Gleeden's Country Manager in India, Sybil Shiddell. 

29 May,2024 05:04 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Artificial Intelligence may offer companionship to people feeling lonely

Tony Prescott, from the University of Sheffield, UK, argues in his new book The Psychology of Artificial Intelligence that "relationships with AIs can support people" with forms of social interaction. When people feel lonely, they tend to become increasingly disconnected as their confidence plummets. AI may help "break the cycle" and give them a way to practise and improve their social skills, said Tony, a Professor of cognitive robotics. While many people "describe their lives as lonely, there may be value in having AI companionship as a form of reciprocal social interaction that is stimulating and personalised," Tony said. An "AI companionship could help break this cycle by scaffolding feelings of self-worth and helping maintain or improve social skills. If so, relationships with AIs could support people to find companionship with both human and artificial others," he added. In the book, the Professor explores the nature of the human mind and its cognitive processes and compares and contrasts this with the way AI is developing. He noted that the partnership of psychology and AI "can unlock further insights into both natural and artificial intelligence." ALSO READ: Mid-day explains: DINK lifestyle: Experts dissect the health, emotional and socio-economic impact of a childless marriage This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

27 May,2024 02:28 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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Lok Saba Elections 2024 have impacted dating choices of Indian daters: Study

The convergence of politics and dating has become increasingly evident, especially during this Lok Sabha Election, 2024. A survey conducted by one of India's online dating app, QuackQuack studies the effects of the election on Indian daters and how it influences people's dating patterns.  The desi dating app observed the activities and interactions of users and ran a poll among 11,000 Indian youth to explore the influence of politics on matches, traffic patterns on the app during voting days, and the surge in elections-related discussions.  The participants, ranging from 18 to 35, came from Tier 1, 2, and 3 cities and were mostly students, IT professionals, healthcare workers, engineers, sales and marketing experts, teachers, individuals in the beauty industry, financial services, and homemakers.  QuackQuack's founder and CEO, Ravi Mittal, commented on the survey, "We have started seeing new trends on our app since the start of this year's elections. The understanding and impact of politics among Indian youth are very prominent; in fact, there's a notable difference in traffic on the app on polling days. In the past month, the most used words among users of our app have been 'vote,' 'elections,' and 'development.' This awareness among youth is a welcome change." Changing social dynamicsIn recent years, especially in 2024, there has been a noticeable shift in the political awareness among the young daters of India. QuackQuack observations show an almost 35 per cent increase in elections-related discussions in 2024 compared to the past five years.  17 per cent of the app's users between 18 and 28 revealed unmatching due to arguments around ideologies. This trend reflects a broad cultural shift where politics is not just a background noise but is constantly becoming one of the major topics of discussion among online daters. Shaping dating preferencesWhile the common idea is that love and politics don't go hand in hand, the current trend among QuackQuack users begs to differ; it shows that political belief has started to play a significant role in shaping a relationship. 1 per cent of daters above 30 say that their match's stand on politics or, in the case of a difference in political opinion, gives a new and clear perspective and helps in forming an opinion about the person.  QuackQuack's survey also suggests that people with similar political outlooks tend to match and, importantly, stick together longer than people with stark political differences.  Traffic on polling daysThe app's user engagement data shows that polling days in a particular city recorded a noticeable dip in logins and a comparatively lower engagement among users. The data backed by survey responses indicate that users were invested in casting their votes and spent more time focusing on election-related updates. This new trend shows a heightened sense of responsibility for their civic duties and interest in the electoral process.  Increased messaging post-polling dayHowever, the number rose significantly the day after, with a marked increase in interactions among users. 15 per cent of the respondents from both metros, suburbs, and rural areas confirmed that the conversation primarily revolved around the political situation, voting experience, and their expectations from the elections.  QuackQuack says the post-voting spike in messages shows the influence of elections, even on dating, where it has begun to act as a catalyst for match interactions. Politics has become a focal point of conversation, and more people are eager to share their views and debate the outcome. 

21 May,2024 04:48 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Single mothers find dating apps non-judgmental, seek real connections: Study

In this fast-moving world, more often than not, dating takes a backseat for many individuals. To top it, when it's a single mother juggling a multitude of responsibilities along with raising a kid, dating is the last thing on their list of priorities. Amidst the whirlwind of duties and commitments, finding a partner can feel like a distant dream, said 23 per cent of single mothers. That's where dating apps come in.  The rise of online dating has finally offered relief for single moms to explore romantic connections conveniently and without the fear of judgment and prejudice, disclosed 46 per cent of single mothers in a study conducted by one of India's online dating and matchmaking app, QuackQuack. The app's founder and CEO, Ravi Mittal, commented, "We are seeing an increase in the number of single parents on our app, and that is a direct reflection of the success of dating apps in being a non-judgmental platform and facilitating genuine connections. We understand how difficult it can be for single mothers to date with parenting duties, career demands, societal pressure, and more. Our goal is to offer everyone an equal opportunity to find love and companionship with maximum safety and privacy." The Mother's Day special online study focusing on the distinct appeal of dating apps to single mothers of India ran for a week. 4,000 single mothers ranging between 28 to 45 participated and shared their views. Participants came from varied walks of life – from homemakers to teachers, professors, government officials, content creators, women working in the beauty and fashion industry, IT, healthcare, financial services, and more.  Non-judgmental environmentWhen asked why single mothers prefer online dating over dating IRL, 32 per cent of the respondents from Tier 1 Indian cities cited that dating apps provide a non-judgmental environment where it is easier to be authentic. Pragya from Delhi said, "Finding the right match is much easier on dating apps. First of all, you can disclose that you are a parent even before you interact with a person, leaving no room for miscommunication. Secondly, anyone interested in matching is either in a similar situation or is ready to look past that."  Forty-three-year-old Naina opines, "The best part of dating apps is the discreteness. No nosey neighbour is asking you about the man who dropped you home yesterday, no relatives sharing unsolicited advice; the absence of prejudice makes it a unique experience for single mothers like me.” Flexibility and convenience21 per cent of single moms between 30 and 40 favour dating apps for their flexibility and convenience. Balancing parenthood with a demanding schedule leaves little space to pursue a romantic relationship. However, these moms are consciously putting in the work, and that's where online dating's flexibility comes into play; it allows them to seek and connect with potential partners even on the go. Three out of five said that dating apps fit right into the unpredictable life of a single parent. Whether it's during a moment of respite in a hectic day or during their evening cup of tea, they can log in anytime and anywhere and date at their pace and convenience. Better matches17 per cent of single mothers who are divorced or separated say dating apps offer the most compatible matches. The option to filter out the one who ticks almost all the boxes makes it easier for these women to look for the perfect matches tailored to their preferences and lifestyles. Most of these women revealed directly specifying the relationship dynamics they prefer from a potential partner to attract the right people. Safety and privacySafety is one of the primary concerns of all women regardless of the mode of dating. With children come more responsibilities; letting anyone into their lives without proper verification isn't an option for single mothers. It is one of the many reasons why most single mothers opt for dating apps over traditional dating, said 27 per cent of the respondents from Tier 1 and 2 cities. It is common knowledge that most dating apps have several security checks in place. Moreover, the idea of unmatching if things don't go as planned or the option to report suspicious activities makes most of these women feel more in control and secure.

09 May,2024 04:37 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Mid-Day Premium An expert’s guide to dating for introverts

Dating for introverts can be challenging for several reasons. For starters, introverts tend to be more reserved and prefer low-key activities, which can make it difficult to meet new people. Additionally, introverts may struggle with small talk and initiating conversations, which are essential components of dating. This can lead to missed opportunities and difficulty forming connections with potential partners. Another factor that can make introvert dating challenging is the pressure to constantly put oneself out there and be social, which can be draining for introverts who value alone time.  “Sometimes I feel as if dating is a game exclusively meant to be played by extroverts. Small talk can be exhausting for me, even if it is on a first date. The pressure to constantly chat feels unnerving. I'd rather have a deep conversation about one topic than trade pointless observations about the weather. Also, going to busy bars, or crowded places makes me feel uneasy. By the time I work up the courage to engage in conversation, I'm already drained from the background noise and sea of faces,” shares Mumbai-resident Prateek Gupta.  How can introverts leverage online dating Many introverts find themselves turning to online dating applications. According to data shared by popular dating app Tinder, the term ‘introvert’ appears 33 per cent more than ‘extrovert’ in bios.  It seems counterintuitive. Introverts are typically private and take their time opening up to new people. Yet, on dating apps like Tinder, they frequently mention their personality type. Why the disconnect? Dr Chandni Tugnait, life coach and relationship expert partner with Tinder India, explains, “Introverts often find that their introversion is not adequately taken into account and respected, which leads to a greater need for attention to this personality trait. Adding their personality type in a dating profile can provide a sense of security and counteract possible misunderstandings, as introversion and reticence can be misinterpreted as disinterest or arrogance."   In Tugnait’s opinion, getting to know someone on a dating app over an extended period can be a safe and effective way to properly assess their match before meeting in person. Introverts can formulate their messages in peace, without having to sit directly across from their date, and if they share a few exciting facts about themselves in their bios, they can create a good basis for conversation and avoid the awkward small talk. In this way, online dating offers the opportunity to get to know each other more slowly. She elaborates, “It can create a basis for deeper relationships, not just superficial ones. This slower form of getting to know someone online is actually healthier because introverts are not as likely to be driven by their hormones and are less likely to see their match through rose-tinted glasses. This may also help you recognise red flags better.”   5 tips to navigate online dating for introverts  1. Don't pretend just so someone will like youWhen it comes to finding a partner, it's crucial to stay true to yourself and your values. Pretending to be someone you're not to impress someone else will only lead to disappointment and frustration in the long run. Instead, focus on being your authentic self and let your true personality shine through. This way, you will attract someone who appreciates and loves you for who you are.  2. Be honest about your likes and dislikesFor instance, if your match proposes a grand occasion for your first date but you prefer a more laid-back atmosphere, express your preferences clearly from the beginning and don't be afraid to advocate for your needs.  3. Keep conversation flowing with open-ended questionsIf you're feeling nervous about running out of things to talk about on a date, consider asking open-ended questions that encourage your match to share more about themselves. Avoid yes or no questions, and instead ask about their interests, hobbies, and what makes them unique. This can help you find common ground and keep the conversation flowing naturally.  4. Don’t ditchIt's important to avoid cancelling dates at the last minute, especially if there isn't a genuine reason. Psychologists refer to this behaviour as ‘avoidance behaviour.’ and it can reinforce your insecurities and make it harder to face your fears in the future. Even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone, it's worth showing up and giving it your best shot.  5. Learn from reflecting on past dating experiencesThink about the dates where you felt the most comfortable, engaged, and happy. What made those dates successful? Was it the location, the activity, or the conversation topics? By analysing what works for you, you can better prepare for upcoming dates and increase your chances of a successful connection.  How to date IRL After establishing a connection that feels safe to you, it is time to meet in real life (IRL). To help you prepare for your date, Tugnait shares five easy tips: 1. Skip the dinner dateDitch the traditional dinner date and add excitement to your date by indulging in some fun activities. According to Tinder’s Year in Swipe report, coffee dates, concerts and festivals, and movie nights were the top date activities in India. So, if you are an introvert looking for a low-pressure way to connect, say goodbye to basic dinner plans and bond over shared experiences to learn more about each other in a dynamic setting without the pressure of constant conversation.  2. Plan conversation startersPrepare a few conversation starters or topics of interest beforehand to help ease any initial awkwardness. You can talk about anything, from asking about their favourite books, or hobbies, which can lead to deeper discussions.  3. Consider a sober dateWhen it comes to dating, it's important to focus on building strong emotional connections rather than just going for temporary experiences. Nowadays, sober dating is gaining popularity among singles as it helps them to be their true selves and develop authentic connections during dates. Remember, it's perfectly fine to decline an invitation for a drink and suggest a fun activity instead. 4. Put your phone awayIt’s common to reach for your phone, especially when feeling nervous, but doing so disrupts the natural flow of your time together. Switch your phone to silent, stash it away, and direct your attention solely to your date. Being fully present is what truly matters.  5. Consent and boundaries are criticalDating is a two-way street. When planning dates, don't just pick something you like. Talk to your date!  See if they're comfortable with a quiet coffee shop or a walk in the park.  Maybe they have a hidden passion for museums or a secret love of board games.  By catering to each other's comfort zones, you create a date that's enjoyable for both.  Also, don't be afraid to have honest conversations about your boundaries and needs.  Maybe you need some alone time after dates to recharge, or perhaps you're not comfortable sharing everything right away.  Talking about these things upfront fosters trust and understanding. 

29 April,2024 10:38 AM IST | Mumbai | Maitrai Agarwal
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Mid-Day Premium You might risk your relationship by sharing too much about it with your friends

Friends might not always give you the best advice, especially on dating and relationships. Yet, most of us have an obsessive habit of sharing every little detail about our relationship with close friends and family. Although venting to someone you blindly confide in might help, a regular occurrence of this can potentially end your relationship sooner or later, say dating experts and therapists. Ruchi Ruuh (@therapywithruchi), a relationship counsellor and therapist, who has worked closely with couples to help them navigate the complexities of their romantic relationships, says, “Discussing relationship issues with others can be both beneficial and detrimental. Sharing problems with trusted friends or a family member can provide valuable, newer perspectives and emotional support. However, sharing intimate details with friends or family can lead to gossip, misunderstandings and perhaps judgement too.”    Similarly, Karandeep Singh (@astro_karan), relationship counsellor and astro sage says, “Sharing relationship issues with others can be a double-edged sword. Sometimes friends can spot something you might have missed. However, sharing too much can lead to unwanted biases. People close to you might naturally favour you and have a limited understanding of your partner's perspective.”    Revealing details to seek validation From discussing arguments to personal habits, people often go overboard when sharing details about their love life with friends and family. “The people who share too many details are usually seeking validation for their role, maybe some advice but mostly venting their frustration for not being heard by their partners,” says Ruuh.   Also Read: Jab ‘they’ met: What to do when you run into your ex?  Due to a lack of communication and even understanding in a couple, one of the two or both partners choose to seek emotional support and comfort outside of their relationship. This makes them feel heard.    According to Singh, “Most people overshare as it helps them to vent freely and release their emotions. It makes them feel less alone and gain some much-needed support. Additionally, they also seek the support of others who might know you and your partner well as a couple and thus be in a better position to offer helpful suggestions based on your unique dynamic.”    Oversharing can put your relationship at riskPeople who tend to overshare might erode the trust in the relationship as they might be airing their concerns without the knowledge of their partners.    Singh thinks that one can share relationship issues with friends and family members, however, he says, “Choose your confidantes wisely. Look for people who are trustworthy, good listeners, and non-judgmental.”    However, constant involvement of a third-party perspective can make matters worse as it may lead to acquisitions and conflicts. According to Ruuh, “It may lead to a complete breakdown in the direct communication between the couple who might start seeing their partner through the lens of the others.”    A majority of the time, family and friends can bring or reaffirm the biases or give unsolicited perspectives that can cause further harm. Other people might get intrusive without understanding the nuances of your relationship. If too much focus is given to sharing and seeking advice externally, the couple might find it difficult to communicate.    It can erode the trust between both partners. They might feel betrayed or insecure, and the relationship can be damaged. Seeking constant validation from friends and family for little issues can create dependency and weaken the bond with your partner because you are no longer communicating your thoughts with them.  Also Read: Building bridges: How to have a tough conversation with your partner  The intimacy between you and your partner can also diminish because you are constantly feeling exposed and vulnerable in front of other people.   The decision to share details of the issues outside the couple should be a careful, cautious decision.    Setting clear boundaries for yourself  Singh suggests, “When it comes to how much to reveal, focus on the specific issue at hand. Don't unload every detail – explain the problem and how it's affecting you. Respect your partner's privacy by avoiding intimate details or airing dirty laundry. Most importantly, frame the discussion around finding solutions, not assigning blame.”    “The amount of information you can share outside your relationship should depend on the level of trust you have in the person whom you are sharing it with. Always ask yourself if this information that you are about to share will harm or affect your partner in any way. Avoid topics that could potentially embarrass them or breach their trust. However, if there is abuse of any kind please confide in someone you trust,” adds Ruuh.     She goes on to suggest, “Ask yourself what's your motivation for sharing this information. Are you seeking validation, advice or just venting out? Be sure to tell the person to avoid unsolicited advice or biased perspective. Always understand that there are consequences to every action. You sharing such details can harm the trust, and lead to gossip and misunderstanding.”    Involving family in couple’s issuesIf you involve a family member make sure that your partner is aware of it. Respect your partner's privacy and share only what is appropriate. “Involving family can be helpful in certain situations. If you're facing major issues like abuse or addiction, seeking support from your family can be crucial. However, it's important to respect boundaries. Don't involve them in every argument or disagreement. The type of issues you discuss with your family can also be strategic. For example, if your family is directly impacting your relationship, discussing it together can be beneficial. Similarly, involving family in discussions about long-term goals like marriage or children can be a positive step,” says Singh.     Ruuh suggests, “Seek advice more than validation. Make sure that you use this opportunity to understand your family’s perspective and don’t paint your partner black. People say nasty things without realising that it might evoke the empathy you are seeking but can harm your partner and effectively your relationship with them. Share with only the people whom you completely trust and encourage them to keep the information confidential. Be receptive to the feedback too. People  spoil their relationships with friends and family as they fail to validate them completely.”  Also Read: 'I thought I was the problem,' Why some people find it difficult to end a toxic relationship  Family can provide invaluable advice on subjects like finances, parental challenges, health issues, family dynamics or conflicts. They may also provide useful information regarding cultural expectations or things related to religion. “I think it's also important to note that family can also help couples deal with issues such as physical, verbal or sexual abuse. Don't remain silent on issues like domestic violence as it can save lives,” adds Ruuh.   Where to draw the line? “More than what you share, it's important to understand whom you share it with,” says Ruuh. Usually, it's preferred that you don't share the details of your sex life, or your physical intimacy with someone because those are sensitive things to be shared with anyone.    Don't share about your partner's self-esteem issues, body image issues, their vulnerabilities because these are very personal to their person and they might not want these to be shared with anyone.    Try not to share your every argument, disagreement, or conflict because it can create dependency with the other person.     Conflict resolution in couples Speaking to each other must always be encouraged because couples should learn to resolve the issues themselves. Ruuh suggests doing the following:  1. You should start listening to your partner more actively without interrupting them, and without forming your own opinions. Just listen to them and read their tone, body language, and emotions. 2. Always use 'I' statement instead of criticising or blaming your partner. Always take responsibility for how you are feeling and what your needs are.  3. Stay open-minded.  People get defensive with their partners for obvious reasons, but it's important to understand the other person's perspective.  4. Look at yourself as a team and use this communication to collaborate. Make sure that you are referring to each other with 'we' rather than ‘you’ and ‘me’ because it's important that they feel like you are on their side and trying to work it out.5. Take responsibility for your actions. Always acknowledge your role in the conflict. Say sorry, and apologise with sincerity whenever you commit a mistake. This will encourage your partner to do the same.6. Whenever you are discussing something together be more solution-focused rather than dwelling on just the problem and spending hours discussing it.  7. If you think the emotions are escalating, take a break and revisit the conversations whenever you both feel calmer and are ready to communicate. 8. If you think the conflict is just out of your hands and you're unable to figure out a way out of it, consult a trained professional to provide you guidance. Facilitate communication between both of you. Go to a good couples therapist or counsellor and seek assistance.  Also Read: Dating an insecure partner? Relationship experts hold affirmations paramount  Addressing concerns about oversharing  Singh recommends doing a few things to communicate your concerns to your partner:   1.    Pick the right moment: Don't bring it up when they're already upset. 2.    Use ‘I’ statements: Focus on how their oversharing makes you feel. Example: I feel uncomfortable.  3.    Explain your reasons: Tell them why their oversharing things with others is affecting you. Is it because it threatens your privacy, or if it makes resolving issues harder for you? 4.    Offer alternatives: Suggest healthier ways for them to vent (journaling, therapy). 5.    Work together on solutions: Find boundaries that respect both your needs. 6.    Be patient: Changing habits takes time. Offer support and celebrate small wins.   

29 April,2024 09:30 AM IST | Mumbai | Aakanksha Ahire
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Gen Z daters in India use dating apps as a tool for self-exploration: Study

As the digital age reshapes the landscape of relationships, a study conducted by the Indian dating app QuackQuack shows the perspectives and experiences of daters from Tier 1, 2, and 3 cities, shedding light on how dating apps have become a tool for self-exploration and introspection, with 35 per cent of the respondents backing the theory. The findings delve deeper into the nuances of their desires, challenges, and aspirations in the modern dating world. The study was conducted all through the last two weeks of March, with participants coming from metros, suburban and rural India. Spanning an age range from 18 to 35, respondents hail from diverse backgrounds, representing a wide array of professions and lifestyles.  From students to IT professionals, healthcare workers, engineers, sales and marketing experts, teachers, individuals in the beauty industry, financial services, and even homemakers participated in the study.  QuackQuack's founder and CEO, Ravi Mittal, said, "We are in an exciting phase where we are not just delivering romance and genuine companionship but also helping people come to terms with their authentic selves. That is a milestone. On average we see 28 per cent of our users going on a matching spree in the initial month and then slowing down considerably showing growth - they understand the value of quality over quantity, they realise their desires and grow less impatient and desperate for love." Exploring relationship dynamicsThe study found that 47 per cent of daters aged 18 to 25 initially seek exclusive relationships, but many soon discover this isn't their true desire. Some prefer traditional monogamy, while others explore ethical non-traditional arrangements like open relationships. Recent data from the app indicates a notable increase in users seeking these alternative relationship structures. Additionally, many realise they're still in self-discovery and may need time before committing. Novice daters find chatting before commitment and having multiple options on dating apps helpful in distinguishing between desperation for love and genuine affection. Self-realisation on dating appsEveryone claims that their ex was a red flag, but almost everyone is someone's ex; 32 per cent of men on QuackQuack said that realising whether you have been the red flag in someone's life is essential if you are looking for a healthy love life and dating apps can provide valuable insights into identifying that. Men below 25 mentioned that taking feedback from matches that did not work out is the best way to figure out the flaws in you - if multiple people mention similar concerns, it could indicate areas for improvement. Men above 30 disclosed reflecting on past interactions that were facilitated through the app. They look for patterns or recurring issues that may have arisen and try to be honest with themselves about their role in those situations. Diagnosing dating anxiety27 per cent of daters from Tier 1 and 2 cities mentioned their experience of using dating apps and recognising patterns that indicated dating anxiety. They disclosed their behaviour on the app - for instance, Natasha from Delhi said, "I would chat with matches but never commit to one, no matter how compatible we were." She also mentioned deleting and reinstalling the app frequently. For most people, the symptoms went on for quite some time before they realised they were experiencing dating anxiety. 27-year-old Hari mentioned, "I would have never realized I had dating anxiety if I had not been on dating apps. I noticed that I started reading my chats and overanalyzing every little exchange." Identifying self-image issues 21 per cent of men and women over 27 say that paying attention to certain behavioural patterns while using a dating app can be beneficial in detecting self-image issues. They highlighted some tell-tale signs- profile presentation; uploading overly edited pictures or group pictures can signal underconfidence. Comparing profiles and finding flaws in your own can also be a sign. Some women in the group mentioned noticing changes in their mood and self-esteem depending on how many match requests and messages they get in a day. They added that without dating apps, it would have been difficult to catch the issue before it was set too deep.  Also Read: Jab ‘they’ met: What to do when you run into your ex?

16 April,2024 03:49 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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