4 Things You Need To Know About Pickable, The New Dating App That’s Giving Women All The Power

When it comes to certain things — OK, maybe everything — we all benefit when women are in charge. And in our opinion, the same thing applies to dating in the digital age. That’s why our ears perked up when we got wind of Pickable, the new app that’s redefining what it means for women to be in control of their dating lives.

And trust us, we, too, have heard it ALL before. We’ve tried the websites that promise to deliver more compatible dates than a matchmaker, we’ve downloaded the apps that pair you based on your most obscure interests, but mostly, we’ve wasted time going back and forth with matches that we have no chance of actually meeting IRL.

But then we met Pickable, which checks the two most important boxes when it comes to online dating: It’s like no app experience we’ve had before (and we’ve had ’em all), AND it gives off major girl power vibes.

Yes and yes, thank you!

Here are 4 things you need to know about Pickable.

1. It’s built on anonymity.

One of the most unique aspects of Pickable is that it’s a totally anonymous experience for women, right up until they come across a guy they want to connect with. Unlike other apps, female users don’t have to worry about less-than-ideal people (i.e. coworkers, exes, the list goes on) coming across their profiles.

Women start by downloading the app and browsing anonymously. That’s right — they don’t have to include a photo, bio, or even their name. Men, on the other hand, create a simple profile with their name and photo, as well as an optional bio.

When a woman sees someone she wants to strike up a convo with, all she has to do is shoot him a photo, which he can either accept and start chatting, or skip and move along.

How easy is that?

2. It will save you time.

Dating apps are a lot of things. One thing they shouldn’t be is time-consuming.

Pickable provides an alternative to browsing profiles ’til you’re blue in the face, and it helps you avoid the dreaded ‘pen pal’ situation where you and your matches talk forever, but never actually meet up in reality.

Women may have anonymity on Pickable, but men also luck out: All they have to do is chill out and wait until they’re notified that someone wants to chat, and from there (if they’re interested) they can engage, and then take the conversation where it should be — offline, ASAP.

No more sending messages out into the void and getting shot down, or worse, not getting a response at all.

3. It cuts out the stuff that doesn’t matter.

With some apps, you’re practically encouraged to build out elaborate profiles with oh-so-clever bios and the *perfect* pictures that show you from all the right angles.

But how much does that stuff actually matter in the long run?

Not much, according to Pickable. With their minimalist profiles for men, and no profiles for women, they’re cutting out all the fluff that usually just ends up complicating things, and getting straight to what’s most important: Meeting up in real life to see if you’re actually compatible.

4. It evens the playing field.

Even though the Pickable experience differs for men and women, a couple crucial things remain the same: Neither can send unsolicited messages, and once a woman’s chat request is accepted by a man, EITHER can send the first message.

This gives both parties the ability to come up with a fun opening line, and makes unsolicited messages from people you’re not interested in a thing of the past.

Want to try out Pickable and see for yourself what all the hype is about? All you have to do is download the app for free (!); it’s available on both iOS and Android. And in the meantime, click here to learn more about how Pickable works to make real connections in the easiest, most fuss-free way possible.

 

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Tinder Is A Waste Of Time For Most People

Dating apps won’t help you much if your goal is to have more relationships. You would probably succeed just as well—or poorly—without it.

“For people who don’t pull off one-night stands without using Tinder, Tinder doesn’t offer much in the way of new opportunities,” says postdoctoral fellow Trond Viggo Grøntvedt in NTNU’s Department of Psychology.

He is the first author of a new article in Evolutionary Psychological Science that deals with the use of Tinder. If you’re failing outside Tinder, then you don’t have much to gain from using Tinder, either.

“For people who actually have sexual relations outside Tinder, Tinder use only provides a limited increase in the number of one-night stands,” Grøntvedt says.

Same people succeed both ways

“Most of the people who succeed on Tinder have casual sex and hook-ups otherwise, too,” says Professor Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair at the Department of Psychology at NTNU.

The researchers have previously found that Tinder use did not lead to an increase in one-night stands.

“We have found little reason to claim that dating apps lead to more short-term sexual relationships than before,” says Associate Professor Mons Bendixen, also in NTNU’s Department of Psychology.

There is thus no reason for any moral outrage from anyone.

Swiping

Tinder is one of several match-making apps. It uses location services to find other users nearby and then tries to match users with each other.

Selecting someone is simple and effective: candidates pop up with a picture and some information on the screen. Swiping to the left means you’re not interested in a meet-up. Swiping to the right means you would like to meet the person. If two people swipe right on each other, the app can help them meet.

But sweeping and searching on Tinder has very limited effectiveness for the vast majority of users, who will probably succeed just as well by meeting live people instead.

Lots of hits needed

A lot of hits are needed on Tinder before any lead to a meeting. And even more hits are required before any kind of relationship can happen, whether we’re talking about a one-night stand or a meeting a partner with the aim of having a long-term committed relationship.

Men and women tend to use Tinder and other dating apps differently. Most women take more time to evaluate potential matches and are more often looking for a relationship, whereas most men are quicker in their assessments and swipe to the right far more often in the hope that a high enough number will result in at least one hit.

80 percent achieve nothing

About 20 percent of users had one-night stands after using Tinder. The vast majority of them had only experienced this once. Thus, eight of ten users never have sex after using the app.

“Tinder may offer new sexual opportunities, but these appear to be very limited,” says Kennair.

Only a tiny group of seven people, between two and three percent of the study participants, had one-night stands exclusively after meeting someone through Tinder. The rest achieved this by traditional dating methods as well.

Age and attitudes matter

Participants were asked to evaluate how physically attractive they found themselves to be. How physically attractive users are can predict the extent to which they succeed in having short-term sex when using Tinder.

“But this also applies when you’re not using dating apps. Some people get a lot, and a lot get none,” says Kennair.

“Both age and attitudes towards casual sex affect how often you actually achieve a one-night stand after using Tinder. But these are the same factors that play in elsewhere as well,” Grøntvedt says.

If you are more comfortable with casual sex, you’ll also have it more often.

“But there’s also a connection between a high interest in short-term sex encounters and less chance of meeting someone interested in a long-term relationship through the use of the dating app,” says Bendixen.

Not effective for long-term relationships either

Female Tinder users are, on average, more interested in finding long-term relationships than men are. This also applies to encounters without using dating apps.

But according to this and previous studies, Tinder is not a very effective way to meet a long-term partner, either.

Ernst Olav Botnen had the idea for this study. He is currently a clinical psychologist at Lovisenberg Diakonale Hospital in Oslo.

“It’s interesting to see how the behavior we see in other arenas, like bars and nightclubs, is reflected in dating apps,” says Botnen.

Of the 269 study participants who were active or former Tinder users, 62 percent were women.

“Since the participants in our selection are university students in their early 20s, it will be interesting to see if our findings apply to other groups and age ranges in future research,” Botnen says.

 

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Why Modern Dating Sucks

Introduction

Why does dating nowadays suck so much? If you’ve ever had this question or wondered how your parents managed to meet someone they liked enough to marry, you’re not alone. If the end of your twenties is approaching, or has come and gone, and you’re still single, congratulations! You are, in all likelihood, a hopeless romantic who is more than deserving of the relationship you crave. I write this in hopes of helping you understand why your dating life so far has completely sucked. Maybe understanding will help you turn the tide and meet the love of your life! If so, don’t forget to invite me to the wedding.

If you are someone who found your husband or wife on Tinder or Plenty of Fish, this article is not for you (but I’m happy for you). I realize there are always exceptions, and nothing is black or white, but I only have my perspective. To be fair, an instance of organically meeting someone is included in this consideration. It doesn’t seem to matter how the meeting occurred – the behavior and character of relationship was essentially the same in my experience. It completely sucked! Read on to find out why.

The charming days of your beau calling your landline phone and having to speak to your mother first are long gone.
The charming days of your beau calling your landline phone and having to speak to your mother first are long gone. | Source

Real and Meaningful Communication Has Become a Rarity

I love technology and the ability to e-mail and text. I prefer texting to talking aloud. I have always been a quiet but expressive person, and despite my soft-spoken nature, I still like to communicate in ways that resonate with me. I am not much of a talker, but I have always been a writer. It is primarily through my writing voice that I touch other souls and let them know what’s happening inside my head.

I see ads for Tinder or other dating apps where two people communicate purely by emojis, and it disgusts me. After my mom passed away, as I was going through her house, I found a Sephora box full of love letters in my room that I had kept from guys I dated during my school years. It was sad when I realized that my boyfriend in my junior year of high school had more game than the guys I’ve seen more recently, since my mid-twenties. My high school boyfriend wrote me letters of several pages where he would talk about his day or where he wanted to take me on a date. They were sweet, innocent expressions of love where he shared what was going through his mind and how he was feeling.

While I do my best to communicate meaningfully through text, that’s not everybody, if my few experiences with guys are an accurate representation of the rest of them in the dating pool. The lack of communication affects not only the phone and text, but real life as well. I find myself wondering if it started with texting.

I understand the dread factor that a ringing phone can evoke, but at least when we had no choice but to call the other person, we held on to our communication skills and consideration for the human being on the other side of the line. It was easier to pick up on how the other person felt through their tone of voice, and there was not so much evasive behavior as there can be these days when most communication is via text. In my school days (the days of landline phones), yes, sometimes it could be really awkward when conversations were more difficult or heading toward a breakup, but at least we still had to communicate enough to get that sense of closure if things were over. Or if things were going well, we knew that better too.

When you text, especially if you haven’t met in-person yet, you’re less of a human being to the other person. They feel like they can say anything they want, as indicated by some of the horror stories people on dating apps have shared.

Rather than using text meaningfully, most people use it to hide.

It sort of makes me wish I had kept the love letters in that Sephora box, not for sentimental reasons, but to give me hope when someone can barely spell “cat” or uses emojis like hieroglyphs.

Swipe, message, meet, fizzle out, repeat.
Swipe, message, meet, fizzle out, repeat. | Source

Dating Apps Can Be Overwhelming, Used for the Wrong Reasons

The desire to be loved, truly and deeply, is universal across all human beings.

The problem with technology influencing romance is that it can be overwhelming and encourage unhealthy, attention-seeking behavior. Mix a dating app with low self-esteem, lack of self-discipline and self-control, and you have a dangerous cocktail that will damage yourself and others. On most of the dating apps I have seen, there is no limit on how many people you can match with at one time. Before you know it, you’re getting a lot of interest in your profile, which can feel very good at first. Unfortunately, it quickly becomes just another distraction. Your notifications on your phone start vying for your attention, even if you’re out with one of your potentials.

Rather than your focus being on the people you’re meeting and understanding your level of interest in them, it’s about the attention you’re receiving and how validated you feel. As a result, you don’t get a good sense of any of the people you meet. Connections crash and burn, or they fizzle out entirely for no particular reason.

Of course, this isn’t the fault of the dating app. It’s all down to how a person chooses to use it, but perhaps the developers putting a few restrictions on them (for instance, only being able to match with 1-3 people at once, so that yeses are used more wisely) wouldn’t hurt. I have been off dating apps for a couple of years now, so maybe this feature does exist somewhere and I’m just not up-to-date.

Having an endless stream of matches that never go anywhere or even remotely toward getting to know another person in any depth can create jaded, bitter people who are convinced that there are no good men or women left in the world.

We all want love, but we are going about receiving it in the wrong ways. We equate “likes” with love, and the more that we get, the better. But we don’t stop to consider that the “like” or “yes” on our profile was only a momentary response. We focus more on the fleeting approvals than long-term connections, and then we wonder why we feel so empty.

Has this happened to you, too?
Has this happened to you, too? | Source

It’s Too Easy to Run Away

When it comes to online dating especially, it can sometimes be good that we don’t run much risk of seeing certain people in our day-to-day lives. The ability to block people who are harassing or otherwise abusive is good too. For most others in situations that don’t work out, at least caring enough to give a reason for breaking things off or saying goodbye and sending well wishes is a nice gesture. Unfortunately, this is a gesture that often is missed. It can really mess with people.

A friend of mine met a woman at a speed dating event and felt like they were hitting it off pretty well. They were laughing and relating to one another a lot. At the end of the event, each person turned in a list of the people they liked and got notified if the feeling was mutual. When my friend learned that his lady of interest marked “yes” for him, he sent her an e-mail, then never heard from her.

Granted, sometimes e-mails don’t go through. But how many people hide behind technological mishaps just because they’re too afraid to be honest or have a challenging conversation? Why is it so hard to say, “Hey, I really enjoyed getting to know you, but after giving it more thought, I don’t feel ready to date anyone”? It would save the other person the unpleasant experience of obsessing over what they did wrong or what happened when things seemed to be going so well before.

When we don’t have much chance of seeing a person face-to-face, whether at work or a chance encounter at the grocery store, again, maybe they feel less human. It is easy to “ghost” and forget common courtesy, because we don’t have to confront the consequences of our actions. We don’t have to see the human, emotional side of the other person, so it’s like we forget it’s there or it’s easier to disregard.

The golden rule is drilled into us when we are children, but still, we manage to forget it.

Tips for a Better Experience

I have been guilty of all the above vices when it comes to dating, so I am not saying I am an angel or was never a part of the problem. But awareness is part of resolving the problem.

Modern dating sucks for many reasons, and this could be part one in an entire series if enough people enjoy this article and let me know that. It doesn’t have to suck, but we need to become more aware of the ways we’re treating others that we don’t want to be treated. We have to become aware of how we’re pushing away love or failing to love ourselves when we’re desperate for “likes” and comments on photos.

If you meet someone and really like them, let them know it. Pick up the phone and actually call them sometimes. Be communicative and express your feelings. This isn’t true just for dating, but for all relationships where there is a sense of disconnect.

Be open and know that it may take a few frogs before you find your prince or princess, but don’t get lost in swiping through an endless stream of profiles and pictures.

If you feel comfortable, please share your experiences with this subject in the comments below and what your takeaway from it all has been.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Take A Break From Dating Apps If You Notice These 5 Signs

There comes a time in every swiper’s dating app journey when the monotony of it all can start to take a toll. If you’ve been dating your heart out but feel disheartened by the results (or lack thereof), rest assured you’re not alone. Fatigue is common among people juggling multiple apps or constantly hustling to meet new people, and it could be a sign that you’re ready to take a break from dating apps. According to Jenna Birch, the strategic advisor for the dating app Plum, devoting an excessive amount of time to finding a match isn’t sustainable.

“It’s not a test or a race to see how fast you can find a new flame,” Birch previously told Elite Daily. “You can go on a dating hiatus, and just focus on yourself. Constantly scanning rooms and browsing apps for new dating prospects can make single life less fun.” Even if you’re enjoying the excitement and variety that dating apps offer, it’s always important to make time for yourself outside of the dating sphere. So, if you suspect it may be time to take a step back from dating apps, here are some signs that pressing “pause” could be the right move.

1. You Feel Pressure To Date.

When arranging a date for the weekend starts to feel like just another stressful task on your to-do list, this could mean you’re putting yourself out there a bit too much. “A lot of people feel pressure to always be out there constantly and that if they snooze even for a second, they will lose,” well-being coach Shula Melamed previously told Elite Daily. “It is beneficial for you to bring your best, most energized and cared for self to the table — if you need to take a break to do this, so be it.”

2. You Feel Unmotivated To Meet Matches.

According to Thomas Edwards, founder of The Professional Wingman, feeling unmotivated by the process of dating is a tell-tale sign it’s time to slow down. Perhaps you’re, “exhausted by dating, from not replying to messages, [or] even not wanting to show up on dates,” Edwards previously told Elite Daily. “[Maybe], you just haven’t had any enjoyable or memorable experiences in a long time.” If this is the case, focusing on yourself for a while might be the best course of action.

3. Putting In The Effort Doesn’t Feel Worth It.

Thoughtful female youngster keeps fore finger near lips, being deep in thoughts, thinks about coming holidays, isolated on pink background with blank copy space for your advertisement or text
Shutterstock

Let’s face it: Getting the most out of dating apps can take a significant amount of effort. “[If] you’ve been trying too hard to make things happen and [have] no results to show for your efforts,” this is another sign that it may be a good idea to avoid dating apps until you’re feeling more optimistic, said Edwards.

4. The Idea Of Being Set Up Sounds Exhausting.

You know you’re experiencing some major dating fatigue when the idea of being set up on a date by a friend or family member still sounds like way too much work. Meeting new people is the cornerstone of finding eligible matches, so if you’re unable to get in a positive headspace about it, don’t force yourself. “If the suggestion of a set-up with even the most eligible sounding of prospects makes you feel more drained than energized, it could be time to take a moment for yourself,” agreed Melamed.

5. You Feel Burned Out In Other Areas Of Your Life.

If you’re overexerting yourself when it comes to online dating apps, sooner or later, the exhaustion could start to spill over into other areas of your life. In these situations, it’s important to give yourself the time and space to re-establish balance. “Get off the dating merry-go-round for at least three weeks to a month,” NYC-based relationship expert Susan Winter previously told Elite Daily. “Just stop. Don’t stress, don’t fret, and don’t beat yourself up.”

Ultimately, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break from dating apps (or dating in general) if you’re no longer enjoying the process. Although it may be tempting to push-through to avoid the fear missing out, doing so could prolong your dating fatigue. In the end, only you can say for sure if it’s time for a dating app hiatus. If you’re still unsure whether it’s a good idea to stop swiping for a while, always trust your gut.

 

It’s not every day a potential new romantic interest texts you by mistake, but it happened for Codie Higer, an actor and singer from New York City. Higer was on a Houseparty call with friends on April 14 when she got a text from a number she didn’t recognize. It was a photo of a cake from a stranger named Mike. The problem? This (literally) sweet message was intended for someone else. Codie Higer posted a Twitter thread about what followed this unintentional digital meet-cute, and it’s a real-life quarantine rom-com.

Higer tells Elite Daily she and her friends were about to end their Houseparty call when she got the text from Mike. “Hey it’s Mike! It was cool meeting you!” the text read. “This is how that lemon bundt cake turned out by the way,” with a photo of said lemon bundt cake attached. “Hey – not sure who you’re trying to text but it appears you have the wrong number!” she texted back. “Nice cake though!”

Mike apologized and explained it was meant for someone named Leah — a girl he’d gone on a virtual Hinge date who seemingly gave him a fake number afterwards. They ended up commiserating about how tough dating can be, and before they knew it, they were introducing themselves.

Higer says she was wary at first, but the chat naturally progressed into a friendly conversation. Mike is a 30-year-old English teacher living in Cleveland, and Higer, 26, lives in NYC — although she’s currently staying with her mother in Cleveland due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. They exchanged photos and decided to set a FaceTime date for the very next day.

According to Higer, it was fun. “We acknowledged how bizarre the situation was and talked about movies, books, and each other’s careers,” she says. “He was very curious about my life in NYC and what it’s like to be an auditioning actor and I asked him about the difficulties of being a teacher right now. We have a surprising amount in common! As far as I can tell, there was chemistry — we made each other laugh a lot, which is always a great sign.”

They’ve also been texting every day (!!) since their first exchange, and have another date scheduled for April 18. Higer, who isn’t currently on dating apps, says she wasn’t thinking about dating in quarantine before she got Mike’s text, but, “I’m always open to possibilities so… we’ll see! I will say, it didn’t actually feel as weird as I had expected to FaceTime a total stranger. I’m used to the weirdness of first dates and this didn’t feel that different! I’m a very outgoing person and I am always curious to meet new people, so this wasn’t that foreign for me.”

This could just end up being the 2020 love story we need. Fingers crossed!

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on June 20th, on Amazon!

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5 Reasons Why Married Indian Women Are Turning To Dating Apps

When 40-year-old Manisha Agarwal (name changed) logged on to a dating app for the first time, she was paralysed with fear. Married for 15 years, she needed a distraction from her sexless and loveless marriage, but was scared she would be caught in the act. “Kolkata is such a small city. Here someone always knows you or one of your acquaintances. I knew I was taking a risk, but I had no choice,” she says.

Unhappy with her unfulfilling married life, Agarwal desperately wanted to find someone she could connect with. She knew she could not risk having an affair with a friend, so she decided to look for potential partners on a dating app.

She was looking for casual sex, and knew nobody would swipe right for her if she only mentioned her name and age. “Who would want to match with a 40-year-old mother? I had to use my photo, but that left me feeling completely vulnerable,” she says.

Agarwal is just one of the many married women in India who use dating apps to find companionship. According to a recent survey, 77% of Indian women who cheat are bored of their monotonous married life. Although affairs and meetings with men bring excitement to their lives, they also live in fear of the embarrassment and shame of being found out.

The survey, conducted by Gleeden, an online “extra-marital dating” community primarily meant for women, also found that four out of 10 women admitted flirting with a stranger helped them improve intimacy with their ‘official’ partner. Gleeden, incidentally, claims to have 5 lakh members in India, of which 30% are women. Other popular dating apps in the country include Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge.

Top 100 Hottest Indian Women

Reshmi Singhal (name changed), a 29-year-old married woman from Delhi, says she became curious about dating apps after her single friends began using them. As men started approaching her, she felt desired and enjoyed the attention, even though it stayed virtual. For her it was almost therapeutic. The problem, she says, was to know when to stop.

According to the 2019 Gleeden survey, 34% of such virtual encounters lead to a real date in the next 10 days. “These apps work like online shopping portals. You check the catalogue and choose what you want,” says Kolkata-based clinical psychologist Anindita Chowdhury, who has had clients use dating apps.

When we asked married women what they look for on dating apps these are the top reasons they cited:

Sex Without Strings Attached

Married women often use dating apps for casual, no-strings-attached sex. These apps are well suited for the purpose—they are convenient, discreet, and can be uninstalled whenever necessary.

Chowdhury says one woman, who had had a love marriage, ended up having extramarital affairs with men she met online. The woman, in her 40s, said her husband’s interest in sex had dwindled over the years, and instead of confronting him or ending the marriage, she started leading a parallel life, because it just seemed easier.

“The couple had a child and so she did not want to call the marriage off. She was very clear about what she wanted from the men she interacted with on the apps. She sought sex, mostly from younger men. Sex, attention, and time were factors missing in her marital life, and so she looked for these,” Chowdhury says.

“Later, after some soul-searching, they want to understand why they had extramarital affairs in the first place and how to prevent their marriages from failing.”

“Later, after some soul-searching, they want to understand why they had extramarital affairs in the first place and how to prevent their marriages from failing,” Chowdhury says, adding that a common thread in many cases is that the husband had sexual problems.

Top 10 Most Hot Indian Women Alive In 2020 [Updated List] - Mashtos

Kolkata resident Manisha Agarwal’s story had a similar trajectory. Her partner of 15 years was distant and had had an affair, and after making a profile on dating apps she too “hooked up a couple of times”. However, the couple decided to stay together for the sake of their children and to avoid social censure. While Agarwal says she enjoyed her “alternate life”, the fear of being recognised never left her. She recently started visiting a therapist to take better control of her life and marriage.

Kolkata-based psychotherapist Mansi Poddar, who has also encountered married clients using dating apps, says the sexuality of Indian women is viewed differently than that of men. “Women are perceived as less sexual. Thus, it adds a thick layer of guilt and shame for the woman if she is physically dissatisfied with her partner. So, instead of a heart-to-heart discussion or visiting a marriage counselor together, she opts for casual sex and secret affairs. Protecting the sanctity of her home holds greater importance for a married woman than her own emotional and physical well-being,” she says.

 

Married for six years, 35-year-old Priyanka Mehta (name changed) from Hyderabad never felt emotionally or physically satisfied with her partner. “My husband and I were totally incompatible and shared no warmth or trust in our relationship.” she says. When Mehta finally realised she could no longer live with him, she gathered courage and initiated the divorce process. But she still felt a void within.

“I joined dating apps in order to numb the pain of loneliness and for a distraction from the frustrating relationship I was in. I was not looking for a serious affair at all. I wanted someone with whom I could connect on some level, and have an exciting encounter that was not necessarily only sexual. I was looking for something light-hearted and fun, a connection that I missed having with my husband,” Mehta says.

She met a few men on these apps—men that she says were kinder, funnier, and more interesting than her husband. Mehta was completely honest with these men, and unexpectedly they were all quite understanding and empathetic. Unlike her own family members and social circle, they were not judgemental about her failed marriage. “For me it was like an emotional release and a relief to be able to interact with these men,” Mehta says.

I wanted my husband to hold or hug me, but he never initiated physical proximity. Men should understand that for women, intimacy is not always about sex.”

When Jayeeta Guha (name changed), a 36-year-old resident of Bangalore, became frustrated with the lack of intimacy with her husband, she decided to log on to a popular dating app. Although her husband was a good father to their child and a responsible family man and provider, she says he struggled with demonstrating affection.

Sexiest Indian Female!

When she logged on to the dating app, Guha was immediately flooded with attention and propositions. Soon she realized she was getting addicted to the conversations and they worked almost like a mood-enhancing drug for her. Gradually, the chats gave way to dates, a few of which then turned into physical encounters.

“I wanted my husband to hold or hug me, but he never initiated physical proximity. Men should understand that for women, intimacy is not always about sex. The lack of warmth became a constant irritant for me and I felt as if I was living with a roommate,” Guha confesses. She continues to fulfill her role as a mother and dutiful wife, while the husband provides for expenses.

New Male Friends

When 36-year-old Rachna Chatterjee (name changed) moved cities after marriage, she missed her busy social life. A management consultant, she had to travel quite a bit for her work, as did her husband, and they ended up spending only a couple of weekends a month together.

“I have always been a very social person and wanted to know more people outside my new office. I started using dating apps to connect with interesting men and often met them over a coffee or beer. Interesting conversation was my intent, although things are not always that simple on dating apps, as I soon realized,” she tells us.

While Chatterjee was upfront about her marital status, many of the men she met faked theirs. “I even received a phone call from someone’s wife! That kind of shook me,” she recalls. She says she had met him thrice and had no intention of getting physically involved with him. He was fun to be around, and she enjoyed the company. However, he had never told her that he was married.

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For Chatterjee, the basis of a successful marriage is transparency and so she informed her husband that she was using dating apps to meet people. “He is not on these apps but of course he meets men and women at bars or pubs when he travels for work. I don’t think meeting someone new can be a threat to your marriage, unless you are already unhappy with your spouse,” she says.

New to Bumble BFF, a platform where you can swipe to find new friends, Chatterjee enjoys connecting with other women who live in her city or when she travels for work. “It really is a lifesaver for women like me, although I still wouldn’t mind meeting interesting men,” she says.

For Shreya Das (name changed), a 37-year-old homemaker from Bangalore, it was the gradual boredom that set in in her married life, that made her log on to dating apps. Married for 10 years and child-free by choice, her arranged marriage started losing its “spark”. “I started to feel the need to connect with more people outside my family and friends. I did not have a specific agenda when I logged on to dating apps. I had seen some of my single friends hooked on to these platforms and wanted to get the same thrill,” she says.

Das initially hid her marital status from the men she found interesting. She would disclose it only when she met them rather than during a chat. Although most dates were limited to coffee and conversation, she admits there were some grey areas. She says she had to be quite firm about not allowing these interactions to turn into sexual encounters. “Over the three years of my using these apps, I have realized that most men just want to hook up, which is absolutely their prerogative and I respect that. But the radio silence that greets you when you mention you are not interested in casual sex is strange. Still, I have been successful in making a few good friends on the apps,” she says.

Das tells us that for two years she did not tell her husband about her use of dating apps since he was “slightly traditional” and might not take kindly to the idea. However, last year she opened up to him and showed him her profile and those of some of the men she chatted with. “Of course, he was uncomfortable, but I told him of my experiences. To my surprise he gradually warmed up to the idea. He said if I had to be on these apps, I should be careful and judicious with those I interact with,” she says.

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To Feel Desired

In India, where married women are associated with certain roles and ‘virtues’, dating apps can help them discover other facets of their personality and feel desirable again. “In most Indian households, the woman is either the ‘bahu’ or wife or mother. These dating apps have opened a new world for these women, who can now openly express their desires and be new versions of themselves,” explains psychotherapist Mansi Poddar.

Devika Chauhan (name changed), a 33-year-old designer from Mumbai, confesses she started using dating apps to continue feeling desired by men. She was in a loving marriage and was emotionally and physically satisfied, but she missed the carefree days of being single and being able to meet any man she chose.

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Chauhan travelled a lot and used an app to find out what men in different cities and countries were looking for, and if she still fit the bill. “I was never a stickler for conventions, and I do not see why marriage should stop someone from wanting to feel desired. I would even want my husband to be the most desired man in a room full of people!” she says.

The matches and quick replies provided instant gratification and lifted her mood. She says she functioned better at work and at home when she received attention and compliments. “Who doesn’t enjoy being told they look amazing or are fun to talk to? If it doesn’t cause friction in my personal relationships, then why not use the apps?” Chauhan asks. She did meet a few men, but according to her none were interesting or engaging enough to continue being friends with. Also, with a busy work and social life, she did not have the time to invest in meeting men regularly.

While Chauhan is open about using dating apps with her husband and friends, she chooses to keep her marital status undisclosed on her profiles. “If I do match with someone, I tell them I am not single, without revealing the fact that I am married. My marital status is very personal for me and I refuse to share anything regarding my life with men I don’t know. I do not want them to assume I have an unhappy marriage or a dissatisfied life just because I have a Hinge or a Bumble profile!” she says.

Sexual Orientation

Same-sex relations in India are still a taboo, and many lesbian and bisexual women marry men due to of societal and family pressures. Since they cannot openly discuss or act on their sexual preferences, some married women take to dating apps.

Sahely Gangopadhyay, a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist from Kolkata, says, “Online dating apps have made same-sex encounters relatively easy. My clients tell me they opt for their preferred gender and keep their marital status discreet. We even have couple-friendly hotel rooms these days, that they can use, though usually I have seen women simply going out for a drink or a movie with their female friends,” she says.

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Gangopadhyay says she has a client who found it easier to voice her needs under the garb of an altered name and relationship status in the virtual world. Unfortunately, when the woman’s husband came to know of her secret, he turned even more violent. It is a vicious cycle, Gangopadhyay says, where the woman looks for affection outside her marriage, but then ends up suffering even more abuse at home. “We need to understand that different women have different needs and the only way to deal with them is to be able to voice them without fear or guilt,” she adds.

Most Indian women, unhappy as they may be with their conjugal life, do not want to end their marriages as that entails facing societal questions and having to feel guilt and shame. Instead, they lead parallel sex lives until they feel things have gone out of control or that the affairs are affecting their personal lives.

 

 

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