New-age matrimonial websites are not only bringing healthy dating to the table but are also breaking social taboos of caste, creed and colour. Iknoor Kaur reports
In India, if a boy approaches a girl in a bar and offers to buy her a drink, the first impression of the boy in front of her will be that of a creep. Likewise, if a girl messages a boy online and initiates friendship, she will be deemed as desperate. Even when a couple says that they hooked up through a matrimonial or dating website, the first reaction people have is, “it’s not going to last.” This stigma attached to “blind dating” and “finding love online” is so strong in our society that it damages the essence of social interaction. However, a visible change has been seen in the sphere of online dating recently. New-age matrimonial websites like Match Me Cupid and Twoly Madly Deeply are created to breaking the social norms. These websites set a niche for themselves by maintaining privacy and not revealing personal details of the person like caste, creed or colour. This means that two people meet each other, see whether they are compatible or not and then go ahead with their relationship. Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, founder of Twoly Madly Deeply feels that such websites have rejuvenated the idea of courtship. He said, “We want to bring back the romance in courtship. On normal matrimonial websites there are too many people, not serious about relationships. On our websites people connect on the basis of common passions.”
High demand, low supply
These websites may be a refreshing change in the online world, but the question that arises is that were they really required? Founder of Match Me Cupid, Mandeep Kaur said yes. “When I am looking for my life partner I am not interested in speaking to the guy’s family. I want to talk to the guy. I have to spend the rest of my life with him. The big players in matrimony are open for all without filtration. Also, they are traditional and go by the norms of society. Time has changed. They can no longer marry the partners their parents choose for them,” she shared.
According to Naina Hiranandani, vice president of Sirf Coffee, people were beginning to get frustrated. She elaborated, “We met a lot of people who were educated but were frustrated because they couldn’t find someone to date. Matrimonial websites make people advertise themselves.”
While these websites bridge the gap, they are also getting rid of taboos. In fact websites like Match Me Cupid and iBluebottle discourage the entry of caste and creed when filling the criteria form. Akhilesh Sharma of iBluebottle said, “We are against caste-based relationships. We ask people to remove the caste and religion criteria when they sign up with us and a lot of people follow that. The mindset of the society changes in bits and pieces and we are just moving towards it slowly.”
Change in mindset is visible as the number of users are increasing on these websites. A user of BharatMatrimony.com says, “I am always dealing with the family and have never managed to spend time with any of the men I meet. These new platforms allow me to spend time with the boy. It makes the job easier.”
The response to these websites has been two-sided. Divya Rastogi, a professor said, “I already have an account on Jeevansathi.com and have encountered few fake profiles. However with these new websites the concept of verified profiles is a great success as it makes them trustworthy.”
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