I Tried The Tinder Dating App in India. And This Is Who I Met

Six months after moving to Delhi, I found myself single for the first time in three and a half years. The prospect of dating again was overwhelming: it is hard to meet people “offline” in your thirties. I had given up online dating career in early 2010 when a man we’ll nickname “Receipt Rob” (due to the large number of them he collected to expense including one of mine for approximately $8 Canadian) yelled at me in a mall food court over half-eaten poutine for a reason that still baffles me today.

This, coupled with the plethora of well-intended do’s, don’ts and enough rules to put French grammar to shame, from friends and family, made the idea of meeting men in Delhi absolutely terrifying. However, with time, things shift. One set up, a few months on a singles network and one relationship later, I finally had the guts to try the behemoth of all dating apps: Tinder. I had heard so much about it that I was curious to see what the fuss was all about.

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At the outset I found the app very confusing – I swiped the wrong way, accidentally liked people who I had no interest in, and swiping past people that intrigued me. Eventually I figured out which was which, and what the hell a superlike was.

My rookie mistake was letting my curiosity get the better on me, and clicking on too many names in a time frame. When I found myself juggling the same mundane conversation (occupation/how do you find tinder/what do you do for fun) with seven people at the same time I started to get frustrated. I couldn’t remember – was it person X who liked weekend getaways or was it person Y and have I already asked person Z that, and is it awkward to ask again?

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There were some that stood out, and not for good reasons.

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I connected with Bachelor number one within two hours of signing up. He declared he was only a kilometre away and that I should meet him immediately. It was 10pm on a Sunday night, and he was at an arguably sketchy market in my colony. When I declined and suggested we meet at a more reasonable time, he would not take no for an answer. He kept insisting, as if perhaps the 20th time would be the one where I broke down and agreed. Unmatch.

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Bachelor number two openly confessed he was married. I’ve learned that this is very common on Tinder, and I’ve even seen profile pictures featuring wives and children. Although I admired his honesty, there is some old-fashionedness left in me. Unmatch.

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Bachelor number three became extremely distressed at any gaps at the conversation. At one point during our chat, I stepped away to take care of something, and came back to something akin to the below:

“Hey, are you there?
Around?
Helloooooooo
Well good night I guess????”
Sigh. We had not even met in person and I already felt claustrophobic. Unmatch.

Bachelor number four asked for a selfie during a busy work day. When I told him that even if I didn’t hate selfies, I share a cabin with two people who are junior to me and that me clicking photos of myself for a random man is not appropriate, he instructed me to take one in the washroom. Much like Bachelor number one, he refused to take no for an answer. Unmatch.

Truth be told, they weren’t all that bad, and thanks to the eye-roll worthy cheesy lines and eccentric personalities I know that the rules are less airtight than I was first led to believe, and my fears have largely dissipated.

The real challenge with Tinder was that after a few days it started to feel like an oversized buffet – high on quantity but questionable on quality. In the long run, I couldn’t get myself to care about the mediocre connections I was making, so I ended up deleting the app altogether. No regrets: it certainly kept life interesting.

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Note: A lot of them do expect to get laid.

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