Casual Dating in India: Let’s bring the cat out, shall we?

Since time immemorial, India has been a land where ‘culture’ is deemed more important than life in general. Whether it is girls wearing jeans, couples hanging out or even love marriage, certain things are looked down upon, because they are against our ‘so-called-culture.’

Today I want to talk about one of those ‘non-sanskaari’ things AKA ‘Casual Dating,’ and addressing the elephant in the room once and for all.  In itself, dating as a concept is incomprehensible to most Indians, since it’s Shaadi.com for most and Tinder for some. So, let me break it to you; dating is when you’re involved in a relationship with the one you love (apparently). But, casual dating on the contrary, isn’t a pathway to getting married and have kids; it is done to have fun (even if it is not mentioned in your ‘culture’ encyclopedia).

Why No strings attached?

Gone are the days when you used to like someone, and only ask them out in case you see a future. As Indians, we have been brought up with the idea of “one true love” or “match made in heaven,” which is pure crap!

Finding love is no more a necessity, it has become more of an idea. An idea which needs work, commitment and trust. We don’t even have time to take a shower sometimes, do you really think we would have time to cook you breakfast (most importantly, do you really think we want to?)? The emotional baggage that comes as a tag along with a relationship, is something most people aren’t ready for. While the older population still frowns upon the idea, the millennials enjoy ‘no strings attached’ by heart.

Call it, ‘casual hookups,’ ‘flings’ or ‘friends with benefits,’ having no expectations make it fun.

Casual hookups: No emotional quotient, you only meet up to have sex. 

Friend-with-benefits:  A tricky concept, where two friends might be sexually attracted to each other and fulfill each other’s needs. The con, though; one of them might develop feelings for the other.

Flings: Both partners give each other proper space, hangout and love talking to each other (and may have physical relations). This is a short term date, most up to two weeks, that’s it.

The huuushhh of the “Sex”

For years, Bollywood has ruined our mindset by showing two flowers making out for sexual innuendos. And, of course I don’t think most of us have had the “sex” talk with our folks, have we? But, when it comes to marriage, they need kids right away. Hello, please tell us how do we make kids first! Unless, they are a “Gods grace” in our laps. Asking for sex education in India as a subject, is like asking for a Muslim to live freely in America. 

The Dating Scene in India

Well, if it’s not some goons (you know who) beating up couples on Valentine’s day (or any day they feel like), most youngsters are pretty chill about the idea, because we no longer live in a shell of pretentious ‘sanskaars’. But, despite the progressive mindset, yes, you will still get judged. These judgements might not just be from elders, neighbours or nosy aunties, some of them might be from your peers as well.

Dating Apps

With the advent of dating apps like Tinder, Happn or Truly Madly; everyone hopes to get laid. Yes, even the ones whose bio reads , “not here for hookups.” Although, it has made things easier, it may get boring at times. Where Indian guys have it easier, girls on the other hand need tonnes of filters to keep the creeps out. Not only has the customer base increased, the success has led to the rise in the number of investors as well. According to a report published in GadgetsNow, “Dating app Tinder’s downloads in India up 400%; women more active.” Well, that’s some statistic, isn’t it?

Social Interactions

Facebook for one, has made many people overcome their social anxiety helping them in interacting with strangers just as well as their peers. Even though apps have made it easier, some people (including me) still prefer the ‘ask-out-the-guy-who-hit-on-you-at-the-pub.’  And why not? You can easily make out the difference between guys or girls from a few decades ago and now. With the current pub era; there’s more confidence,  extreme ease and less judgement while asking a date out.

Bringing this to a close, I would just say; casual dating is fun unlike popular notion. It is not against our culture, even Lord Krishna endorses it ( offense coming in…3…2…1).

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