Your go-to guide for dating apps

Once upon a time, it was a rendezvous at the bus-stop. The person of your dreams walked up, eyes met and a small chit changed hands. The next date -a movie together, or coffee at a small restaurant -was fixed.

But that was back then, when there were no mobile phones -or casual dating. Thanks to smartphones, dating apps and sites that are a rage in the west, are picking up in the City of Joy . These interfaces allow you to connect with eligible singletons in your city, creating a comfort zone over the world wide web, where reality merges with fantasies.

So how do these dates work
Tinder, to name one app, has been around in India since 2014.I have had guys desperately asking me for my pictures, says Ankita Chatterjee, 25, who works in the entertainment industry. This one time, she continues, a guy jumped the gun and started talking dirty right from the beginning. I have met four people through dating apps and it’s been good so far. I’m in touch with two of them. I have known people who have got married through dating apps. To each her own, I guess. These apps are what you want to make of them. Kolkata is still not a city where you can sit at a bar and expect a really charming guy offering to buy you a drink.

TrulyMadly , another mobile dating app, seems aligned to the sensibilities of young urban Indians. Some of the features can be interpreted as a meeting point between matrimonials and casual dating. With more than 200,000 downloads, this app verifies users based on their Facebook profile, an offline ID and trust factor based on scores other users give you.

Arjun Ray , 26, a management student and a south Kolkata resident had been coaxed by friends to get on TrulyMadly. I met a psycho, he tells us. She was judgmental and when I refused to see her, she wouldn’t stop calling and messaging me. Some people in our city are only looking for long-term commitments and thus, are totally unfit for these apps. All I want is to hang out with someone at the end of the day. Nothing more, nothing less. My friends have been lucky on the second dates and they are hooked on to these sites. My experiences have been rather creepy. he says.

Experts say that a lot of youngsters today are more comfortable in the virtual world. The youth today like choosing their own partners. Online suits them best because they have grown up with technology . Besides, it gives them autonomy to choose without too many complications. In a very short time, one can check out quite a few potential dates to make a choice.Of course, what follows eventually, is confusion that stems from too many options, opines Jhuma Basak, a psychoanalyst.

Grindr, another geosocial dating app that came into being in early 2011, is targeted at the LGBT community . Hrishtita Soni, 27, has been using Woo, a hyperlocal dating app that was launched last year in Bangalore. Bangalore is a great city and has a mix of cultures. I have met interesting people through Woo -the kinds you’d want to have a real conversation with. There are jerks everywhere, you just have to tread carefully, she says.

So be choosy and careful, if you’re using these apps. Some want a no-strings-attached hookup, others a long-term commitment. Take your pick

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