Two months of being ‘locked down’ with his long-time girlfriend, 37-year-old Rishi is ‘done with monogamy’. “There’s no chance in hell I will choose to be with a single partner once this lockdown is over,” the resident of Delhi said. The 37-year-old consultant said he wants to break free, as what had seemed exciting in the beginning has turned into a ‘nightmare’.
With love and attraction giving way to monotony and negativity, Rishi decided to log on to dating apps a couple of weeks into lockdown. What started off as a ‘mood lifter’ turned addictive for him. After a few matches and spontaneous conversations, he now looks forward to the lifting of the lockdown and meeting these women.
Rishi is not the only person in India to have started using dating apps after the lockdown. Bumble alone witnessed an increase of 19% in messages sent during the last week of April. While Taru Kapoor, GM, Tinder India, told HuffPost India that conversations were up by 39% on the app; Priti Joshi, Vice President of Strategy at Bumble, said the average video call / phone call time on the app was at an all-time high at 18 minutes, indicating more and more Indian users were using dating apps during lockdown.
According to Narendra Kinger, a senior clinical psychologist and psychotherapist from Mumbai, the basic need to connect with other humans was amplified after lockdown, as most people were no longer satisfied with their relationships or day-to-day activities. “Bound by all sorts of restrictions during lockdown, dating apps gained popularity as they came with the freedom to ‘just be’ and ’interact with others,” he said.
We spoke to a few therapists and industry experts to understand the reasons behind this growing trend of using dating apps irrespective of gender, age and relationship statuses during the lockdown in India.