Love in the time of Tinder

| 2 months ago

Is it possible to find love in the age of Tinder? At some point of time, this thought must have crossed the curious minds of young men and women who haven’t yet been able to shake off the curse of single-hood. Being single is hard. You are deemed a failure in your friends circle if you are not able to find a partner to “hang out” with while everyone around you is hopping from one relationship to another with relative ease. Society tends to display a subtle contempt for such individuals. Therefore,taking matters into their own hands, the quest for a “suitable” partner begins.

Here, Tinder comes into the picture. For the uninitiated, Tinder is a dating app. In digital age, when internet has almost taken over our lives, it’s imperative that every major, life-altering decision would be influenced by its presence. Almost all our needs are taken care of by our sleek and stylish 5.5’ smartphones. So if everything is available online, why not friendship? Why not love?

With these modern-age dating apps, the millennials seem to have stumbled upon a platform where it’s easier to meet new people and check out compatibility in terms of dating. If someone creates an account on Tinder, it’s a given that he/she is looking for a partner to date. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Being single allows one the freedom to choose. Restless and unbound, the lonely hearts are ready to dive deep into the heady world of online dating and explore limitless possibilities in terms of friendship and love.

Okay, love seems a little far-stretched. Love and friendship aren’t regular commodities that one could conveniently download and install into their lives without having to work for it. Love requires effort. A hell lot of effort. And emotional investment. So let’s leave that aside. Instead, let’s talk about something far more easily accessible, something fun, something that promises high returns on minimal investment. A casual fling maybe? Young people, nowadays, have neither patience nor inclination to indulge in matters of the heart. Some fear the outcome – what if I end up heartbroken? Some are cynical or prefer being emotionally detached. Others do not have enough time to indulge in a full-fledged relationship. Hence, Mission “Evade love” is successfully accomplished. However, companionship is a basic human need. Under such circumstances, casual dating is the solution. No worries. No expectations. No disappointments. Plus “temporary” companionship. In the age of fast-food and T20s, it’s no wonder that a sizable portion of the young population, possessing small attention span and minimal level of patience, are captivated by the idea of casual hookups.

Love in the time of tinder

But how does one determine the level of casualness in casual dating. What exact percentage of casualness and seriousness creates a perfect potion of an ideal “no strings attached” relationship? Is there a formula? These kind of relationships are as tricky as they are fun. On one hand, it’s too casual to demand unwavering attention. Its too casual to get inquisitive about your partner’s past. Its too casual to introduce your partner to your family and friends. On the other hand, its too serious to forego the opportunity of spending a beautiful evening by the riverside, holding your partner’s hand with tender affection. It’s too serious to resist the temptation of buying a gift for your loving partner. It’s too serious to spend a day without hearing the voice of that special person that you claim to “casually date”.

So, like all other aspects of life, the millennials are as confused about the notion of love. Love seems burdensome. Casual dating is blissful. Love demands time and patience. Casual dating demands a fuss-free attitude and clarity of thought. Why clarity, one may ask. Casual dating is a precarious road, one that can be successfully navigated, if and only if, one is clear in his head about the level of commitment that the relationship merits. After all, the possibility of casual love turning into something profound cannot be dismissed altogether. Who knows, love may greet you as you settle down comfortably in the arms of your ‘casual lover’. Love may keep knocking on the very door that you thought would keep love at bay. Your ‘casual love’ may turn out to be the love of your life!!

You see, unlike my peers, I’m not yet disillusioned by the idea of love. A hopeless romantic can hardly be blamed for nurturing such ludicrous ideas in her mind. Is it foolishness to look for “true love” on Tinder? Maybe its unfair to place burden of unrealistic expectations on a dating app where people mainly come for casual flings and harmless fun. How weird it is to hope that amidst a sea of casual lovers, one might actually end up finding a person who values love and commitment as much as you do. Well, such is the dilemma for perpetual dreamers. We pretend to be all cool and casual. Yet, in our heart of hearts, we know what they truly want.

So the burning question is – when Tinder offers us umpteen number of options, is it possible to overlook those options and choose, with clarity and conviction, that one person with whom, you would like to ride off into the sunset? These dating apps might bring to our notice, numerous tempting profiles. But can a frivolous relationship on Tinder transform our lives? But then one has to ask oneself. Am I looking for a genuine, life-altering relationship on Tinder? If so, am I not searching in the wrong place?

A friend once shared with me a life-wisdom that I keep in mind while looking for my “suitable boy”. Sometimes you choose love. Sometimes love chooses you. No medium is “wrong” when it comes to seeking love. Tinder, or for that matter, any other popular dating app is simply a medium for single people to connect. Whether that connection truly materializes into a meaningful association is something that only time can tell. It’s unfair to be dismissive of Tinder owing to the stigma attached to casual dating. There’s no harm in opening up to new experiences without losing sight of what you truly want. Talking to random strangers may not lead to finding your Mr.Right but it can give you the clarity to know what you don’t want your partner to be like. And trust me, that clarity, in the long run, makes all the difference.

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