10 South Asian People On Why Digital Dating Is So Frustrating

A and N photography
A and N photography

“Why aren’t you married yet?”  

“Are you even dating?”

“When I was your age, I was a mother of two.”

“Have you tried online dating?”  

These are common phrases that most South Asian singles frequently hear. The average norm of a South Asian individual being married between the ages of 21-25 has shifted to 26-30+ in the Western culture. Life for most South Asians has transformed from arranged marriages to love marriages, matrimonial advertisements and bio-data’s to online dating, no PDA to a hook-up culture. What happened?    

We have so many choices now. These choices are killing us. There are dating apps now that are geared towards only the South Asian population trying to make dating easier. You can pick a person based off their religion, community, education, etc. The motive behind dating apps is great, but it makes it harder to figure out what a person’s true intention is.  When there is a surplus of men and women on dating apps, it leads to short-term dating unfortunately. Each person has a form of mild to severe mindless addiction to continuously swipe left or right waiting for a match. It feels like there is no dating and no relationships. Sometimes, a person can end up “talking,” texting, or sexting 3-4 people at the same time who they meet off these apps. Other times, a person may actually date someone, which leads not only to a sexual relationship but to the confusion of “What are we? Are we exclusive? Is he or she seeing other people?” Digital dating has caused mental exhaustion amongst many individuals due to poor communication skills. Here’s what 10 South Asian singles had to say about it.

1. “I have been on an online dating app called Dil Mile for South Asians. It’s a great app, but it’s a struggle knowing if the person is genuinely only talking to you or multiple people. This one dude unknowingly was talking to my cousin and I at the same time and had taken both of us on dates trying to figure out who he wanted to date long term. Nonetheless, we both found out we were talking to the same guy, so it didn’t progress any further with the guy. It’s so easy for a person now to talk or date a close friend or family member at the same time as you, if you all are on the same app.”

–Meghna, 27

2. “The biggest struggle I face with online dating apps is just people in general these days and how guys don’t know how to speak genuinely to a woman. In fact I just got off of the phone with a dude who I was talking to off one of the apps. He called me from Facebook messenger and started to assume all this stuff about Jersey girls being too straight forward, rude, and even went as far as saying ‘you guys can be assholes, not you but generally speaking.’ He’s from the south but still, that’s not a good first conversation and why are you wasting my time if you already know what we’re like?”

–Alisha, 29

3. “A lot of people will swipe and say they are interested, but then never contact me. Even if I am the one to initiate the conversation they don’t respond back. What is the point of saying you’re interested. They are wasting their own time and mine as well. A lot of guys are also on these apps to just find someone to hook up with/to have a one night stand with even though they stated that they want a relationship.”

–Disha, 29

4. “One of my biggest struggles with using online dating apps is the lack of information they provide on mutual friends you share with the person. I feel like this is a bigger problem with South Asians, considering we come from larger families – so large that you may even be unfamiliar with some of your relatives. I have embarrassingly been matched up with a distant cousin of mine. I of course panicked and deleted the app and all evidence that it ever happened but I’m sure it’s floating around in cyber space somewhere.”

–Shreya, 26

5. “One of the biggest struggles I’ve found with online dating apps is finding chemistry and intention.  It’s also that being able to find someone who connects with you is tough and it’s hard for the current apps to really do that and most don’t bother. Also finding people who are as serious as you are about dating is tough too.”

–Nikhil, 28

6. “Biggest struggle with online dating apps has to be how casual it is. I feel like there are just too many options and it’s so easy to just ignore someone – I’m guilty of this myself! It’s terrible! I like Hinge because you match through mutual friends so you at least have a base to start on. Basically it takes away from meeting someone organically!”

–Neeta, 28

7. “I’ve been utilizing online dating applications since I graduated in 2012 and I’ve found that one of the biggest struggles has been moving the conversation from online to offline. I guess this also depends on the individual person and how proactive they are but I’ve come across countless situations where a conversation is intriguing or enticing and seems promising and poof it’s gone or there’s just no follow-up.”

–Priya, 28

8. “I feel like when it comes to online dating, all the applications are so target focused on the physical appearance of someone. Don’t get me wrong that’s obviously very important but let’s be real you might think you look super fly in your primary picture but really it’s not the best one and let’s be honest how often are you actually asking your friends if this is a good picture of you? I know I’m not. So when you’re bored and all you have to do is swipe if that primary picture is well not so cute you’ve already dismissed a person or you’ve been dismissed because of one picture that doesn’t show case anything about you.”

–Gautam, 29

9. “I also frequently find people to have different personalities online vs. in person. People seem to be so confident and have so much to say from behind an electronic device and then when you actually come face to face it turns awkward and that confidence is just not there.”

–Shalin, 30

10. “It’s hard to decipher people’s intentions. It’s not often that people explicitly state they are just looking for a hookup or a casual relationship. So if you are looking for a meaningful long term relationship and you find out after 3 dates that this joe shmo just wants to get into your pants, it’s easy to get frustrated and swear off dating sites for a few weeks. And then getting back on them always turns into a struggle.”

–Pooja, 28

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