The pandemic changed the way we perceived relationships. The isolation brought about by the lockdown left us craving for companionship. On Tinder, for instance, the number of messages sent globally peaked on 5 April, with an increase of 52% from the pre-covid period. QuackQuack, a home-grown dating app with over 10 million users in India, has witnessed a 30% in its female user base, with Delhi and the National Capital Region being the most active. A lot of women turned to online dating platforms to find likeminded people. Instead of opting for a flurry of dates, they chose to go the slow dating route, engaging in long conversations in an attempt to first understand the person behind the virtual profile.
One such person who turned to online dating for the first time this year was 24-year-old Sakshi Sehgal, a digital marketing professional from Gurgaon. Even though she works in the technology sector, it took her some time to turn to the virtual world to seek companionship. She tried a couple of dating sites, on the suggestion of friends. “I came across a lot of people with fake profiles. I found out some fake profiles of my friends as well and that put me off. Then I decided to do a little more research and take feedback. That led me to other apps like QuackQuack,” she says.
At the moment, Sehgal is taking baby steps into the virtual dating realm, seeking friendship, and nothing more. She calls herself an introvert, who doesn’t “gel” with people instantly. “Even virtually, I like to spend time exchanging messages to establish the authenticity of the person. Finding a genuine person is the most important thing for me. After that is established, we can chat on the phone. Meeting in person can happen at a much later stage,” she explains. So far, has found some “decent” and authentic profiles, but hasn’t reached the “meeting stage” yet. She hopes 2021 will change all that.