In the pre-pandemic days, people looked for novel experiences on online dating apps. The idea was to meet as many like minded people as possible, with some meetings translating into friendships, while others merely petering away into nothing. However, with the pandemic having brought in a consciousness about a slower and more mindful way of living, people are now looking for meaningful associations. And that has prompted the trend of high-intent dating. Aisle, an online dating app which launched in 2014, has been focusing on this particular segment. According to Able Joseph, founder of the app, there is a gap in India between matrimony players and casual dating. “There are Indians who are looking for commitment, who are not getting it from either of the players. Internally, we call them high intent users, who make their intentions super clear about wanting a relationship,” he says.
The emphasis is on curating experiences that could help people get into a committed relationship, from a Concierge feature that allows people to browse through a collection of handpicked profiles in one place. “On Aisle, you get 10 free likes, lesser than what you would have on a casual dating site. So, you tend to be careful on who you send it out to. You evaluate your choice if this is the person you want to have conversation with for a potential relationship,” explains Joseph.
He feels this Valentine’s Day is different from every other. With a lot of people having moved back from the metros to their hometowns in tier 2 and 3 cities, a lot of traffic might be generated from these spaces. At QuackQuack, India’s homegrown dating app, too this trend is being noticed. According to a company note, more women users are keen meeting their partners in tier 2 cities, besides metros. It further states that users located beyond the metros in cities like Indore, Nagpur, Jaipur and Ahmedabad are more enthusiastic towards celebrating Valentines Day. “A lot of new couples will be celebrating virtually due to the distance. And existing conversations will be a lot more deeper. Indians are getting a lot more accustomed to online dating, and online dating etiquette is improving,” says Joseph.