Why Do You Need a Dating App (or Don’t)

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Pexels Cottonbro

In today's world, where technology is everything and is everywhere, finding love and companionship has evolved beyond traditional means. Traditional means? Yes, traditional means.

To understand this better, let’s chart dating evolution through every millennial’s (including my own) personal experience.

TLDR

You don’t. An app or a platform is just a medium to find personalized suggestions, by offering more options and customizable preferences. While finding someone to date can be made easier using a dating app, making a relationship last requires mutual trust, responsibility, and decisiveness.

The Evolution of Dating

Traditional dating

Imagine being 14 years old and going to a family function, meeting friends of your parents and their children. 

You don’t know how to talk to them so you shy away from saying anything. You stand in a corner and stare at them until you get caught by someone for looking at someone like a creep. 

You overhear that they would like to eat some ice cream and run to the free ice cream counter to get it to them before they have to so that you can give it to them with your hands. 

Or imagine being a college student in the 90’s, and borrowing study notes from a first bencher girl of your class. And pretending to be dumb so you could go to her time and again to ask for notes. 

We’ve all done that because, before the world of online dating and social media at large, our pool of prospects could be counted on our fingers. This is true for me and every 90’s kid born ever.

The journey from traditional courtship to the digital dating era is a significant shift in how people connect. Before, when meeting potential partners was confined to social gatherings, chance, or arranged encounters, the digital age has given rise to a new era where love is just a swipe away. Literally.

But then if it is all so romantic, why do you need a dating app? 

Well, quite frankly you don’t. Yes, if you’re in a place where you’d happily access the charm of chance encounters over planned intimacy, you don’t need a dating app. But that’s simply not true for a lot of us in today’s world. 

People simply don’t have the choice of slow-paced chance encounters leading to romantic intimacy in today’s world. 

And for those who do, they may still give in to the desire of a larger and more diverse pool of potential partners.

An AI generated image of a street with cars going and people are siting outside cafes talking with each other while also looking at phones

Recommended: The A-Z guide to dating for Indians

The Rise of Dating Apps

If you’re a person in your 20s living in a metro city such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, or Chennai and you don’t know about dating apps, you’re probably living under a rock and hence might be an invaluable gem.

Jokes apart, that’s hardly anyone who doesn’t know about the world of online dating. Before dating apps became popular, online matrimony became popular.

With the popularity of Shaadi.com in 2002-03, parents have since resorted to online matchmaking in one way or another. And if marriage can be sought online, why can’t dating?

So, from busy professionals to those seeking a more diverse pool of potential partners, from people seeking something different or seeking away from the taboos of society, dating apps are a go-to place for new-age romance and intimacy, offering plenty of reasons to embrace online matchmaking.

Dating apps simply offer a more convenient and efficient way to meet like-minded individuals, tailored to personal preferences and desires surpassing the limitations of space, societal norms, or chance.

Benefits of Using Dating Apps

Convenience and Accessibility

The allure of dating apps lies in their convenience and ease of access. Busy schedules and the demands of daily life can leave little room for traditional dating.

Online means the flexibility to search for a partner anytime, anywhere, and on your terms.

A Wider Pool of Potential Matches

Why limit yourself to your immediate social circle or location?

Dating apps allow you to connect with people from different walks of life, cultures, and belief systems, increasing the chances (mostly) of finding your perfect match.

Customizable Preferences for Better Matches

Another reason to use a dating app is the ability to filter potential matches according to personal preferences.

Whether it's interests, age, lifestyle, or beliefs, apps empower you to tailor your search for a supposedly better partner.

Modern Solutions to Modern Problems

Breaking the Ice Made Easier

One’s awkwardness was once a marker of one’s authenticity.

Because subconsciously, if you were awkward, this means you were less prepared and more authentic to your true confused self.

But today, with everyone having a social persona online, you have to play pretend (at least subconsciously) at all times.

And when you are perceived a certain way, initiating a conversation can be daunting in person, because you cannot afford to be awkward.

Dating apps provide a buffer, allowing you to break the ice through text, emojis, or even voice messages, making the first move less intimidating and more “perfect”.

Isolation in a post-socialist world

In a globalized capitalist world, love knows no boundaries.

At the same time, humans are more isolated than ever. Everyone is looking out for themselves, and the social circle entanglements are fewer.

And since dating apps make it possible to connect with potential partners across the globe, they are preferred where before your neighbors would be your potential partner prospects.

Building Meaningful Connections in a Digital Age

This is not to say that digital interactions are superficial.

As it is said, “Nature finds its way”. Humans also found that dating apps can be a great facilitator of intimate conversations and help lay a solid foundation for a lasting relationship.

In the end, it must be acknowledged that dating apps are just a medium.

Finding someone special is one thing, but to keep love is a matter of a series of decisions that a person makes to make a relationship last.

Countless success stories attest to the effectiveness of dating apps in finding long-term meaningful connections. These platforms have become a testament to the power of technology in bringing people together.

Challenges and Criticisms of Dating Apps

Despite the obvious benefits, the very medium that can help facilitate a great interaction can challenge how you think about dating.

From overwhelming options to encountering inauthentic profiles, or being exposed to fraudulent acts, the world of online dating can sometimes become a nightmare.

Recognizing and navigating these challenges is key to a positive online dating experience.

Safety and Privacy Concerns

Being on such apps also demands caution.

While some dating apps prioritize user safety through features like verification processes, reporting mechanisms, and privacy controls, most apps don’t care much beyond having enough users come for free so they can contribute to illegitimate data use, generating ad revenue, and paying for profile-boosting tactics.

According to me, such apps are nothing more than a cheap money-making exercise and it’s important that every user feels in control of their data and privacy to ensure a safe and reliable experience.

While users flock towards popular apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hingle, Okcupid, and similar, it may be noted that in their free tiers, these apps repeatedly happen to allow fraudulent activities, encouraging deceptive profiles and also causing concerns for user’s data and privacy.

Addressing the Criticisms

Critics argue that dating apps may promote superficial judgments or short-term connections.

However, many apps are evolving to promote more meaningful interactions and relationships, addressing these criticisms head-on.

On the other hand, certain apps like Dahlia, as a means to tackle fraud, scams, and deception aim to onboard only profiles verified with KYC (Know Your Customer) to ensure a safe and secure platform to find like-minded people.

The Future of Dating Apps

Imagine this is the year 2030 (which is not far mind you) and you’re in Bangalore.

AI matched you with someone highly compatible about a thousand miles away in Mumbai.

You both play games using which you not only know better about each other but also find that both your personality styles are complimentary. AI tells you that the way you both communicate, attach and even fight is complimentary.

You’re able to playfully address your deepest desires and insecurities.

In simple words, you both see that it’s a match made in heaven. You both like where it’s going and express your desire to meet over a weekend getaway and in that moment the AI has your flight tickets and Airbnb booked for a perfect getaway. Your weekend itinerary is planned according to your schedule.

A lovely restaurant will reserve a table and serve both your favorite meals without you having to tell them.

When you get to your Airbnb, the music system plays your favorite music and the TV screen shows your favorite film.

And if you’re not ready to meet yet, from AI-powered matches to virtual reality dates, the evolution of dating apps is set to redefine the boundaries of digital romance in the coming future. This is what you could truly call the hyper-personalized matchmaking experience. This is what a matchmaking platform Dahlia is trying to do.

In a digitally created park under a starlit sky, two individuals are on a virtual reality date. They are wearing sleek, modern VR headsets and haptic

Choosing the Right Dating App for You

Whether you're looking for a serious relationship, casual dating, or something in between, there's an app out there for you.

For example, if you’re looking at a vast pool of casual daters, you may want to head to Tinder. If you’re from the LGBT community, Grindr may be the app for you.

If you’re looking to get married, you might want to look at Shaadi.com.

If you’re looking to build a secure long-term relationship and then meet your match through an organized date, you might want to try Dahlia.

Parting Note


Online dating should be safe and enjoyable. Protect your privacy, meet in public places for initial dates, and trust your instincts. Effective communication, honesty, and keeping an open mind are key to a positive online dating experience.

Next recommended Read: How to choose which dating app is best for an Indian?

Anurag is a filmmaker turned farmer turned entrepreneur. Originally from Faridabad, Haryana, he loves to read and write on the subjects of relationships, free will, faith, and similar 'delusions' that collectively make us human.
Having written and directed several films before, and then working with farmers in revolutionizing their supply chain, Anurag has now landed on his latest venture called Dahlia, a new-age matchmaking app that uses games to foster purposeful intimacy. His deep knowledge of human relationships coupled with scientific research has helped hundreds of individuals navigate the landscape of modern romance with authenticity and confidence.

Anurag is a filmmaker turned farmer turned entrepreneur. Originally from Faridabad, Haryana, he loves to read and write on the subjects of relationships, free will, faith, and similar 'delusions' that collectively make us human.
Having written and directed several films before, and then working with farmers in revolutionizing their supply chain, Anurag has now landed on his latest venture called Dahlia, a new-age matchmaking app that uses games to foster purposeful intimacy. His deep knowledge of human relationships coupled with scientific research has helped hundreds of individuals navigate the landscape of modern romance with authenticity and confidence.

Anurag Gulati Headshot

Anurag Gulati

Anurag Gulati Headshot

Anurag Gulati

Anurag Gulati Headshot
Anurag Gulati Headshot

Anurag Gulati

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