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Swipe right on life

  • Published at 03:13 pm February 6th, 2020
At_February 2020_Dating app
Photo: Patrick Tomasso

Dating apps you should know about

In a city of 20 million, there are always new faces you come by every day. At work, at school, while walking past the isles at the grocery store or someone on a rickshaw coming from the opposite direction, you name it. How you wish you could just approach the person without coming off as a creep. Dhaka life provides very limited interaction between them, given most people are usually very conservative -- especially while speaking to the opposite sex. That’s the norm; that’s what has been inbuilt from a very young age.

It’s the age for millennials and, like all obstacles in life, they have found a way around it, and that has caused a rise in the popularity of dating apps. Tinder leading the way, there are others, most notably -- OK Cupid and Bumble. There has always been a lack of space in the city for people to socialize. Apart from family gatherings, one mostly has to rely on social media to get to know new people. Adding strangers on Facebook, not exactly knowing who is on the other side of the screen, has its own security concerns. On top of that, age and occupation have a big role to play in the dating scene. No one has the luxury of free time any more, it seems, to go hangout at a coffee shop or even spend some time on pursuing one’s passion.

Tinder has been around in Bangladesh for quite some time now and with that,the number of users has risen significantly. There are multiple factors to take into consideration -- such as ‘catfishers’ who could easily escape an untrained eye. Dating apps contain countless fake profiles with pictures of anime characters and many others with strange bios, which are worth taking screenshots of, to be shared in your WhatsApp group to make fun of.

"There has always been a lack of space in the city for people to socialize"

There is also a social stigma surrounding dating apps; people find it awkward to share that they have met their significant other on an app, and, somehow, that is considered to be inferior and seems to totally invalidate the relationship. A number of people still consider going online to meet someone to be a desperate move. However, that’s not the case for many. It’s just a convenient means to approach a stranger without risking making things awkward, as it might happen in real life. In Bangladesh’s context, many could take approaching a stranger in a very negative sense and blow it way out of proportion. Dhaka being so small, there’s always a concern about the fact that the word might get out, which might end up affecting the impression people have of them. But in all honesty, most people really don’t care about it anymore.

Talking to university students, among whom dating apps are the most popular, it’s obvious they care little about where they meet their significant other, be it in a social gathering or even on an app. One such student, Sabrina, 24, from a renowned private university, says she’s getting engaged to someone she met on Tinder a year ago; this shows how far the app has come. “Apps like Tinder help cut right to the chase, saving time and unnecessary effort for either party,” she said. 

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