2020 has been a roller coaster ride. The pandemic swept across the globe, changed life as we knew it, forcing people to adapt to a whole different ‘new normal’. There’s no doubt that in these challenging times, dating can feel difficult. It can be disheartening at times, but when we hear stories like that of these three women, we’re reminded that there’s hope.
Urmi and Aakash
23 year-old Urmi would have never realized that her “ideal partner” is just a stone’s throw away, had she not downloaded Bumble during the lockdown. Sparks flew soon after they matched on the app, and started dating in May this year. Urmi first met Aakash, her partner “outside of screens” when he planned a surprise visit to meet her. Taking a socially-distanced walk with masks and ample amounts of sanitizer thrown in the mix, that first in-person date sealed the deal. Meeting someone in real life for the first time, someone you’ve only talked to online before can be intimidating. But not for Urmi. She shared, “It didn’t feel awkward at all to meet someone new for the first time, even though I could see only half his face. Instead of a lovely waft of his cologne, I got the scent of sanitiser.”
The pandemic was an unavoidable topic of discussion, but also not the only thing that the couple spoke about.
The couple marked the beginning of their relationship six months back with a kiss on a terrace. It proved to be a true “love in the time of Corona” when they rushed home to gargle immediately after for safety reasons!
Rupini and Vikas
From having biryani at midnight for their first date to Rupini proposing marriage to Vikas, their relationship continued to grow from being just friends to being each other’s everything. “I was looking for a relationship but Vikas was just seeing what was out there. When we met on Bumble, I was a hopeless romantic and he was a free bird living a happy life. He never believed in love or marriage, and mine were fairy tales which I almost gave up. I guess we are just meant for each other,” says Rupini.
The lockdown was “Pre-Marriage Trial Run” as they decided to give living together a try. Rupini made the first move and got down on one knee and proposed to Vikas. They got engaged in November and are planning their wedding next year. She says, “Let this be a motivation to all the girls who are scared to make the first move on Bumble- you just might find the one you’ve always been looking for!”
Rupam and Nitin
Another heartwarming story that testifies how love conquers above all is that of Rupam and Nitin. Raised in an Indian-American family, Rupam was raised with the archaic and conservative view that girls shouldn’t talk to boys, but should also get married before a certain age. When Rupam started looking for love again after going through a divorce and becoming a single mother, she realized that traditional matchmakers were limiting her options of finding a partner. To find a progressive and like-minded partner, Rupam decided to shed her inhibitions and join Bumble, which she calls the “best decision” she has ever made.
Ignoring aunties from Denver to Delhi, Rupam explored all the features on the dating app to find her husband, Nitin. The ‘Education’ and ‘Religion’ badges helped her narrow down the search to her liking as she searched for a meaningful, long-term relationship. The couple’s 24-hour date, that started with a brunch and hiking lasted all the way to dinner, was straight out of a romantic movie. On learning about Nitin, Rupam’s mother exclaimed, “divine happenings do happen on Bumble!” while her daughter’s reaction was of pure excitement too. The couple went from being a match made on Bumble to a match made in heaven, and got married amid the pandemic in a small, socially-distanced wedding this year.
These three stories are proof that slowly but steadily, single Indians have started opening up to possibilities of finding love in a more non-traditional way. Online dating is becoming more of a norm in India, especially with women making the first move on Bumble and taking charge of their dating journeys. As 2020 comes to an end, these women are just three of many who can definitely claim that love will always find a way, even as we navigate a new world of dating!