Deepika Singh writes: When I swiped right, and other stories – The Indian Express

WHO FINDS love swiping left and right?”; “Isn’t love an emotion that has to come to you organically?”; “But don’t you, like, get murdered on Tinder?”
With these questions weighing heavily on my mind, I took my first, reluctant steps towards the world of online dating three years ago.
I was not hoping for much. As a plus-sized woman with features that don’t fit in the conventionally attractive mould, I was used to being passed over for romantic alliances. And on a platform where the first impression is formed based on something as frivolous as a profile picture, what chance did I have? To my surprise, I found at least five matches within the first few minutes on Bumble. And that was the beginning of what would be a watershed moment in my personal history.
My first date was with A, within 18 hours of us getting to know of each other’s existence. He was cuter than his pictures, an amazing listener, and a cuddler par excellence. It was the best first date I have ever had. We met for another one three days later. He said he wanted me to read him poetry, I said I was more of a novel person. We settled on a short story. He rested his head on my lap as I read aloud. It was as romantic as it gets and completely surreal.
My second date was with D; I connected with him through Hinge. “I find you very attractive,” he said. Now these were words I had never heard being spoken for me before. Ever. I made him say, “Deepika, you are attractive” at least a dozen times and he obliged. He was nerdy, endearingly awkward but attentive to a fault, and single-mindedly focused on not doing anything that made me uncomfortable.
And then I met S. Gifted with dry humour, he cracked me up with every sentence. He was six years younger but with an IQ higher than all the guys I had dated before, combined.
Three years, countless matches and more than my fair share of dates later, if you ask what I feel about my online dating experience, I would say grateful. The men I met through the apps certainly turned out to be better people than those I had met ‘organically’. I stopped being apologetic about my weight and realised I was attractive in my own unique way.
Now, the pitfalls: How can I meet a stranger just like that? What if he is only a serial killer on the prowl? Well, I did take my precautions. I mean sending pictures and contact details of the guy I am meeting to my friend is not the kind of stuff that one envisions for a first date, right? But we do what we got to do.
And, how do I know that he is “the one” by scrolling through a few pictures and a couple of sentences that pass off for bio? What if he is good looking but not photogenic? What if his bio sucks but he could have bowled me over in person? What, dear lord, if there is no bio?
So, in the end, can I say I am a dating app convert? Ah, I wouldn’t commit. My idea of meeting “the one” still remains old-fashioned — I would give anything to bump into him in an old, dusty bookstore. And then him asking me out for coffee, maybe?
But sadly, and shamefully, I am not going to bookshops anymore. In the same vein, I don’t remember the last time a coffee shop took my breath away.
With work friends being the only people I interact with through the week, and girlfriends and platonic guy friends occupying my days off, these dating apps, “inorganic” as they sound, are virtually (pun intended) my only shot at finding “the one”. I just hope that he is photogenic, has a sassy bio, and right swipes me back. And that he is, well, not a serial killer on the prowl.
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Deepika Singh[email protected] read more


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