Are Matrimonial Apps Converting Into Dating Apps in India? From One-Night Stands to Scams; Are Matchmaking Apps No Good to Find Your Life Partner? – OKEEDA


The cupid no longer strikes the heart but your inbox. Welcome to the world of modern dating, where chances of you improving your dating vocabulary are higher than finding a soulmate. The options are too many: potential partners to apps, and so are generous tips from friends and social media algorithms. Are they not texting back? Don’t react! Have you built a crush on them in only a few days? Swipe more! And as you swipe, detach, meditate and disappear, you turn into matrimonial applications in the hope of finding a meaningful connection. However, the landscape in these apps saw a significant shift, resembling more and more the relationship dynamics in dating apps.

To distinguish between the two, matrimonial sites/apps are meant to find a suitable match for marriage, whereas dating apps are for finding a partner to date, which may eventually turn into a marriage, depending on how compatible a couple feels for one another. In addition, the profile details on a matrimonial app are more specific, including religion, caste, height and family background. Both parents and their children can handle the accounts on the matrimonial app while determining a potential match. However, they are both designed in a similar manner. “You ‘swipe right to match’ on dating apps, and the same applies to matrimonial apps, or you click a button to ‘show interest.’ The next stage is ‘messaging’ for both, and the stages keep getting identical as you move along on both these apps,” anonymous, 28-year-old man.

Though meant for serious and casual relations, the lines between matrimonial and dating apps are blurring.

Similar dating dynamics

“After I got out of a long-term relationship, my friends kept on pushing me to try dating apps. Now, I was well-versed with the dating app paradox, yet I agreed to try it in the hope of finding a partner. After a few months of using it, mindless swipes and a lack of quality conversations or none at all, I deleted the app and started to see romance as a delusion. Until the parental pressure became serious, and I turned to the next big thing in Indian marriage setups after Seema Aunty, a matrimonial site, hoping for some merit there. The questions and conversations directly lead towards the larger picture, but not in all cases, except for the bios. With no meaningful conversations, little to zero efforts in knowing the other person and finally, ghosting, it was pretty much the same as dating apps,” anonymous, 31-year-old woman.

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Once reserved for the pursuit of life-long courtship, users in these apps now find themselves in the dismal of fleeting connections. With parents being involved in the process as an arranged marriage agreement, matrimonial apps have become a permissible avenue for arranging dates, blurring the lines between traditional companionship and modern dating culture.

Delusive intentions

“I matched with someone on a matrimony app. Things were going well for a few weeks until, suddenly, he disappeared. I tried to reach him but realised he blocked me from contacts and all social media accounts. It took me a while to come out of it, but I guess this is the ‘new normal’ (laughs),” anonymous, 33-year-old woman, who has been using the matrimony app since 2022, in the hope of searching for a life partner.

“Dating sites are still seen as something where you hop on if you are looking for something casual or a simple date. There have been several instances where I have come across accounts with ‘looking for short-term relationships’ or ‘looking for friends’ taglines on their pages. This is not to say that matrimonial sites are clear of such people. While one tends to find more serious people on that platform, there are many who like to start by ‘keeping it casual and will see where it goes from here’ intention,” anonymous, 37-year-old man.


While we are rolling in and out in the underlying loom of ghosting culture, another serious issue is the anonymity of users and online fraudsters. The inability to gauge the true nature of people hiding behind aliases and doctored photos has caused prospective matches and their families to incur substantial financial losses and undergo trauma.

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Recently, various instances of men being victims of dating app scams were reported. In a phenomenon called ‘Food Digger scam,’ men who matched a date online were scammed by women who would take them to a restaurant of their choice and make them pay hefty bills.

A Delhi-based journalist, Archit Gupta, paid 15,000 on a date before realising he was scammed. He took to X and alleged that the restaurant was working with the woman to attract customers who were made to pay high bills, which reportedly exceeded the actual value of the items they ordered.

Here’s the viral post:

In February 2024, a salesman at a cloth shop in Bengaluru was arrested by the railway police for duping over 250 women on matrimonial sites and social media. A month later, another woman reportedly lost Rs 41 lakh to a man who had befriended her on a matrimonial site.

The dating and matrimonial apps’ showcase the evolving digital dynamics of relationships. While these apps continue to market themselves as tools for seeking true love, they are also designed to keep users involved with the app and paying for upgrades. Fake profiles are orchestrated to boost visibility and revenue. Transitioning from the ambiguous stage of semi-commitment to the more serious of seeing one another is still no guarantee against a shocking breakup. You could be duped anytime, traded for an upgrade or simply returned because your partner is no longer fully satisfied. Perhaps most vexing about this system is that it is the person who is least invested, has the most power.

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So, whether using a dating app or matrimony, the rules of modern dating are intact. Don’t get impressed by breadcrumbs of attention; detach to attract, and never get attached. The goal is to play along, yet don’t lose anything—especially not yourself.

(The above story first appeared on OKEEDA on Jun 10, 2024 11:28 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website



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