This is what online dating looks like in 2024

It takes four dating apps and four dates to find out!

This is what online dating looks like in 2024

Let’s face it, swiping through dating apps has become the modern-day obsession for many! It’s like we’re part of a secret society of serial daters, constantly making solemn vows to break free, yet always sneaking back to the apps like it is our not-so-secret rendezvous spot! Recently, I found myself diving into a dating spree, all in the name of Cosmopolitan! With Hinge, Bumble, and Tinder by my side, I specified my preference for outdoor activity dates in Delhi. Despite that, many responses leaned towards “indoor” activities (IYKWIM). Settling on a date from Bumble, I finally ventured into my first experiential date.

Victim 1

After conversing for a few days and sharing details about all our favourites, the “Monday guy” surprised me by showing up in the middle of a jam-packed Connaught Place with peach roses in his hands. 

The thing about the “Monday guy” was that he’d only show up on the first day of the week (it’s when he would get an off from his clothing business). Dressed in a slightly blood-stained white shirt, he had an infectious smile that could light up any room he’d walk into. Playfully, I asked if he’d murdered someone on the way, to which he simply replied that he had come from the hospital after taking a cat to the clinic following an accident. After that slight tug on my heart, we drove around Connaught Place, and I even took to the wheel.

My first time driving in Delhi was both chaotic and oddly nostalgic, with a hint of romance in the air. Then, out of nowhere, he suggested visiting Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. Romance flew out the window, and I couldn’t help but wonder, “what on earth is going on in this guy’s mind?”

With absurd and amusing thoughts swirling in my head, I found myself saying yes. Minutes later, we were seated on the cool floor, enjoying free sweets and watching the area inside light up in a way that felt brighter than anywhere else in Delhi. “Bangla Sahib has always been my refuge from chaos, more than a religious destination,” he explained.

“When I lived in this part of Delhi, I used to come here every week, but now it is less frequent, which is why I wanted to come here today.” And in that moment, Bangla Sahib, as well as Mondays, became a sanctuary of peace for me too.

Victim 2

The “JNU guy” from Hinge, a towering figure with a lip piercing and a personality akin to a vibrant club, brought spontaneous energy into the date. After some lively texting, he proposed a sunset outing on his bike to the vibrant hills of Jawaharlal Nehru University. Our adventure resembled a ghost hunt, exploring a broken theatre and illuminated paths with fireflies guiding us to a three-walled area where he spun chilling tales of suicide. The hills lived up to their reputation, pulsating with students playing music, and our mischievous companion carrying alcohol and ice in his bag. We cheered as the moon and aeroplanes gilded above us, relishing the scenic view.

Despite minimal chemistry between us, an undeniable connection with the place emerged. Sprawled on the road under the glow of streetlights, gazing at twinkling stars, our bond transcended the fleeting encounter. A sudden club invitation turned the night into chaotic fun. Dancing away, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the energetic vibes of 'Uff Teri Adaa'. In the end, the “JNU guy”, with no promises, transformed an ordinary night into a memorable adventure, etching the hills and the entire experience in my memory (at least for the time being).

Victim 3

Navigating Tinder dates always involves inherent judgments—of both the app and the person. Sharing my location with my girlfriends becomes a crucial prelude, setting the stage for my date with “The Musician”. His profile had sparked genuine excitement. But as they say, “all that glitters is not gold.” His voice and accent were worlds apart, and his overuse of the word “ass-thetic” to describe everything, including me, became unbearable.

At Chaayos in CP, his gaze remained fixated on “my valley”. Time to call my friend for an escape! Crafting a fib about a grave injury, I made excuses and attempted to leave. Being a terrible liar, he saw through it, but surprisingly, seemed okay. I felt guilty but also explained how I didn’t want to prolong the inevitable by wasting anyone’s time. Later, on Instagram, he sent creepy song lyrics he’d written for me with words like love and obsession in it. Oh, the joys of dating apps and thank goodness for Tinder!

Victim 4

With a PhD in rizz, “Skater Boy” made his entrance. After endless roasting and agreeing to a platonic meet-up, we unexpectedly delved into a skateboarding banter on Bumble. To my surprise, “Skater Boy” arrived at the quaint Model Town park, armed with a speaker blasting Jack Harlow and Jaden Smith tunes. Instead of focusing on our interaction, he was more eager to teach me skateboarding, which weirdly intrigued me. However, things took a bizarre turn when “Skater Boy” dashed off like an overexcited child to join some dancers, leaving me feeling like a bewildered peahen witnessing a mating call. Unsure if it was a cue to leave or just laugh, I opted for an awkward smile and captured the moment on video.

Later, in the car, his non-stop energy and blasting music left me struggling to keep up. In the end, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the absurdity of it all, wondering if “Skater Boy” was auditioning for a music video rather than a date.

Victim 5

Hinge introduced me to a lawyer, who was more of a storyteller and had so much to share that he left little room for others to join the narrative. Arriving in a suit (a rarity for a date), although it was because he’d come from his internship, I allowed myself the delusion that it was all for our date! With a unique intellect, matching his tempo demanded a specific dance, and in the rhythm, I felt a longing effort.

As the final notes of our dance faded away, I had a lot to take away from him, realising that in the tapestry of his tales, I was just another story, and he, an intriguing character that I could never get a hold of. Amidst the whirlwind of experiential dates, I’ve concluded that perhaps online dating isn’t my cup of tea. Maybe, in the grand symphony of connections, dates with my girlfriends will forever reign supreme, or maybe, just maybe, there’s still hope in the “dil” of Dilli. 

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