The pandemic has changed many things, including what people expect of relationships. Unlike in the pre-pandemic times, when casual dating was the norm, now people have started craving for more stability and transparency in relationships.

In its latest survey, Bumble, a women-first dating app, has found that with India slowly starting to open up post the second wave of the pandemic, daters have found a renewed sense of clarity and confidence in taking control of their dating lives as they meet new people.

People have been found to date more intentionally now than before the pandemic and, as mentioned earlier, are being more honest about what they’re looking for in a relationship.

The survey mentioned that one in two (46 per cent) single Indians are looking for a committed, serious relationship in 2021, post the second wave of the pandemic. Additionally, one in five people in big cities like New Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad are looking to get married.

More than one in three (33 per cent) feel hopeful about dating right now as lockdown restrictions lift across India, and 33 per cent of single Indians use video dates to really get to know each other better before meeting in real life.

Dating habits adopted during the pandemic are here to stay, with the dating app observing shifts in dating priorities and preferences, indicating that the behaviours developed will not disappear overnight. Many people will not want to let go of some of the new dating norms, with emotional connection (60 per cent) and kindness (55 per cent) ranking highest among values single Indians look for when it comes to choosing a partner. Social good in terms of volunteering, donating to social causes (48 per cent) also rank high in preferences for millennials in India.

One in five people in big cities like New Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad are looking to get married. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

Other priorities are:

– Choice of career/ambition – 45 per cent
– Compatibility of interests – 45 per cent
– Financial stability – 40 per cent
– Empathy – 32 per cent

The survey also found that with more and more Indians getting vaccinated each day, singles are once again starting to date in-person. The top five choices for ideal dates in 2021 include: long drives, dining at a restaurant, local cafe/tea shop in the neighbourhood, walks in the park or neighbourhood, going to the movies when theatres re-open.

In addition to this, there has also been a significant increase in positive behaviour observed in online dating. About 9 in 10 (85 per cent) of single Indians surveyed feel there has been a meaningful rise in positive dating behaviours, with 46 per cent claiming a rise in romantic gestures.

Chennai and Pune emerge as the most romantic with 46 per cent claiming to have noticed an increase in thoughtful gestures, followed by New Delhi (44 per cent), Bengaluru (44 per cent), Mumbai (42 per cent), and Kolkata (42 per cent).

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