40% of single Indians will opt for virtual dating in 2021

Education, career choices, compatibility top preferences for dating in 2021

Long drives, meeting at a local cafe and dinner dates top choices for IRL first dates

Mumbai: Bumble, the women-first social networking app, reveals how single Indians are
planning on dating in 2021 now that India has unlocked and lifted restrictions across states.

● Virtual dating is the new norm in India: Bumble’s recent nationwide survey found that after connecting with people virtually, 83% of single Indians are comfortable to meet up with their connections inperson. The study also reveals that 40% of single Indians will opt for virtual dating in 2021.

● Indians now going on pre-dates more than ever: Single Indians now go on ‘pre-dates’ where they explore virtual dating for the first time and use video dates to get to know one another before meeting in-person. Bumble’s internal research found out that 78% of single Indians feel the need to build trust before meeting in-person, which has given rise to ‘slow dating’ that means people are taking more time to get to know each other better.

● Ideal first IRL dates in 2021: For those who are meeting in person, the pandemic has changed the way they approach dating with a majority (47%) preferring more low-key first IRL dates as staying indoors (at their home, their partner’s or a friend’s place) is the top choice for first in-person dates. Once comfortable to step out, going on a long drive remains a favourite among single Indians (43%) along with meeting at a local cafe/tea shop. Dinner dates at a restaurant (41%) is the next favourite for a great first IRL date choice.

● Dating choices and preferences: When it comes to making a connection online, education and career choices top the list of preferences that matter most to single Indians, followed by dating intentions. However, the top most deciding factor when meeting someone in-person is compatibility (23%).

● Making boundaries and comfort levels clear: To help navigate new rules of dating in 2021, Bumble’s new badges give the Bumble community the opportunity to communicate what kind of dates people are looking for: virtual, socially-distanced, or socially-distanced with masks. This helps with the potentially awkward conversation by allowing the community to search for people who are dating in the same way as them. Globally, more than 1 million people have used Bumble’s new feature on their profile. People who share what kind of dates they are comfortable with through Bumble’s new dating badges see a 43% increase in the average number of monthly matches than those who don’t.

Samarpita Samaddar, Bumble India PR Director, said: “Single Indians are now feeling a strong desire to build trust online before meeting in real life with virtual dating becoming the new norm in India. In fact, over 540 million messages have been sent on Bumble in India between January and November, 2020. We saw a 38% rise in the use of Video Chats and Voice Calls with people in India spending roughly 20 mins on average on video and voice calls.

As India continues to unlock, we’re seeing an emerging trend of people getting excited about the prospect of dating in real life again in 2021. At the same time, there’s still nervousness about what the future holds. We will continue to support our Bumble community in India to write their own stories and take charge of their dating journeys.”