‘Consciously single’ dating trend shows how more women are comfortable being single
Wedding celebrations and extravaganza around wedding functions and events are back in full swing this year. As much fun as they can be, weddings can also bring stress and anxiety due to familial and societal pressures to pair up, especially for single women in India. Per Bumble’s new study, almost 2 in 5 (39%) daters in India who were surveyed claim that their families pressure them into traditional matchmaking during the wedding season. 39% of respondents feel pressured as they are asked when they plan to get married. Almost a third (33%) of single Indians surveyed also claim to be pressured to get into a serious, committed relationship during the wedding season in India.
Besides the heavy focus on togetherness during this time, single-shaming leaves people feeling like they are being judged for not having a partner, usually as a result of unsolicited questions and opinions about their dating life. In India, single shaming is rooted in pop culture and societal expectations, and describes the idea that being single is just a temporary state that needs to be fixed quickly.
During this wedding season, the app shares that the dating trend “Consciously Single” is gaining popularity in India as single people, especially women, are consciously making a decision to be single and not compromise on their choices, being more intentional about who and how they want to date. As per the recent study, 81% of women surveyed in India claim they are more comfortable being single and on their own. 63% of respondents are unwilling to compromise on their choices, desires and needs when dating someone. In fact, 83% of women surveyed claim they are happy to wait till they meet someone they want to be with.
“The shaadi season in India often brings experiences of single-shaming with questions and judgement about our dating lives. Often, the identity of a single woman is synonymous with being unmarried. This single-shaming also means that single women are anxious about attending wedding functions or family events in anticipation of people telling them that they are not trying hard enough, or trying to set them up in the traditional way. Attending a loved one’s wedding instead of celebrating them often becomes a source of anxiety, when it shouldn’t be,” shares Samarpita Samaddar, India Communications Director, Bumble.
“Consciously Single trend shows more women are being intentional in how and who they want to date. On the app, women are in control, choosing who and how they want to date, and what is important to them. We want to encourage women to date on their own timelines, making the best first moves as and when they want,” adds Samaddar.
Tips on how to navigate the wedding season:
When your parents ask, ‘When will you get married?’
“I’m focusing on myself right now and many things that are important to me.” This could be a smooth and respectful answer to this well-known question. After all, we spend most of our time with ourselves. Therefore, focusing on yourself, treating yourself and paying close attention to your own needs and desires is a very important skill to master.
When that aunty suggests, “My nephew would be a great match for you!"
Who hasn’t been there? Other people regularly think you would be a wonderful match for someone just because they are also single. Personality, interests, life goals or other needs don’t seem to matter in front of societal expectations to get married within a set timeline. Stay cool and you can say: “I know you mean well, but I prefer taking control of my dating life when I feel like it. I will date on my own terms and that’s better I think”
If mom asks, ‘Don’t you want children? You’ll be all alone after us.’
Respond in a kind but determined way, “Thank you for your concern. I’m moving at my own pace," would be a competent answer in this situation. Your mom’s concern is understandable; however, you should not let this stress you out.
When that relative or your neighbour wants to know, “Where is your better half?”
The term “better half" implies that one is not complete and less significant without this particular other person. Instead, we should see ourselves as whole and worthy without a partner. Our happiness grows through self-awareness and maturity. You could answer something like: “Which half? I’m here, quite completely - and that feels really great!”