“I want to do fraandship with you…” is something every woman has heard, being randomly accosted on the road, and yes, that has now translated online, to not just Facebook and other social networking sites, but also the professional LinkedIn. While I’m usually careful about avoiding “friendship requests” from people I don’t know on Facebook, I’m not that reticent on LinkedIn, since it’s a site where professionals pursue career goals. But, I’ve had to un-connect after receiving “friendship requests” in my mailbox marked to “My dear…”.
So, when a new matrimonial app decides to pitch itself as the perfect playing ground for dating with a purpose, using the professional networking site as its database, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it would weed out the Romeos. Promatch, playing cupid to ambitious careerists, claims to be a notch above the typical dating apps, which are used for “flirting” and “casual relationships”, among other things. Promatch, on the other hand, since it has LinkedIn verified profiles, effectively points you towards mates who are (hopefully!) “focused towards a serious relationship” and get this—you can search in same industry, match your incomes and city.
First off, hookups happen everywhere, whether it’s at work or elsewhere. It’s the same people, after all, whether you meet at a bar, through common friends or at work, with or without an app. Potential partners can’t grow a sincerity gene, just because you happen to be a ‘pro’ match. But, what’s commendable is the clear-headed approach it takes to matrimony, something Indians are famous for. While it’s fine to kiss all the frogs you like, make your “mistakes” before you find your Prince Charming or the woman of your dreams, when it comes to marriage, there’s a very decided checklist, which puts the earning capacity of a spouse right on top. And, conventionally, parents have looked for a doctor for their doctor son or daughter and other similar matches. And, while such an app may sound like fun, it’s not really, since it’s similar to the “bio-data” that gets sent around to relatives and all those who reach out, listing educational qualifications, even parents’ and relatives’ career progression, if someone is well-placed in a government job, etc. It’s all laid out, bare bones, without any pretensions. In this generation, where we act all this doesn’t matter and we’re one better than our parents, such an app calls out our innate…well, “Indian-ness”. Will the guy understand my hours? Can he support me if I take a break after a baby? Will the woman be able to equally pitch in for my dream home EMIs? Well, let’s face it, we’re like that only. Or a lot of us still are.
Matching incomes is not a bad thing, ideally. I remember, when a friend’s marriage was breaking up, one of the things was that rankled was their approach to money. While she was middle-class in her thinking, putting off the lights and fans whenever she left a room or haggled with auto-wallahs, the guy was beyond such cares. On a daily basis, such things can blow up into something huge. So yes, coming from a similar income bracket isn’t such a bad idea. Same industry? What about all the gossip that follows if you break up? And, what about all your dark secrets that can be laid bare through common contacts? In other words, just like when you apply for a job, it’s easy to do a background check! So, it’s time to hold back on the drinks at office parties…you don’t want that making it to your profile!
But, while a friend I checked with, said she didn’t mind giving it a try, some others question the concept of getting matched with a “pro”. “I would much rather go with the flow,” one guy said, adding “What my partner does is not really the question. It’s the person that’s important.” Another, in his early twenties, who loves video games was thrilled with the idea of maybe finding someone from the gaming industry, so they could literally play together. However, he added sagely, “I think it’s for people who care about the ‘status’ of their spouse…who feel the need to show off, perhaps.”
Well, how about doing it the old-fashioned way? Whether you swipe right or left on Tinder if you find someone hot (or not), or check out their incomes, don’t lose focus on the real thing—finding a partner who understands you, not just your cranky boss and working hours, though that can be a good start. So, go ahead, log on! Finding the right someone never sounded as easy….or tough! Love will remain tricky, and messy, wherever you chance upon it.