4.2 | Tinder vs. Shaadi.com: What’s the difference?

mm-tinder-and-shaadi-comparisonOne of the things I struggle with a lot is how I want to find my life partner. For as long as I have been interested in people of the opposite sex, I have been torn with decisions regarding how to go about meeting my very own special person. On one side, there was the option of keeping with tradition, agreeing to an arranged marriage (not forced), and letting my family find someone for me (in the seemingly very specific duration of when ‘the time is right’ , typically, ridiculously, between the ages of 24-28 for ladies); while on the other hand, there is the more conventional, non-Indian way of finding someone, which is, basically, through your friends, or on your own, and preferably, per chance.  My own race to see which side will win (‘What the hell am I even doing with my life’ will probably feature as a blog post at some point in the near future) probably comes down to my personal, cultural, tug of war between my Indianness and my NRI’ness. I’ll write a post later in this series about the TCK Juggle in this arena.

With the advent of technology, however, a new dimension has been added to this exercise. As I have mentioned before, the internet can now help you (or your family) out. How we use these sites may differ, and their formats also vary (somewhat), but today I thought I would share with you the differences between dating and matrimonial sites by generalising using two of the Big Guns of the e-love space. When I say Shaadi.com, this usually refers to all matrimonial websites and apps, and when I say Tinder, I generally mean all the dating applications. These two types of elove finders are strangely very similar, and at the same time, completely different. Their most distinguishing factors are the end goals (marriage vs. hooking up/dating/friendshippish) and time-frames (like, a lifetime vs. like, we’ll see, maybe). Perhaps I can compare them best using a table (I am Indian, bear with me).

 Category
Tinder
Shaadi.com
Comments
Desktop and mobile functionality, i.e. Available on website and as an app  Yes  Yes  Most of them are available on both computers and phones/ipads, but some of them are still super shitty ito user-friendliness and options to verify your accounts.
Photographs  Yes Yes Although people are getting more and more ‘photogenic’ by the day. *Cough*FILTER*Cough*
About Section  Yes  Yes Freely customisable. While this section on Tinder usually amounts to writing up all the details that you can’t specify with the click of a button/a witty joke/pick-up line, Shaadi.com candidates, or more likely their parents, usually just summarise their criteria in this section.
Age  Yes  Yes
Location  Yes’ish  Yes On Shaadi.com, you are free to choose a partner from any recognised corner of the world, but on Tinder, this is limited to a distance of approximately 100 miles, unless you want to go shopping in other cities/countries, for which you have to pay extra.
Height  No Yes Although, based on my track record, I do wish Tinder would include this criteria – more on this in another post!
Weight  No  Yes I kid you not! Most matrimonial sites I have visited ask you to indicate your 1) body type (Slim, Athletic/Average, Heavy/Doesn’t matter), and 2) sometimes, to verify this description with actual weight in kilograms/pounds.
Education  No  Yes I know that some dating applications ask you to indicate your level of education, for example, high school, college, graduate school, but matrimonial sites tend to go one step further. Often, these sites ask you to give your highest degree, and then, also what is your actual degree (from a list, which obviously doesn’t include everything).
Career  No  Yes This is also usually selected from a list, which also doesn’t nearly include everything, but does offer a selection of at least five different medical specialisations – classic.
Wealth  No  Yes I know. What even is PC?
Religion  No  Yes Fair enough.
Astrological information  No  Yes This can get detailed, but let me just say it is not limited to you being a Taurus, Sarah!
Family information  No  Yes This ranges from what your parents do for a living, to how many siblings you have (to how many of these are married), to where your family is from and what their financial status is. Again, no messing around.
Complexion  No  Yes Don’t even get me started on this. Options range from fair, to wheatish to dark. I still don’t know what qualifies as Wheatish, but regardless, if you’re not selecting ‘Doesn’t Matter’ from this list, please share with me how someone’s complexion affects their health/character?
Disability  No  Yes
Diet  No  Yes Fair enough. I wouldn’t want to marry a Vegan either.
Drink/Smoke  No  Yes Do you? This ranges basically from Teetotaller to Alcoholic, and Non-smoker to Chain Smoker (lol).
Hobbies  No  Yes Lol. Again, very limited. Most parents/candidates leave this space blank.
Special’ cases, and are you HIV Positive  No  Yes Idk, yo.
Partner Preferences  No  Yes On Tinder, this is limited to Distance – which is further limited to 100 miles, and age.  On Shaadi, everything you describe about yourself, you can request in a partner (fair enough, I guess, technically).
Contact Information  No  Yes This is something I really appreciate about Tinder. Candidates can only chat to you if you match with them. A similar functionality on Shaadi.com is the ‘filtered out’ section, where all the candidates that don’t meet a select set of your non-negotiable requirements get filed (which you may never find).
Swipeability  Yes  Yes You can swipe right to indicate your interest on both these apps.
Profile creator options  No  Yes Basically anyone can create a profile for you on Shaadi.com (your parent, sibling, relative, friend), whereas on Tinder, you need to sign up with your Facebook profile, and preferably only advertise yourself.
Block options  Yes  Yes Thank the good Lord, Almighty.

So, that was a long one, but I hope you pulled through! I’d love to hear your suggestions and opinions about all of the above, or which filter makes your nose looks thinner, in the comments. MMx

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