How Indians dated in 2021 — Bumble app pulls out the data

Indians are ‘mindful’ of when and how they date; films, food and sports are the top interests; and Leo, Scorpio and Libra are the most sought-after sun-signs

Thanks in part to the pandemic, around 75% of the Indians on the Bumble platform prioritise finding a more emotionally available partner. (Representational image)

Indian Matchmaking was among Netflix’s top shows, and desi parents continue to swear by horoscopes. But the dating scene in the country is just as busy, according to information shared by Bumble, a US-based dating app that has users worldwide.

COVID, and how it changed the way people think and live may be the reason, but 54% of Indians are now more mindful of how and when they date, said Bumble, per data culled from January to November 2021. They are choosier about whom they want to spend time with, and opt for those with similar dating intentions when they apply filters.

Globally, Bumble competes with several social media dating apps including market leaders Tinder and Badoo, but it’s a pioneer as a ‘women first’ platform. In a heterosexual match, the woman has to make the first move; the man can only respond to or decline an interest. The app has a rigorous policing mechanism to prevent harassment.



Single, ok not to mingle

Sharing the trends revealed by its data, Bumble said around 62% of Indians now realise that it’s actually alright to be alone, at least for a while. This is an interesting trend, since Indian society has traditionally seen marriage as a ‘must’.

This March, Bumble introduced ‘Interest Badges’, which subscribers can use to find partners with similar interests. Film & TV earned the most badge-holders, followed by Food & Drink and Sports. Under Film & TV, action and adventure and comedy were the favourite genres across all ages. While millennials preferred Bollywood, Gen Z loved Anime. Under Food, coffee, beer, foodie and biryani were the most popular searches.

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Thanks in part to the pandemic, around 75% of the Indians on its platform prioritise finding a more emotionally available partner, said Bumble. Around 52% said they had drastically changed what they were looking for in a partner. With the pandemic and lockdowns, Indians reset the way they date and, around 71% would be willing to hit the reset button next year, too, if needed.

Dogs, pubs and PDA

Photography, Dogs, Pubs and Cooking were the most widely deployed filters on the dating app. Cooking, Video Games and Gardening were among the popular Staying In activities, while Pubs and Nightclubs, Cafe Hopping and Stand-up Comedy were the frequent Going Out activities.

As the fear over the pandemic recedes, and social distancing takes a back seat, PDA (public display of affection is back with a bang. Around 73% of Indians on Bumble said they are open to PDA, even if only post-pandemic.

Zodiac signs were a favourite filter, and Leos had the most matches of any star sign. They were followed by Scorpios and Librans in India.