The festive season can be tough and stress-inducing, especially if you are trying to navigate your families. Festivals can also bring on various familial and societal pressures when it comes to our dating lives and choices. Per Bumble’s recent study, traditional matchmaking by families is the biggest pressure faced by single Indians who were surveyed during the festival season. Daters in India who were surveyed noted that they are asked questions about getting married (over 77%) and if they are in a serious committed relationship (nearly 72%) during at least one major festival (such as Diwali, Durga Puja, Navratri, etc.).
During Diwali, almost 2 in 5 (39%) single Indians surveyed claim that traditional matchmaking by families is the biggest pressure they face. Over 3 in 10 (31%) single Indians are asked questions on when they will get married. Over a third (36%) of single Indians surveyed said they have experienced pressures around traditional matchmaking by families and relatives during Durga Puja while over a third (35%) face it during Navratri.
The festive season can also be an interesting time to find new connections online. Here are some tips to help you navigate dating and how to find the right connection during this festive season
A festive online dating profile bio
Take the time to craft your profile bio to showcase your genuine interests, your idea of festive fun, favourite festival destinations you would like to visit, and even your favourite food that you crave during this festival season. “Sharing such common interests can help spark a new connection. You can also try a quirky conversation starter like, “You’re the best deal I’ve found this Diwali" or “I’m looking for a partner to share phuchkas with this Durga Pujo, how about you?,” says Shahzeen Shivdasani, Bumble’s Relationship Expert.
Clear communication with your family
It is important to have a clear and respectful conversation with your family about your current priorities in life. “Be honest about your relationship goals, especially if marriage is not what you are looking for right now. Be clear about what you are looking for in a partner and how you would like that to happen in your own time and pace, rather than being set up,” adds Shivdasani.
Keep it fun and festive
While you might be eager to find your ideal match and the perfect meet-cute moment, just go with the flow and keep it fun. It is one of the best times to learn about your connection in a more meaningful way - fun with friends, empathetic and grounded with family and simply celebrating the festive spirit with each other. The key is to date as your authentic self with an optimistic attitude. “Go ahead and take that +1 along to the parties. Parties are a great and an easygoing way to see if you click it not, how they are in social settings and this aspect of compatibility is more crucial than one might think,” says Kanika Khosla, psychologist.
Take off the festival season pressure
All that joyful festive cheer can sometimes be a bit too much to take in. If you have just started dating someone new, it might be tempting to invite them to a Diwali party with your friends. “Take the time to ask yourself if you are comfortable with that. What you should remember is dating during the festive season should empower you to feel confident and comfortable in your decision. Instead of diving into intimate gatherings with friends and relatives with your new date too fast, try planning romantic dates together first to get to know each other better,” feels Shivdasani.
Small moments count
Dating during the festival season does not necessarily only mean expensive gifts or grand gestures. Festivals are a great time to get to know each other at a deeper level–from your favourite sweets and namkeen snacks to your own little festival traditions that you have been maintaining since your childhood. Those make for great memories to share on dates during the festivals.
Finding the right balance
During this time, you are often balancing between family and other priorities but that does not mean you can’t find time for yourself. It may feel tempting to give up and not even bother, but you might be missing out on opportunities to connect with some wonderful people. So, whether it is making time to prioritise things you want for your own personal growth or trying to put yourself out there to meet someone new, find the right balance that works best for you. And, do not be afraid to make your dates short and sweet during the festive season.