The New-Age Art of Dating: iDiva special for Valentine's Day!

Madhuri Banerjee is a bestselling author, a blogger with CNN-IBN, a screenplay writer for Bollywood films, an Ad film director, a columnist with Asian Age and a mother. She has her own production house, Gray Matter Solution, that makes ad films and TV shows. She has also won a National Award for her documentary on women’s issues calledBetween Dualities. Her new book Advantage Love is a compelling and passionate contemporary Indian romance that explores the complexities of love, friendship and career in a woman’s life. Madhuri tweets with the handle @Madhuribanerjee and her personal blog is www.madhuribanerjee.blogspot.in.
  

The old clandestine meetings have given way to the new brazen flaunt-it-all relationships.
Dating in India is very different from dating in the West. In both cases, there is a 5-step process. The West is more; meet each other often, fall in love, live together, meet the parents, and then walk down the aisle. In India it is more like; parents meet, grown children feel shy, a week of wedding celebrations, finally fall in love, and then go out for dinner.
However, things have been changing recently and the new generations have been pioneers in bringing about the new rules of dating. Here's a crash course in the new-age art of dating:

1. How to meet: Now while in the west, there are many places where you can meet single people, in India if a man goes up to a woman in a bar, it is considered excessively 'forward'. That is why there are wedding sites. Under the guise of looking for the correct person, wedding sites give one the opportunity to meet several people while checking up on their profile and background. People also use Facebook, chat rooms, dot coms and friends of friends to hook up. Somehow, it is easier to type it out than talk in person for the new generation. And everyone loves it.

2. Where to meet: Everywhere. Earlier people were found in secluded corners of the park or in dingy little restaurants where they would not be caught. Nowadays couples not only hang out in restaurants, pubs, ice cream parlours and movie halls, they walk freely down public roads, hang out at each other’s houses and even have sleepovers at friends’ places. The old clandestine meetings give way to the new brazen, if you are in love, flaunt it in style.

3. What to do: Not many people have time anymore. With college, work, or parental pressure, couples find it difficult to pack in fun and meaningful activities when they meet. That is why all dates are now whirlwind affairs, a quick lunch, a movie, shopping for a few essentials, a quick stop over at a friend’s place that is out of town and back home for dinner and TV with parents. Sameness does not mean boring anymore. Because if it gets boring with one person, you move on to the next. You don’t need to change the pattern. You just need to change the person.

4. What to talk about: You know there are a few interests you have in common since you have seen his profile on that dot com site. Date conversations go from getting to know a person generally to getting to know him deeper. The general questions can be about the “favourite” things in the person’s life, their school and work experiences. The deeper ones would be about love, marriage, kids, parents, fears, desires, and habits. Stories make a man. The more the saga, the more interesting the man.

5. How to break up: It is not working out. You know and you really hope he will understand. Nevertheless, you do not want to hurt each other. Once you are sure about your decision you need to start maintaining your distance. Unreturned phone calls, random messages of “I’m busy” and “I’m looking for something else” might give the other person a hint. While people used to meet earlier to break up in person, changing your status to single on a popular website might have the same effect today, even though it is crueler. New age breaking up is all about texting saying it is over or blocking a person from your chat room. It might not be the best way to get closure, but it is the most effective for becoming thick skinned.

Image courtesy:©Thinkstock photos/ Getty images
http://idiva.com/opinion-relationships/the-new-age-art-of-dating/27760 

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