V-Day Frenzy Triggers Dating Avalanching

In a bid to find a quick date ahead of Valentine’s Day, Gen-Zers are swiping ‘left’ and ‘right’ in the world of online dating like there is no tomorrow. However, the non-stop ‘right’ swipe frenzy has snowballed into a new dating trend called “Avalanching.” Experts say that many singletons, fueled by peer pressure, and perhaps FOMO (fear of missing out), are turning to dating apps in record numbers and swiping constantly. Fear of Missing Out Lubna Ansari, a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist says, “The young generation follows everything trendy to get accepted amongst their peers. Nobody wishes to be an odd one out. Also, youngsters at times don’t understand ‘love’ properly which has been beautifully marketed and commodified by the market.” Avalanching highlights the peer pressure surrounding Valentine’s Day and prompts the question: Why does being single on such a day feel like a failure? It could stem from self-loathing, deeper loneliness, or ego, to validate yourself or your feelings by building a connection fleetingly to not feel FOMO for a day when a lot of people are celebrating love with a partner. Modern Dating Fundas For those unfamiliar with the modern dating app game, avalanching is a phenomenon when people encounter an influx of notifications, and interactions and swipe right on dating apps, especially during a particular time of the year, like the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. A recent poll by a London-based dating app Finding The One says that 79% of the 800 participants acknowledged using dating apps more frequently in January, demonstrating how common this trend is. A situation where counts of swiping right surpass left, phone pings with endless notifications, and matches pile up faster than snowflakes. The initial allure of avalanching, where users swipe right to secure a Valentine’s date before February 14 might sound exciting, but beneath the flurry of connections and text exchanges lie a potential for disappointment and a distorted view of love. Bumble (dating app) is making a slight revelation with its research. Samarpita Samaddar, Communication director of Bumble says, “Heading into 2024, there is an air of optimism and clarity for the ‘year of self’ as Bumble’s research shows that more than half (59%) of Indian women surveyed are going into the new year with a clear view of what they want from their romantic lives.” She adds that singles are increasingly looking inwards. “Unpacking expectations around age, perfection, and timelines, and seeking people that are more vulnerable and accepting of who they are. 2024 seems to be the year where people refuse to play games and be upfront and clear about their dating choices.” The Dating Circus Brij Pahwa (28), an entrepreneur who has been using dating apps for quite a while says, “I’m on the proactive end, engaging in conversations and hoping to make a meaningful connection that might lead to a date for Valentine’s Day. It’s a mix of anticipation and the excitement of discovering someone special amid the digital landscape.” Radhika (22), a Hyderabad-based associate for global (Recruitment & Operations) at D.E. Shaw who has been using dating apps for more than four years says, “I am at the receiving end of Avalanching. I am flooded with messages and notifications. Men try everything they can from sending memes, pick-up lines, and compliments to score a date for Feb 14.” Radhika feels the pressure of having a date on Valentine’s Day is all due to the branding of this day. No doubt avalanching prioritises quantity over quality. In the haste to not be left out ‘alone’ on Valentine’s Day, people let their guard down, ignore the ‘red flags’ and overlook dealbreakers. Almost half of those polled in the study are willing to ignore non-negotiables, including age, location, and appearance. This frenetic environment usually fosters half-hearted superficial connections built on instant and at times short-lived gratification rather than genuine compatibility, where going on dates becomes a mere tick mark on a to-do list. Spoilt For Choice For some, miracles might turn an abruptly planned date into something meaningful. The consequences of this frenzy are multifaceted. Firstly, the inevitable burnout. Matching with dozens of people leads to an ‘avalanche’ of information, making it impossible to invest genuine effort into getting to know anyone. Dates become monotonous, and ghosting becomes the easiest escape. Secondly, unrealistic expectations set the stage for heartbreak. Avalanching paints an illusion of easy abundance, making users believe love is just a right swipe away. When these fleeting connections inevitably fizzle out, the emotional crash can be harsh and may lead to self-doubts. When such a connection fails to sail through a happy journey, it leads to regrets. Dating apps navigate the complex issue of pressure around V-Day through strategic brand messaging. These apps feature significant cooperation but may also focus on fast matches to produce higher results. Smita Khanna, a Chief Operating Officer at Newton Consulting India and an expert in brand strategy says, “Valentine’s Day becomes an important day for dating apps to run thematic and tactical campaigns. A feature like sending a virtual rose or unlocking a “love compatibility” filter adds a playful twist, encouraging interaction and sparking conversations. Users are more engaged as a result of the personalised approach.” Healthy Habits While falling in love can’t be controlled, there are healthy practices to steer clear of avalanching. Prioritise quality over quantity in swiping, taking time to know someone before committing ‘intentional dating’. Seek genuine connections based on shared values and interests and not quick laughs or social media-worthy pictures. The bigger question emerging out of this trend is “Do you need to have a partner to celebrate V-Day?” Embrace self-love, recognising that Valentine’s Day doesn’t define your worth. Clarity of what one wants from a connection prevents them from indulging in frenzy trends. The avalanching trend serves as a cautionary tale. While connecting with others can be enriching and fun, doing so with a clear head and genuine intentions is crucial. Valentine’s day becomes an important day for dating apps to run thematic and tactical campaigns.”— Smita Khanna, COO, Newton Consulting India 79% of the 800 participants acknowledged using dating apps frequently in January (Finding The One study) 50% of those polled in the study are willing to ignore non-negotiables, including age, location, and appearance The young generation follows everything trendy to get accepted amongst their peers. Nobody wishes to be an odd one out.” — Lubna Ansari, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist

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