We go from kindergarten to primary, high school to college and college to a job quite seamlessly. It’s hardly a decision we’ve to make, at least not in India where our parents pretty much take care of designing and executing our lives. However, getting married is a decision we consciously make, and for the first time ever, we have a pretty big say in it if not making the decision entirely on our own.

But how can one ever be sure that they’re actually ready to get married? Especially for a generation that is out to question if and when one must allow something like marriage be a distraction in their lives.

When our parents casually bring up the topic of marriage, we might shy away from it initially, and finally make up our mind about it over time. Given that this decision is made gradually, we as a society have somehow designed phases in which this information will be made public.

First, the immediately family and friends are informed about the availability of the bride/ groom. Very casually. After limited success, we succumb to suggestions by some relatives to sign up with a local community bureau (Aseema, Pushpa Nandish or the likes of it). When success evades us even there, we decide to take matters into our own hands and finally glance through matrimonial sites. I must say that these sites are quite cheeky too, where they create this illusion that there is a sea of amazingly eligible brides/ grooms on the other side of the registration form, so you reluctantly sign up.

When you sign up, you realise that the platform is full of people like you who’ve looked everywhere and come here as a last resort. Some people panic, and exit the market quickly. But most people just hang out like stale food. Sorry, that sounds pretty harsh I know, but unfortunately matrimonial profiles don’t age like wine. To make matters worse, these platforms also incentivise freshness by having a separate tab for those who’ve recently joined the platform.

Now, I know a lot of people love to hack this feature by creating a new profile every time their previous one stops garnering interest or their paid membership expires. I am guilty of it too. But imagine, if you were truly “fresh” or new into the market, the matrimonial universe actually conspires to get you tonnes of interest.

Platforms like Bharatmatrimony or Shaadi.com easily have the highest number of registered members. The customer growth rate of these platforms are mostly stalled, so if you were to hang around on these platforms even for 3 months, you’ll have the opportunity to sit back and see what’s available to you, and help assess if you’ll exit the market soon or end up spending a decade of your life feeding matrimonial agencies.

Now, you may not like how the arranged marriage market operates, but it takes courage to walk out on it. Most people don’t. But let me tell you that there’s no better way to figure out if arranged marriage works for you or not than signing up on a matrimonial app and assessing it for yourself rather than letting your family fool themselves for years that they’re being useful in your partner search.

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