It's almost shocking to look back and realise it's been 20 years since the 90s have ended and yet, the truth is apparent when reflecting on India's changed socio-economic fabric. In the year 2019, more women than ever are pursuing financial independence and breaking glass ceilings; Men are not only supporting this change but joining hands with women whether in rolling up their sleeves to split household tasks or claiming professions that they want instead of what makes them an ideal "breadwinner". Additionally, the days of grand gestures have transformed into tongue-in-cheek lines and sharing quirky memes. These shifting social norms have had the greatest impact on relationships in the 21st century.
Love In Every Colour Of The Rainbow
There are many people today who don't believe marriage is mandatory for two people in love. Irrespective of gender identity, many express support for love in every colour of the rainbow. In 21st century India, romance has evolved to be equal and inclusive. The onset of changing mindsets, greater access to smartphones and improved financial independence are main factors.
It is evident that people today want the liberty to be their true selves and are tired of pretending to be something their families, friends or neighbours want them to be. When it comes to relationships, they now want to find their kind. They want to be asked the right questions and demand the freedom to do the same from their potential partners. On top of this, with more and more Indian millennials prioritising their careers over marriage unlike ever before, it has become evident that this is a group that knows what they want, both in their professional and personal lives.
Finding Love Online
Datings apps too are being built to celebrate these individuals and help them find love on their own terms. Through encouraging choice and celebrating individuality, finding love online is becoming acceptable, especially in urban cities. What may have been a place of experimentation or curiosity just a few years ago has now become a socially acceptable avenue for finding relationships.
Making Own Choices
Expectations regarding an ideal partner are evolving fast, and so are social and cultural expectations. Instead of being told what to do, or having other people choose on their behalf, Indian Millennials want to make their own choices based on the connection they share with a person. Of course, while most Indians still believe in the institution of marriage, their ideas and expectations regarding marriage and their partners have also evolved. Today's youth want to make their own choices basis what matters to them, and they are in no hurry to settle down or compromise until they feel confident about their choices.
Even opinions on small things can reveal deep-seated misogyny and tamper with equality in a relationship. It is imperative to have a safe space where important conversations are possible without the fear of exposure. In the 21st century, people are not bound by geographical and cultural norms that limit the scope of connections for them. The possibilities are endless as they match over what truly matters to them and strive to find their kind.
In the decades to come, as patriarchal lines blur and "woke" attitudes are no longer an outlier, it will be exciting to see the continuing evolution of romance.
About the author: Shruti Gupta is a marketing professional who has worked across sectors like Healthcare, E-commerce and Electronics, driving brand expansion. Currently the brand manager of dating app OkCupid, she launched their first 360 degree campaign #FindMyKind, aiming to redefine expectations from modern day relationships by matching people on things that truly matter to them - their beliefs, values and quirks.
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