Usually, it is the men who are trusted to take the first step when it comes to romantic relationships. Whether it involves asking someone out on a date, or popping the big question — the norm puts men in charge. Women, on the other hand, are rarely expected to approach men , especially in India. However, if the findings of a new study are any indication, it looks like this equation is finally changing.
A survey conducted in March by the Indian dating app, Truly Madly, has found that as many as 90% of the men who were polled want women to make the first move. The nationwide study also included 2,450 women, between the ages of 18 to 30. About 62% of these women said that they had made the first move at some point in their dating lives. Interestingly, 88% of the 4,550 men, who shared their views in the same poll, said that they found it “really hot” when women made the first movie.
So, why have women’s attitudes towards dating changed in India? Is this a sign of the changing times? Relationship counsellor Neeta V Shetty says there are several reasons for this development. But the most important one is the fact that women today are a lot more independent.
Independence is fun.
She says, “Most women have jobs these days. This gives them the freedom to manage their finances, which in turn makes them less dependent on their parents; they are not answerable to them. So, now, they can take their own decisions without any interference from anyone.”
Shetty adds that women have also become more vocal about their needs. “Women are better educated, and many of them are leaving their homes for different cities in search of better job prospects. Anyone who starts living in a new city, where he or she doesn’t have many friends, yearns for company. That leads them to actively look for a partner of their choice, rather than waiting for someone to approach them,” she adds. Women’s priorities, too, have changed when it comes to looking for a partner. Relationship expert Riddhish Maru says, “Women are very practical today. Since they earn as much as their male counterparts, they want to make their own decisions. They know what is good and bad for them. They don’t want to make any compromises. They know their priorities.”
Maru feels that, soon, this trend will become a regular practice in India. He says, “This new trend is part of the larger issue of gender equality. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the man or the woman who takes the initiative. The affirmative nature of women is making them take the lead in dating matters, like they would in any other issue. There may be some conservative people, who feel these women are too forward-thinking. But it’s a good thing that women are taking the initiative. This means they have more clarity about what they want from their relationships.”
Do these findings mean that men can now take a backseat in dating matters? Glen D’Cruz, 27, an IT engineer, disagrees, and says that there are advantages and disadvantages to this new dating equation. He says, “What’s important is that I should be interested in the woman who approaches me (laughs). It would be fun to have a woman woo me. But, at the same time, I wouldn’t know how to deal with a person who’s approached me, especially when I am not interested in her. Though, it would be a different experience altogether.”
How to woo a man
1) Start a generic and casual conversation with the guy you are attracted to about his favourite music or film
2) Maintain eye contact
3) Secretly leave notes for him; make sure he can find them easily
4) Approach a common friend to understand his likes or dislikes
5) Order his favourite food or beverage when you meet him
6) Approach him to dance with you if you are at a party
7) Make him your go-to person for advice
8) Join a recreational activity that he participates in, so that you can spend more time with him.
— Swapna Wazalwar, 27, public relations consultant
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