Indians use of false dates to gain love and closeness
As she sat across from her date, Akansha* could feel her anxiousness rising. So the 26-year-old started fumbling with the cutlery on the table and averting his eyes.
But then her date leaned in and said that it was acceptable to be apprehensive and that she could calm herself and appear less tense by clasping her hands under the table and taking a deep breath.
Instead of a real date, the person sitting across from her was a “dating surrogate,” a person recruited to accompany her on practise dates, watch how she behaved, and provide real-time advice and insight to help her cope with any issues that might be keeping her from having fun.
Akansha claims that around three months ago she began using a dating surrogate
a service provided by the Intimacy Curator, an online platform offering “dating, relationship, and intimacy counselling services.”
It’s one of a number of businesses and applications that have emerged in India over the past few years, including Dating Accelerator and haveyoumeturself, signalling a change.
Their users, who tend to be urban dwellers who keep up with current events, range in age and in terms of what they are seeking for. Some people, like Akansha, seek to get over their dating inhibitions, but others could be striving to rediscover the rules of partnerships.
Participants in The Intimacy Curator’s dating surrogacy package, which can cost between 12,000 and 80,000 rupees ($145 and £120), take part in numerous online coaching sessions led by dating coaches. They talk about issues like why they want to date and what they seek in a potential mate. They are then given a dating surrogate who arranges practise dates and provides coaching.
According to Akansha, the experience helped me feel at ease being on a date.