If you are brown and have been on the internet for five minutes at any point this week, chances are you’ve heard about Indian Matchmaking (or at the very least come across a meme or two). Risha Aunty – aka “Sima from Mumbai” – has taken the world by storm in the latest Netflix viral docu-series that tackles the topic of modern arranged marriages in India — more specifically, the booming matchmaking business that operates behind-the-scenes to make it happen. Seven brave and hopeful souls across India and America agreed to let themselves be filmed on their matchmaking journey. Guys, that’s literally like putting your Dil Mil filters and messages on blast for the world to see and judge!
But we get it. Dating is freaking hard, and who wouldn’t want a fairy godmother who could just whip up the perfect partner and plop them right in front of you?! The problem is…it’s a little too good to be true.
*SPOILER ALERT* No shade to Sima aunty, but none of the couples she matched ended up staying together after the show!! The culprit: freedom of choice. Many people in our generation are no longer being forced into arranged marriages – we have a choice in who we end up marrying (thank god), but still have the desire to find someone who understands our background and culture, and just gets where we’re coming from. Choice + a list of criteria = a disaster for rishta aunties. That’s why you hear Sima aunty continuously tell all the men they are “being too picky” and the women that “they need to learn how to compromise” throughout the show.
Well f*ck that. We think you deserve to have your cake and eat it too. Dil Mil was created to give people control over their dating life and break free from the cycle of arranged marriages, while still providing singles the opportunity to find someone from a similar background who is looking for commitment. To the cast of Indian Matchmaking: if you’re listening, we’re here for you. 😉
As for the rest of you: keep at it! No rishta aunty is going to come in with her magic wand and save the day – you have put in the work and be willing to put yourself out there! To keep you motivated, we’ve put together our top dating advice inspired by our fave cast members.
1. Aparna – Don’t be so scared of getting hurt that you don’t let anyone in. Oftentimes we’ll put on a front to protect ourselves – how can we be let down if we pretend like we didn’t care about it to begin with right? Yes Aparna was picky AF, but there is nothing wrong with a strong-minded, badass, independent woman. The problem is when having all your guards up translates into a cold exterior and a bad attitude that pushes people away, even when you want them to stay.
2. Vyasar – Hang in there!! No matter what is going on in your love life or the traumas you may have dealt with in your past, remember that you have a community of people that love you and want the best for you. You deserve someone who will love you for you, not for how much money you make! Before you know it, someone is going to come along who is going to see all of that.
3. Nadia – Everyone’s reaction to seeing Nadia’s journey is: how the hell is she still single and why is she even on this show?! Her story is the perfect reminder to challenge the preconceived notions you hold about being partnered. There doesn’t have to be anything “wrong” with someone just because they’re single, and there’s no shame in trying new experiences and putting yourself out there when you’re really committed to meeting someone!
4. Akshay – Honestly, just do the opposite of literally everything that Akshay did and you’ll be okay. If we had to pick one takeaway, it would be that you should be honest with potential partners about how you see your shared life together, and what your expectations are of each other. Akshay’s match Radhika CLEARLY stated that she wanted to work after marriage and that was important to her, while Akshay made it clear in his show interviews that he just wanted someone to take care of the house and the kids – *barf.* He just agreed to the marriage without addressing this blatant lack in compatibility with her, clearly thinking he would just get his way after the marriage.
5. Ankita – Do not let society tell you that you are not worthy. Neither your weight nor the color of your skin define who you are – you are beautiful as you are and the world is your goddamn oyster. Recognize your worth, and surround yourself with people who recognize it too. And remember, if you find happiness in your work and your career, that’s freaking awesome. Don’t let people tell you that you need to sacrifice one love in order to find another.
Despite their WIP love lives, we think there’s a lot to learn from the matchmaking journeys of this eclectic cast of hopefuls. Check it out, and then open Dil Mil and get swiping. You don’t need to pay an aunty thousands of dollars to fly across the country to match you with people you can find using our filters. We promise it’ll be a lot faster and cheaper, and less aunties’ BPs will be raised in the process. 😉