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Online dating culture is definitely very enjoyable but it may also have a severe impact on your mental health. Read further to gain an insight on the same.

The other day, a friend told me how she felt that one of these guys she came across on Bumble could have been “the one” for her. Yet when she met him in person he seemed arrogant and made her feel small. What more, he eventually ghosted her which took a huge toll on her self esteem. I realised then how dating apps often end up shooting the wrong arrows, unable to fulfill their targets.

Coming to college, almost all of us get online on dating apps like tinder, bumble or hinge among many others. Some may try it just for fun, while others may be in search of something serious. We swipe left and right on girls and guys as if we’re shopping online for dates. Some may look attractive but appear boring from their bios, others may have interesting bios but bad dressing sense or hairstyles or some may have the worst taste in music. We filter out what we like best and swipe right hoping to match.

But very often (statistically most common among men), we do not get enough matches. This tends to have an effect on one’s self esteem, triggering emotions like loneliness. Dating apps provide a big ground exposing one to rejection. Frequent cases of rejection may negatively impact the person’s mental health. This may give rise to feelings like self doubt and inadequacy. As Akshat, an 18 year old student said, “dating apps have become like video games for people now, where you have little or nothing to gain and your whole self esteem to lose”.

We can see one’s desperation in the fact that many users pay significant amounts on these apps to improve their prospects of getting matches. Obviously, failure in this case has a more severe impact on self image. Other than simple rejection, cases of ghosting or catfishing may make frequent users cynical about other potential dates. One may get more picky or just develop serious trust issues. This tends to affect one’s relationships not just online but also offline.

Another aspect to be noted is how these apps are majorly based on physical appearances. Most of us have a normative idea of “attractiveness” in our minds and anyone who fails to meet this criteria appears inadequate. So often we may ignore the individual’s description simply because they may seem “hot” or “sexy”. This tendency gives rise to several body image issues among girls and guys who believe they fail to meet this normative standard.

Other than this direct influence of dating apps, one may even observe heightened self images or recurrent need for approval. “I think you get too used to the ‘validation’, ‘attention’ that you wanna keep using the app. Also that you’re always hopeful that maybe the next guy you talk to would be different and maybe things can go somewhere with him. All this takes up a lot of your headspace”, says Megha Garg, a student of Lady Shri Ram College. We have an endless supply of potential dates and our matches often become our virtual trophies. And with multiple people to hold conversations with, somewhere down the line, we develop a superficial breadth, rather than meaningful depth, of connections. Yet again, this defeats the entire idea of the dating app.

I am not dismissing dating apps, I myself am a frequent user. However, I only wish to promote mindful usage of the same. Remember, do not take rejection too personally and allow yourself to take breaks from the apps every now and then. Other than that, enjoy swiping!

Feature Image Credits: thesquarecomics

Aditi Gutgutia

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Popular culture and social media can’t get enough of love and significant-others, but are relationships really that important? 

Love and relationships have been celebrated everywhere in the world, mostly to an unhealthy extent. The entertainment industry and the media have been the biggest players in glorification of messages like “love will find a way” or “love is all you need.” They paint a pretty picture as they go on to associate a happy life with romantic relationships. But, there is a need to investigate the pressure that amounts on individuals, when it comes to finding love or “the one”.

Nobody ever talks about how important it is to be comfortable with your own self. We are made to believe that we are unlovable up until we find a significant other. Nobody ever talks about the toxicity, insecurities, jealousy, fights that come with relationships. Bhavya, a student of Daulat Ram College opines, “A healthy relationship, no doubt, supplements one’s growth and plays a monumental role towards keeping oneself happy. But this does not mean that one forget their individuality and sense of self.”

We often strive to find “the one” romantically, but nobody tells us that it is absolutely okay to love single-hood. Nobody tells us that it is completely okay if you do not have a partner. In addition to this, the entertainment industry thrives on heteronormativity. Ayushi, a student of SGTB Khalsa College states, “Every love story somehow has a happy ending, and every love story is heteronormative, indulging us to believe in the fact if we are single, there is something wrong with us.”

The society has instilled this fear of being alone within us and it is so deep-rooted that we fail to identify the indirect effects it has on us as individuals. Being single is so much better than being in a relationship in a plethora of ways. Relationships tend to take a toll on you if they are not going your way. You will have plenty of time at your disposal if you are single. Most of all, there is no relationship drama and you can focus your undivided attention on yourself. 

Feature image credits- Thir.st

Suhani Malhotra

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In the age of instant gratification, longterm commitments can sometimes seem burdensome. Presenting to you, an insight into the weird contrast of being ‘friends with benefits’.

Friends with Benefits, in simple terms, is being friends with the added benefit of a sexual relationship, sans the feelings. In theory, it seems like the perfect idea: you are sleeping with someone you trust and like enough, who has mutual respect for you, but there’s never the added baggage of emotions and commitment. However, contrary to the simplicity it promises, it is a relationship that requires utmost care while being dealt with. Friends with Benefits (FwB) is an interesting dynamic, for it falls between romantic attraction and sexual attraction. There are people you could be romantically compatible with, and there are people you could be sexually compatible with; while there are people who you might have the hots for, they don’t need to be the same people you visualize a happily ever after with. In those cases, if you and they are interested in being around each other sexually, having a chilled out (but a well discussed and thought out) friends with benefits relationship can do wonders.

Like all healthy relationships, the key to a healthy FwB relationship is understanding and communication. For a friends with benefits arrangement to work, you have to know each other and understand what feelings the emotional and sexual dynamic evokes in you. It is also important to communicate about what each person expects and where each is, as the relationship evolves. A third-year student, shared, “Given the difference between sexual and romantic attraction, along with the fact that some people are better as friends, I think a friends with benefits arrangement is ideal. Labeling relationships always leads to unnecessary expectations, which friendship is free from. I find that it is quite liberating in that way. The only thing that one should always keep in mind is that it stays consensual and that there is complete clarity on the terms of the agreement”. But, before getting into one, it is very important to check if you’re both on the same page: that you’re neither looking to commit to the person nor do you want them to commit to you. This helps to avoid misread signals and hurt down the line. It is also important to both remember and remind that this relationship would not develop into anything more intimate.

The romanticisation of friends with benefits in popular culture does not help either. While all FwB might begin with communication and understanding of the equation between the two partners, it is also very likely that one of them might develop feelings down the road. Stringing along the other person, and being the one strung along, are both unhealthy mentally and emotionally. And among all of it is the greatest fear of them all: losing your friendship over this new dynamic.

“FwB is all fun and games until one of them catches feelings and if you’re anywhere like me, you are doomed. I have had my fair share of encounters but a sense of companionship and the possibility of something more always loomed largely. To each its own, but I have gone from liking to majorly disliking friends with benefits solely because I have zero control over myself,” said Anandi, a first-year student. While a friends with benefits relationship is not the most convenient dynamic to initiate, apt precautions on both the partners sides with a truck full of communication and understanding can sustain the relationship. Regardless of the relationship dynamics, being sexually involved with someone is a churning pot of emotions: emotions build, as does trust, intimacy, connection, and familiarity. If there is room to work through challenges to maintain the friendship, even at the expense of the benefits, then you are in a successful FwB relationship.

Feature Image Credits:

Satviki Sanjay

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Dear Amma,

Over the past couple of years, I have made out with a bunch of guys but I have never really enjoyed the experience. I also know for a fact that I’m not attracted to girls. Does this mean I’m asexual?

Dear Macchi,

I understand your troubles of not enjoying the experience of kissing someone, but that alone is not sufficient to coin yourself as “asexual”. It is perfectly normal to feel this way and it does not amount as an argument to any conclusion. I myself have had my fair share of lousy kisses, but you don’t think I’m at all asexual, do you?

Little idli, very often it is possible that the reason one doesn’t enjoy kissing someone is due to lack of an emotional connect. Kissing, sometimes, may be the onset of a very romantic relationship between two people, which is why without such romance, kissing becomes less enjoyable. This is often seen among demisexuals. You must think about how you feel about these guys emotionally, romantically, and my dear dosa, physically. But remember, my chutney, love doesn’t necessarily involve physical proximity. Many couples share perfectly healthy, romantic relationships without any physical involvement.

Kissing, in Amma‘s opinion, is very subjective to the person you’re with. The guy may be highly attractive and charming and yet be a sloppy kisser, which, my jalebi, can be a huge turn off! You need to figure out how you wish to be kissed.

Asexuality, my chutney, is the lack of sexual attraction towards anyone. It does not, however, indicate a lack of romantic attraction, for instance in the case of a biromantic asexual. There are many elements that make up one’s sexual identity. Asexuality or sexuality isn’t black and white. It’s an entire grey area; there aren’t only 50 Shades of Grey, you know? One may feel closer towards being asexual than most sexual people. They are often called grey-sexual.

So you see, my uttapam, it is not easy, or even necessary, I feel, to box yourself under one identity. You may be a biromantic or demisexual, but at the end of the day, you need to decide how a person makes you feel and just go with your instincts. How we are physically or romantically attracted to someone may be understood over time through experience. Try to step out of the bubble of a single identity and allow your mind to be free. Do what makes you feel right. Even if there is no sexual attraction, there is nothing wrong with it, as I mentioned before. If you don’t enjoy kissing someone, then you don’t kiss that someone. It’s your choice what you decide your sexuality to be. Just respect your attraction or lack thereof. All the best in your future encounters of spilling some hot sambhar, or not spilling it.






Social media provides an explosive and elevating platform to rant. Most of us will agree that ranting becomes a cathartic exercise over time. But could it ever become “toxic”?

Colleges are defined by the activities and opportunities that they organise for the students. As we increasingly become more involved with these activities, we become increasingly complex with our emotions. Or to put it in simpler terms, the cause-effect relationship between overwork and frustration becomes more apparent. How do you vent out a complex multitude of emotions that seems to smother you, and also sadden you? Although everyone has different coping mechanisms, many of you would agree that the most famously accepted and satisfying way to do so, is to rant.

Most of our rants are really in the moments of great crises. To use a foul alliterative play, a rant provides us with a catharsis in crisis. It really is a purge. Most of the rants that you become a listener to, or even those that you are declaring, are moments of deep emotional outbreak. “I cannot do this anymore,” or “I have had enough of this,” or “how difficult is it for me to say ‘NO’ for once?” Reflective questions like these throw us off into a heated rant. But overwork is not the only factor to push us off this emotional cliff. An elucidation of an emotional blueprint that is a rant, we become the truest versions of ourselves. We realise and connect with our reality during the course of a rant.

Sanchi Mehta, a Literature student from Hindu College, says, “My rants are therefore seminal to an understanding of my inner being because the process makes me introspect. More often than not, in narrativising the assault of emotions churning within me, the pent up anger dissipates. Laying it all bare unveils the gaps that generally an emotion like anger or tiredness – while synthesising a surmounting pile of undealt with events – obstructs, thus helping me to look at things with a more objective acceptance and self-critical gaze. It is like self-induced therapy. It keeps me from hysterically dealing with situations and dispensing the tendency for adopting over-the-top responses.”

Annoyance, frustration, or sadness held in for too long internally becomes toxic. An ideal lifestyle wherein you keep your “unpopular opinions” to yourself will ultimately become a baggage slowing you down. Thankfully for us, social media has efficiently given us an amazing pedestal to rant. However, despite the platform and improved means, the listening / hearing end of the rant has often interpreted these rants negatively.

And how does it work? You watch a movie, for example; the movie shows some character in a bad light, normalises issues like harassment, ridicules the idea of consent, or shows anything else. You feel strongly about something which you express online and there it is, your “rant”. It is not uncommon for people to call an emotional journaling or expression a rant these days. We are naturally bound to feel strongly about certain things. The expression of such strong emotions is translated into being an unnecessary “rant”. It is this classification that seems to question the act of expressing, by associating it with entitlement. Having an opinion makes you entitled to rant, period. It is with the opposing opinions that a balance is maintained in this life.

Rants guide you out of deep crises. Anoushka Sharma, a second-year student of Journalism, says, “I believe it’s very important to rant once in a while. It relieves the stress and baggage in one’s head (at least in my case). But I think it is also important to know who you are ranting to. The person should be understanding and should have the mental capacity to listen, and in that, interpret what you have to say. One simple reason for this is that the other person may not be emotionally available to understand your situation or your need to rant.” The only cautionary advice as you rant is that you must try to access the emotional faculty of your listener. Your understanding of your listener’s unavailability improves the mutual connect. “Ranting is a healthy way to vent. If done properly, it’s a good way to express yourself,” says Anoushka.

 An important idea that demands attention at this point is that of acceptance. People will say that if you rant about things, you are being too uptight or even mean with your opinions. A rant is about non-acceptance, after all. But then, an argument builds up against this. That if you do not rant about or do not express your non-acceptance, that simply is equivalent to giving in to something that you do not approve of. Certainly you cannot go around and question everything, and that is precisely where you have to practise your discretion. As important as it is to rant, the surfeit of it also loses its seriousness and / or impact. If we are to measure opinions in this narrow fashion, we block the possibilities of change; both in our personal and general spaces.

Find your balance in rants. Rants have been able to achieve so much in the face of resistance, simply because rants become the resistance, the peace and the way of life. If you rant, you have a voice and a mind; now that is not a bad combination to boast of.

Feature Image Credits: Paul Garland via Smithsonian Magazine

Kartik Chauhan

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Loving in a culture where all love outside marriage is forbidden is taxing. Read our Editor’s take on it.

Love is the common language spoken across the world. Stories of love have existed in every society that ever told stories. When we remember how fundamental romantic attachment is to human beings, how common and natural, our society’s desire to stop people from loving, it seems toxic and selfish. Our parents don’t accept the fact that we could or would want to experience dating, companionship, or love. Most of us aren’t “allowed” to date, not that it means we don’t. We don’t tell our parents about our love life and significant others, caught in the fear that they may never approve. We don’t seek love advice from them, introduce them to our significant others, or share the details of our whereabouts with them with honesty. And if, by chance, our love strays from the hetero-normative narrative of love between a female and a male, the discomfort and fear of acceptance increases manifold.

For most Indian kids, love begins with lies. “I am going to meet Neha,” we say as we dash to the farthest end of our street for a sneaky ice- cream, and walk with someone who is certainly not Neha. These cloak and dagger games can be exciting initially but, as we grow up, we realise they are something far more sinister. Most families hold different beliefs regarding dating and love. Some might want their children to keep away from relationships “to keep them focused on academics” while others have far more rigid ideas about the same, like believing love and sexual experiences are reserved within the institution of marriage. It is in these households where young adults who are actively dating are, at best, at the risk of parental disapproval and, at worst, of losing their freedom, agency, as well as independence.  The punishment of love in India without parents’ approval can range from having one’s phone taken away, to being made to quit the pursuit of education and, in extreme cases, to honour killings as well. Our culture has intertwined love with marriage, with controlling ideas about monogamy, togetherness, and “purity”. The impact on women has been undeniably worse since the “punishment” for loving has been known to be far more unforgiving on them than on men.

We don’t grow up with the right ideals of love.  We live in a country where a common experience of all our peers is telling their first big lie to their parents with regard to someone they were dating. We couldn’t talk to our parents openly, or ask them questions about love, sex, relationships, boundaries, consent, and respect  because we could never anticipate if it would be met with disapproval or punishment. We hid under our blankets sneakily texting our 9th grade crush, or sneaked out for study sessions with our boyfriend/girlfriend, and came to college and talked to our parents about everything in detail, except the person we loved.

Love, in itself, is capable of inciting fear. We invest our time and energy into someone who could one day casually walk up to us, say that it isn’t working out, and walk away, leaving us to deal with the walls crumbling around. But aside from the natural insecurity, in families, cultures, and communities where love is taboo, people are more likely to confuse love with and abuse. After all, they were never taught the difference between the two.

The approval of our parents is important. Running home after a star in our notebooks, or winning a match, a debate, a rangoli competition, and hearing them say, “I am proud of you, beta” is immensely precious for many of us, and nothing really beats that, not when we were ten and not now as well. It is sad therefore, that our parents don’t say it enough, and sadder perhaps that the approval they reserve for academic and extracurricular achievements, isn’t extended to forming  beliefs systems which make us healthy, happy, fully-functioning human beings. Our parents will not tell us they are proud of us for breaking away from a toxic partner. Most of us would never have our parents sit down next to us, and comfort us with a cup of chai and a heart-to-heart conversation about heartbreak, like they did after every bad result, lost match, public failure.

I wish, like all the kahaaniyan (stories) our parents told to put us to sleep when we were children, the ones that taught us how to be brave, how to be kind, how to have compassion, also told us how to love, how to be respected and respectful in love, when to stay and when to leave, when to hold on and when to let go. Perhaps, we would have been kinder to ourselves and those we have loved, then. For Indian parents, who claim to do everything for the well-being of their children, do one more thing – give them the freedom to love, whomever they want and however they want.

Kinjal Pandey

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Love and infatuation, in the beginning, feel like the same emotion, which leads to many complications.

You are walking in the corridor with your friends and suddenly, your gaze falls on that cute guy standing next to the pillar with not within a group of friends, and your world trembles. As filmy as it sounds, this actually happens with many of us. Another day, you are sitting in that boring lecture while the professor is hurling out his discourse, and all of a sudden you happen to rest your eyes on that sweet girl you’ve already given your heart to as she flicks her hair and refocuses her attention to the lecture and it makes you wonder if the drop in your stomach is a symptom of love.
Whether you have just come into college or have spent here a couple of years already, it doesn’t really matter, what matters are your feelings. They may develop anytime – on the first day of college or much time after you’ve already graduated. What is important here, is to develop the capability to determine whether what you feel is love or simple infatuation. Love is a magical sensation. It works on a level that lies way beyond the physical motives. Hence, if what you feel is a physical thirst, then, my friend, I’m gonna stop you right there. It’s lust. As a feeling, to love and to be loved is one of the best feelings on this universe. The simple realisation that there is someone in this life who means more than anything else to you, and that the feeling is mutual, is enough to lift your mood, no matter how upset you are.
Infatuation, on the other hand, is a fancy term for the physical attraction that occurs at regular intervals. Thus, when
we fall for someone over a feature like their “cute smile” or that “beautiful face”, there is a fair chance it is merely
infatuation. When you’re in love, you do crave the physical presence of your beloved but it is not as intense as in the case of infatuation. There’s a saying that “If you love someone, let them go. If they return, they’re yours, if they don’t, they never were”. Infatuation, on the other hand, being the physical attraction that it is, has got little to do with feelings. Love is longer and much more comfortable, while infatuation is intense and short-lived. Thus, that rush of adrenaline when you look at your crush is most probably infatuation, for when you’re in love, you feel comfortable in the presence of your lover, and not shaky. Also, note here that infatuation makes our thought process a bit more irrational. In this perspective, “chaand-taare tod lana” (getting someone the moon and stars), sounds a bit resonating with infatuation, isn’t it? If what you’re devoting most of your thought to is your crush, it means that you’re obsessed with the person, which is a clear sign of infatuation. This stand gets further established if there’s an eruption of jealousy if you look at your crush diverting their attention to someone other than you, for true love is understanding and full of trust.
Love always grows with friendship. If you find yourself comfortable and friendly with the person you think is your “lover”, it is a sign of being in a healthy relationship. However, if your desire for the person makes you want them more and more, you’re headed to a dead end. There are chances that what you’re feeling is infatuation,
rather than love. Thus, the outcome is that there exists a very thin line of demarcation between love and infatuation, but this thin line carries the potential to make or break a relationship. If what you feel for your better-half is physical, immature, materialistic, obsessive and mistrustful in nature, then it is pretty sure that you’re merely infatuated rather than in love.
True love is a pure opposite of what one faces in infatuation. It is totally devoid of lust, immaturity, jealousy, obsession, and mistrust and offers growth, real happiness, and contentment.

Feature Image Credits: Karen Rosetzsky

Aashish Jain
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The evolution of relationships and the concept of love marriage has led to people fearing arranged marriages. Arranged marriages have now turned into an outdated concept and an un-cool thing. But is it really that frightening?

The concept of falling in love and relationships is not alien to our society. Relationships are quite common and college students are well aware of it. It is great that people are quite open to the concept of falling in love and this has pretty much led to the notion where individuals have started to think that love marriages are the only way one is supposed to get married. But are arrange marriages really that frightening?

India is a country where more than 85% of the marriages are arranged. A report published by Maps of India in 2013 states that the divorce rates in India are as low as 1.2%, in contrary to 53% in the United States of America. This data is also the result of many differences between the two countries and the way marriages are seen, but the difference reflects that there is mutual consent between two people to continue as a married couple.

It is no less than an achievement to see people having love marriages and it is great that people are becoming more receptive towards this concept. But as budding individuals, it is not right on our part to develop a mentality where we start opposing arranged marriages as a possibility. There are some legitimate lines on which arranged marriages are questioned. When asked about an opinion on arranged marriages, Shreya Singhal, a student of the University of Delhi said “I feel that arranged marriages are ridiculous. How can we expect two random individuals to live together for the rest of their lives?”

The concept of arranged marriages has been working since a long time, and to question it is to refute the many success stories of the prevailing generation of parents whose marriages were arranged when they were young. Something must be going right to make these marriages work. We are at an interesting phase where we can witness both kinds of marriages. We as burgeoning individuals should learn how these differing kinds of marriages work and figure out what’s best for us.

The other “problem” with arranged marriages is that it is seen as an outdated notion and people associate the preference of an arranged marriage with being conventional. In a report published by Medium in 2016, 75.4% women prefer having arranged marriages. The number is lower than the previous statistics but it still signifies that a large chunk of women are still affirmative towards the concept.

The idea of the piece and all the statistics is to not be conclusive about what is happening with both kinds of marriages. We are in a transitional phase where love marriages are becoming more and more socially acceptable which is a great sign of progress in the mentality of the society. But at the same time, opposing arranged marriages and being judgmental about it is not the way to go.


Feature Image Credits: Identity Magazine

Karan Singhania

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Dear Amma,

My boyfriend frequently asked me if he could taste me down there. I was apprehensive at first, but few days back things got heated up and I let him. His reaction was horrible and he said it was too soon. I was torn to bits; I feel horrible about what he said. I have a lot of health problems and he knows about all of them and I feel he should have been a little sensitive towards the situation. Should I stop blaming myself? Please help.

My troubled macchi, yes you should STOP blaming yourself.

For any person to open up to another in an intimate situation and to expose themselves for the first time is a sensitive moment. To reveal you inhibition to someone else is a brave task and should be treated with respect and understanding. Amma can empathize with your feeling of being torn after not getting the right response from your partner.

However macchi, Amma has had many encounters with people who do not know the intricacies of dosa making, and she can say from experience that often the “nice guys” can disrespect you in the most unlikely of moments. They are not aware of the fact that they are being insensitive to our feelings and say things out of impulse. Amma can understand that an attempt towards a conversation revolving around the issue at hand can lead to many embarrassing outcomes; but little idli, like Amma takes risks with spices in her chutneys, you need to take a risk here too. You need to communicate with him and soon! Since this matter is troubling your heart greatly and soon will start to affect your relationship, it is imperative that you talk to him and clearly express that you think he is being insensitive.

Dear macchi, if you care about him enough to make this work, then you need to be completely honest with him. Also if, at any time, you feel that it is not worth the effort and you are not getting the respect you deserve, then Amma suggests you walk away before the batter turns bitter. Communication is the key, but it is not worth the effort if you and your partner are not on the same page as each other.


To send in your queries to Sex Amma email us at [email protected]. We respect your confidentiality as much as you do.

Dear Sex Amma!

I met my best friend’s boyfriend at a party and we seemed to hit it off. One thing led to another and we did it that night. It was amazing and both of us agreed that it was the best we ever had. We have this incredible chemistry in bed, what do I do?

Ohh my sweet machhi! Your question has truly upset Amma. The only two things Amma always advises against are breaking someone’s heart and letting go of a dosa that fully satiates your idli.

It is great for you to meet someone you really connect and have a blazing chemistry with. But you have to realise that what you have done is essentially wrong on your part for your best friend. Cheating is one ingredient that turns the whole mixture bad. This also means that the boyfriend has wronged your friend, proving his infidelity. Macchi, always remember, good friends are scarce in life and a ruined friendship is always almost irredeemable. This is why Amma advises you to come clean to your friend and tell her the truth, even if it breaks her heart.

It’s okay to get involved and have fun with someone, but it’s wrong when that someone is already with another person. Please tell your friend the truth and talk to her boyfriend as well. Decide what both of you want, whether it was just a fun night or you both want to continue seeing each other. It will get awkward, but it’s a necessary task to clean up the mess that has been created.

Finally little machhi, it’s a valuable lesson learnt. Don’t ever push away your friends or ruin friendships over boys, because lovers might be fleeting but friends are for life!