Dating apps hook up with sun signs

Dating apps hook up with sun signs

Many on Tinder and Bumble believe the zodiac can help them in their quest for compatible partners.

‘What’s Your Rashee?’ was a 2009 film about zodiac signs. It starred Harman Baweja and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

While Indians are more muted in their reactions to sun signs than Westerners (we have our own rashis, thank you very much!), these astrological indicators are finding a strong fan base in the unlikeliest of places - dating apps.

Tinder says the use of astrological signs in bios grew 16 per cent over the past year. Leos are most likely to shout their sun sign from the rooftops, and the resurgence of astrology is being driven by youngsters, with 18-24 year olds 43 per cent more likely to name a star sign in their bios, the dating app says.

“In my experience, Gen Z believes in expressing themselves clearly and they want to put out as much information about them as possible on their bios,” says Sonali Gupta, Tinder India’s resident clinical psychologist.

“Research has shown that interest in astrological signs is an area extremely popular with Gen Z, the demographic group that succeeds the millennials. In a world where there is so much uncertainty, many of these youngsters feel astrological signs are one way of making sense of the world. Some of them believe that sun signs allow them to make better choices as they can filter out potential partners if they know that they don’t vibe with a particular sun sign,” she explains.

Interestingly, Bengaluru is the second most active city on Tinder, closely trailing the Delhi NCR region. It is also in the list of cities with the highest rate of right-swipes.

Bumble, another dating app, introduced ‘astrology badges’ a year ago, when a group of users said they wanted to connect with others on the basis of their star signs.

“We have had an overwhelming response to these badges,” says Priti Joshi, vice president of strategy at Bumble. “All users are now able to add their sign to their Bumble profile and filter their matches based on the astrology sign that they are looking for. Plus, adding a ‘badge’ to your Bumble profile increases your chance of matching by 55 per cent,” she says.

She points out that astrology filters are a fun conversation starter and ice breaker during initial talks.

“It’s much more interesting to kick off a conversation based on your star sign, rather than simply saying ‘hey.’ Talking about your star sign is a great first move to make on Bumble — not just in dating, but also in friendship finding and networking,” she adds.

A Bengalurean working in an MNC who is a regular user of both these apps, says he was sceptical, but his experiences have forced him to believe there’s something to zodiac sign matching.

“I dated two girls in quick succession and had rather messy break-ups with both of them. I later found out that they both shared the same sun sign. That piece of information intrigued me and I researched a bit on what sun signs were compatible with my personality. When I matched with a girl recently, I was relieved to note that her sun sign was one of those that was supposed to get on quite well with mine,” he says with a laugh.

He has been dating the girl for a month and believes “it’s going quite well.”

 

Zodiac shaming is a thing now

Astrology is slowly creeping into routine processes like hiring or finding a flatmate, especially in the US and China.

According to the New York Times, a 2017 survey found that 4.3 per cent of Chinese graduates looking for jobs experienced discrimination based on their Western or Chinese zodiac sign.

In 2009, an Austrian insurance company’s ad expressing preference for ‘Capricorn, Taurus, Aquarius, Aries and Leo’ candidates sparked an investigation, says Live Science. More recently, youngsters in the US have started placing ads for roommates specifying sun signs.

In the dating world too, certain zodiac signs have somewhat of a bad name. For example, Gemini, the sign of the twins, seems to have a reputation for being ‘two-faced’. Talk about taking things literally!

It also doesn’t help that Donald Trump is a Gemini; he has been credited with single-handedly destroying the community’s image to a large extent.

 

‘Keep an open mind’

Experts, astrologers and dating app users agree it is ridiculous to judge someone just by their sun sign: “A person’s behaviour and personality is much more than just that”.

“We always encourage the Bumble community to keep an open mind on our platform - we don’t think you can always judge someone solely by their astrology sign. Your star sign shouldn’t be a make-or-break in dating. We want our users to match with people whom they find the most compatible, but we also want to help them find new types of people to connect with,” says Priti Joshi, vice president of strategy at Bumble.

 

Global astrology resurgence

Almost 30 per cent of American adults now saying they believe in astrology and apps such as Co-Star (an artificial intelligence–driven app that generates your astrological chart and provides daily horoscopes) getting millions in funding.

Closer home, many news websites have astrology-based articles with clickbait titles such as ‘Four signs that are most likely to cheat’, ‘Signs that should not date each other’, ‘Most emotionally abusive signs’ and so on, garnering thousands of views online. Even the most level-headed and rational thinkers out there can’t resist clicking on the daily horoscope articles when it pops up on their feed (the entire Metrolife team is nodding in agreement).