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Home > Lifestyle News > Relationships News > Article > Women in India are choosing to opt out of traditional relationship timelines Study

Women in India are choosing to opt out of traditional relationship timelines: Study

Updated on: 01 January,2024 07:28 AM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

36 per cent of women surveyed in India say they will take their own time and date at their own pace

Women in India are choosing to opt out of traditional relationship timelines: Study

Image for representational purposes only. Photo Courtesy: iStock

While weddings are fun to attend for many people, this busy wedding season often brings societal and familial pressures especially for single women in India when it comes to following traditional relationship milestones (such as getting married or engaged, finding a long-term relationship or a committed partner and having children) within set timelines or a certain age. 


Bumble’s new study found that women in India are increasingly rejecting the age-old idea of how their lives should look at a certain age, prioritising their financial independence and careers, and dating at their own pace and timelines looking ahead in 2024. 


During this wedding season, Bumble shares that a new dating trend ‘Timeline Decline’ is gaining popularity in India which spotlights how women are opting out of and defying traditional relationship timelines and milestones such as getting married or having children within a certain age. This trend takes into consideration responses from 24 per cent of women surveyed in India saying they are no longer focused on adhering to traditional timelines and milestones. This is reflected in intentions with 67 per cent of women surveyed in India looking for a long-term relationship and only 30 per cent of women seeking marriage. 62 per cent of women say they are honest and upfront with potential partners about their goals when it comes to timelines and milestones. 


For 45 per cent of women, this means only dating people who have the same perspective on timelines and milestones. In fact, 26 per cent of women surveyed in India say they don't feel rushed to meet specific traditional milestones (such as marriage and having children, etc.) as they believe one can do those things at any age. 

When asked how women approach traditional timelines and milestones, 36 per cent of women respondents say they will take their own time and date at their own pace, while 35 per cent of women respondents say they will only date someone who is okay with them taking their time to commit or get married.  

Why are women defying traditional relationship timelines?

  • Financial independence (43 per cent) and focusing on career (42 per cent) are the top reasons for women in India to defy traditional relationship timelines. 
  • For 36 per cent of women, this means being able to choose their own partner and 35 per cent of women say they want to wait till they find the right person to marry. 
  • 28 per cent of Indian women are defying traditional relationship timelines because they want to complete their education first and 22 per cent of women say they want to delay having kids, so they don't want to marry immediately. 
  • 22 per cent of Indian women claim they are defying traditional relationship timelines because they are healing from toxic relationships or past trauma.

Those who are choosing not to adhere to traditional timelines and milestones, 23 per cent of women respondents in India say they do so by avoiding friends and family who put pressure on them, with a further 45 per cent of women respondents saying they will only date people who have the same goals when it comes to relationship timelines and milestones. 

“Timeline Decline trend reflects a significant shift in dating as women in India are increasingly looking inwards, opting out of traditional relationship timelines, trying to reclaim autonomy and exercise their agency in their romantic lives. This doesn’t necessarily mean women don’t want to get married, they are prioritising their financial independence and careers and placing themselves at the centre of their lives, wanting to date in a way and at a pace that works best for them. Bumble was built on the foundation that traditional gender roles are outdated and should be challenged and flipped, so we couldn’t be happier to see this encouraging trend for women in India,” shares Samarpita Samaddar, India Communications Director, Bumble. 

“During the shaadi season more than often, societal and familial pressures surge as women are single-shamed and questioned on why they are not getting married or thinking of having a child, while being reminded of a certain ‘ticking clock’. This kind of single shaming also comes laced with archaic stereotypes that women have to face. In anticipation of such judgments and pressures of trying to justify themselves, attending a loved one's wedding instead of celebrating often becomes a source of anxiety and anguish for single women, when it absolutely shouldn't be. On Bumble, women are in control, choosing who and how they want to date. As we approach 2024, we want to encourage women to date on their own timelines, remember to prioritise yourself and embrace your own path. There is no fixed timeline to life and nothing is hotter than being your true self.” 

What are the most common stereotypes women in India face or hear about those who want to marry in their own time per Bumble’s new study:

  • For 41 per cent of women, respondents say being too ambitious and career-oriented is the most common stereotype they face.
  • For 40 per cent of women respondents having financial issues is a common stereotype.
  • 32 per cent of Indian women say being too picky and not willing to adjust and for 30 per cent of women, it is women not wanting to take on household responsibilities.

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