“I don’t even want to look at myself,” said Pankaj Kaur, 26, a sales associate at a local online dating service.
“I am not single because I am not in a relationship.
I want to marry someone and have a family.
I don’t feel like I’m single anymore.”
Online dating is one of the fastest growing areas of the Indian economy, with more than 4.5 million Indians in online dating, according to a recent survey by the India-based technology company e-Tinder.
The trend has grown exponentially over the past two decades, with millions of Indians choosing to live together online, according for the United Nations Population Fund.
In India, there are more than 5 million online singles, according e-Meters, with a total of 6,972,000 Indian singles.
The vast majority of these couples live in rural areas, but there are also a large number of urban singles.
For women, it’s about a third.
While India has seen an uptick in dating sites, there is still a significant amount of stigma attached to them, said Kavita Gupta, a Mumbai-based lawyer who has advised many Indian couples.
“There is a lot of pressure.
We are not even supposed to use these sites if we are single, and we are not supposed to tell people what we are looking for.””
We are not ready to say ‘I want to go out and have sex with someone,'” she added.
India has one of world’s most expensive sex markets, with men paying up to $1,000 for sex, but the average price of an Indian woman’s first sex is $3,400, according the International Organization for Migration.
And, the average cost of a first sex in India is more than $200, Gupta said.
Women often have trouble finding suitable men, and are often scared off by the stigma associated with online dating.
The online dating market is largely unregulated, and many of the profiles are often unsolicited, she said.
In the past, a woman’s social media profile might be used by friends and relatives for a dating site, Gupta added.
But now, the profiles can be used for everything from online dating services, to private business, to entertainment.
Kaur, who is single, said she does not have any regrets about choosing to be single.
“It’s the best decision I ever made,” she said, “and I don’ think I would have made it otherwise.”
Follow Amy Asher-Perrin on Twitter at @amyasher_ or on Facebook at amy asher-perrin.