Style Living Self Celebrity Geeky News and Views
In the Paper BrandedUp Hello! Create with us Privacy Policy

If in dating apps you don't succeed, try an Instagram DM

By BEA TRINIDAD, The Philippine STAR Published Jul 16, 2023 5:00 am

Dating is exhausting. Some people even suffer from dating burnout: sheer exhaustion from going on one date after another. 

There’s been an online trend that people call “dating stacking.” This phenomenon is when one goes on two or more dates in one day. 

No wonder people are getting burnt out. When I hear stories of how older generations found their partners, they would say the met “in college” or “in the neighborhood.”

Dating and courtship were a lot simpler back then. Our parents and grandparents never complained of burning out from swiping on a dating app. 

Now that many people rush to meet their match, is it still possible to meet someone spontaneously? Can a good “meet-cute” story still exist online?

@yeanxxiv ib: @@machiislove🇵🇭🇰🇷 #fypシ #india ♬ Cupid (Twin Ver.) - FIFTY FIFTY

Here comes Yean Anacleto and Pavan Arora, an Indian-Filipino couple I found on TikTok. They went viral during the pandemic with 11 million likes and 164k followers. Yean’s TikTok page (@yeanxxiv) shares the modern love story of their meeting on Instagram in January 2022.

Lesson one: Send a subtle compliment

There’s popular slang used on social media: to “slide into” one’s DMS. This act means sending a private and direct message (DM) to someone you are attracted to. 

Yean’s first introduction to Indian culture was at a Punjabi wedding.

Pavan slid into Yean’s DM. She shared, “The first message he sent me was, ‘Your hair looks good.’” She admitted being curious and replied, “My hair is different now.” That’s how the conversation started between the two of them. 

Lesson two: Always vet someone you meet online 

After that initial conversation starter, they started talking on FaceTime. Yean said, “Pavan was always respectful over messages.” So, she decided it was safe to meet in May in the Philippines. 

Now that many people rush to meet their match, is it still possible to meet someone spontaneously? Can a good “meet-cute” story still exist online?

She said, “The first meeting was awkward. I’m mellow. And Pavan was the opposite, very talkative, but that made me comfortable even on the first day.” 

After a few months, she took a risk and decided to meet him in Delhi, India, in July 2022. It was her first time ever to travel overseas on her own. 

She said, “The biggest struggle was introducing my family or even telling my family that I had an Indian boyfriend and that I actually would go there. I even had to lie to my dad about going.” 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Yean Anacleto (@yeanxxiv)

She said, “I’m the only girl in our family. My dad was so protective. Eventually, he agreed. He bought fruits for him.”

Lesson three: Enjoy the getting-to-know-you stage from virtual life to real life

It’s easy to see why they went viral on their social media pages. It’s a peek into cross-cultural relationships. Yean shows her celebrating Diwali (a Hindu festival with lights, held from October to November) with Pavan’s family, visiting a meditation center, and watching cricket, among many other things. At the same time, Yean tours Pavan to places like the strawberry farms in Baguio, the beaches of Boracay and the digital nomad lifestyle in La Union. There’s a novelty in the getting-to-know-you stage. 

At the moment, they are in a long-distance relationship. Pavan said, “I enjoy long distance because, you know, we both get like time to grow in our own space. And when we are together, we are continuously together for three or four months. And then when we are separate, it’s only a month and in that month, I’ll join salsa dance and horseback riding. So I love exploring new hobbies. She is learning to invest in stocks.” 

Lesson four: Allow for serendipity

Pavan and Yean have traveled to many places. Their modern love story shows you can meet someone online, even outside dating apps, and develop chemistry and connection. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Yean Anacleto (@yeanxxiv)

After getting past the early dating stages, Yean said, “I could see he’s become extra caring towards me. And that is when I feel butterflies.” 

The reason why people experience dating burnout is something other than technology. It’s about lousy dating behavior. Pavan and Yean’s relationship shows you can slide into one’s DMs and get that initial attraction. But it’s the care for each other that keeps the relationship going.