Global pop culture is opening up to traditional Asian match-making, as reflected by the popularity of our very own Indian OTT shows. We at JODI decided to go behind the scenes to find out what makes matchmaking a desirable choice for the modern Indian.
We sat down with Krsna Daswani, a matchmaker and dating coach at Sirf Coffee, and picked her brain on how she empowers people on their journey to find new relationships.
Our first interaction with Krsna was a lot like her ideal first date – a walk in the park with a quick coffee stop along the way! She spilled the beans on the myths, secrets and tips around dating and how she maneuvers these conversations with her clients.
Krsna wears Gurhal Bralette and Johri Trousers.
What does a matchmaker do?
KD : You mean besides playing cupid and making introductions? :) Matchmakers support your personal dating journey – we listen to what you desire, process that information, and with experience and some intuition – scout for a well suited match. Think of it as a supporting cast in a musical; playing confidante, helping process emotions in a healthy way, and being able to share insight with objectivity. We also double as dating coaches – teaching clients how to ace a first date, dos and don'ts, and providing feedback for a smooth dating experience.
What is the biggest myth about dating?
KD:. That the more dates you go on or the more people that you meet, the higher your chances of finding 'the one'. I'm afraid it's not a numbers game and there’s no evidence to prove that this social behavior leads to higher chances of success. It’s important to put yourself out there – but with a sense of self-preservation. The downside of serial dating or meeting people endlessly is real dating fatigue. In the busy, fast paced lives that we lead, it’s important to be mindful about your time and energy (exactly what Siri Coffee endorses).
Krsna wears the Barwara Ruffle Dress.
What is your opinion on online dating?
KD : It’s encouraging to have new avenues to meet new people. However, it is important to self-assess around what style of dating you prefer, and recognise what is best suited to your personality. Most of our members are quite busy with daily life, and feel overwhelmed by the apps or dislike the commodification around swiping. There can be a lack of seriousness on online platforms, and while most of them are created to increase connection, the sheer volume of digital noise dilutes opportunity for anything authentic. More importantly, meeting in real life vs engaging digitally can greatly impact expectations.
Do you think women get into relationships with a specific notion of everything they really want in a person and hold on to those criterias above all else?
KD : I think many people have a vision and specific desires around what they're looking for in a partner. In my experience, your best bet is to find a balance between knowing what you want and being open to meeting people that fall outside that criteria. Problems arise when we get so pulled in by the weight of “must-haves”, we forget to consider what we can give. At the end of the day, everyone wants respect, love, and understanding – sometimes it comes from the interactions we least expect.
What mistakes do most people make throughout the first few dates?
KD : 1. Showing off! Humility is sexy, and truly confident people are more keen to get to know you than let you know what they have... We sometimes try so hard to come across a certain way (in a bid to impress our date) we forget to pay attention to the person sitting across from us.
Letting go on the effort to be presentable. Attraction plays such a game-changing role in first impressions. I don't believe you need to go all out (for instance too much make-up) or overdo anything that doesn't feel like yourself, but looking your best, getting your game on and feeling confident will go a long way.
Krsna wears the Padmini Evening Dress.
An ideal date for you?
KD : A walk in the park – with a good coffee & croissant stop along the way! I can get a little nervous on first dates, and the physical movement always helps me :)
What does a “successful” dating coaching session look like to you?
KD : When a person is able to identify the emotion or belief that is stopping them from creating a fulfilling relationship – and can successfully work through these obstacles. We all have emotional blocks, either from past relationships or from fears around existing ones. Being able to see them clearly is half the battle. Success is clearing these blocks and beliefs that keep us from being vulnerable, and opening ourselves up to a connection.
As a dating coach, what is one simple piece of advice you believe can make relationships happier and longer?
KD : Give people the benefit of the doubt. You can assume you understand someone’s motives, but it is always better to ask. In my experience, I’ve always learnt something I didn’t know before.
One thing you learnt as a dating coach that helped you build your personal relationships too?
KD : Being able to voice my needs or expectations, without feeling “needy” or lame for having them! I think somewhere down the line we’ve taken being independent to mean not having any desires or handling it all by ourselves – which, if you think about it – is equivalent to gaslighting yourself.
So the thing I learnt which helped me most in my relationships is:
1.Understanding my needs
3.Verbalize it in a way that helps my partner understand why it’s important to me.
4. …And a whole lot of trust!
Photographer: Shubhangi Agrawal