As a South Asian woman, finding a guy to date or love is a complex process. Social pressures make it difficult to form a meaningful connections it’s even harder for women to look for and get to know a guy before they are forced into the “m” word – marriage. For some, that means ending up with people they don’t love; for others it means feeling like a failure if they don’t marry. What’s a girl – or a guy, for that matter – to do?
Enter Dus the feminist South Asian dating app. Founded by Shawn Sheikh, Sahil Diwan, Casey Rondinella and YouTube Comedian Jus Reign, Dus is a unique dating app for Desis that aims to make dating autonomous, safe, and fun. You can keep your profile private (a Hidden Mode feature supposedly hides users from aunties uncles and nosy cousins), yet still connect with people through fun activities like mini games and conversation. Only women can start chats and chatrooms only last 10 (Dus) days to encourage users to meet up and exchange phone numbers. Co-founder and CTO Sahil Diwan says:
“We’re looking to flip the script and empower women to take charge. It’s been a pleasant surprise to see so many women start the conversation and set up dates on Dus; especially in a community where this is often frowned upon.”
It seems that this features is also a powerful weapon in the battle against creepy men on dating apps.
Dus fills an important gap in the South Asian dating community because, unlike other apps, it’s focused on flexibility. According to co-founder and CEO Sheikh:
“The word ‘dating’ means different things to different people, and that’s what we want to focus on – the ability to get what you want out of our app based on how you use it.”
For Desi women, this mitigates some all-too-familiar problems. In South Asian communities, there’s a marketplace mentality that can make marriage more a transaction than a relationship. Why bother with online dating if you’re still going to be sorted by the same shallow metrics, and pressed into the same limiting expectations, that exist offline? Then there’s the possibility of harassment for breaking with tradition. Dus helps tear down these barriers and provide a more empowering dating environment for women.
Indian-Canadian Comedian Jus Reign, Dus’ Chief Content Officer commented:
“It’s hard for the new generation of Desi girls to try modern dating right now, and I want to be a part of the process to help build an empowering platform that changes the way Desi women find relationships.”
Dus is one of the first movers in the what hopes to be a shift to modern dating that’s more diverse, nuanced, and inclusive. Dating apps are only one step on the road to fostering personal respect and healthy relationships, especially for women. In today’s world, we need all of that we can get!
You can check Dus out here: