In Los Angeles, there are a lot of technology companies and new dating apps being launched for singles looking for love online.
Recently, a new niche online dating site called PyaarStory launched to help contemporary Indian-American singles date, with the goal of inspiring romance by creating date ideas. You can view some of these terrific ideas on their heavily followed Instagram page.
PyaarStory’s goal is to blend the Indian-American dating element. Their name came from one word Indian (Pyaar, which means love) and one word American (Story). Hence, it’s about a Love Story.
For those familiar with dating sites, think “Shaadi” meets “How About We.”
I sat down with PyaarStory’s CEO Shane Patel to learn more about their new site and to hear his thoughts about dating in Los Angeles.
Julie: What inspired you to start PyaarStory?
Shane: There was no Indian-American dating site until now that focused on contemporary Indian-American singles that are career focused and want to enjoy dating. I know that the Indian-American population pursues school a lot longer, whether medical or dental school, and are busy attaining their career goals. Our site helps these singles go online to meet offline with the daters creating the date ideas. Our members are looking for someone to date in a similar way to American dating culture, because they’ve grown up here.
Julie: Who are your members?
Shane: Our membership is 60% female and 40% male, located within the ages of 21-35 years old. Our biggest cities are the Tri-State area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut), California/West Coast, Boston, Chicago, and Dallas.
Julie: What’s the difference between PyaarStory and Shaadi?
Shane: Shaadi.com is the only Indian dating site, however they are matrimonial based. I realized that the current demographics of contemporary Indian-American singles really wanted to go out and meet people based on shared interests, not based on who their parents would set them up with. Dating sites like Shaadi are more marriage-minded, where you go online and fill out a long profile about your family’s history and other objective information. With PyaarStory, it’s much simpler to join and fill out a profile with basic information and then propose a fun date idea to hopefully spark some chemistry with someone that has similar interests.
Julie: What’s the difference between PyaarStory and How About We?
Shane: How About We essentially allows people to proposes date ideas, without the ability to search profiles. How About We doesn’t have the typical search parameters that we have. PyaarStory’s members propose date ideas and connect by date ideas, while being able to view profiles as well. Profiles on PyaarStory are short and limited. It’s a super toned done version of Shaadi, but a toned up version of How About We.
Julie: What’s the difference between American dating cultures and versus traditional Indian dating culture?
The primary difference between traditional Indian culture and American dating culture is that Indian culture is more marriage minded right off the bat. American dating culture focuses on going out, meeting people, and experiencing common interests and compatibility by bonding over common interests. Dating in Indian culture is more about family backgrounds and objective information on dating profiles whereas American culture places more emphasis on the true feeling of chemistry and romance. We successfully blend both cultures.
Julie: How long does it take to create a profile?
Shane: It takes only about three minutes to create a profile on PyaarStory. Singles will answer questions about basic information such as age, location, height, and partner preferences. We also have some advanced search tools based on filters including education, smoking, drinking, kids, and income level.
When you sign up, you set up your potential date’s age preference and distance preferences within 50, 75, 100 miles, or you can say that it doesn’t matter.
Julie: How does the site work and how do singles propose a date?
Shane: Once a profile is created, basically all you need to do is propose a date idea. You can exchange messages with someone and plan to meet. Our focus is to take the conversation offline. When members log into their dashboard and propose a date idea, it goes onto their profiles. Members will see a stream of people close to them in age and by distance, showing those closest to you at first.
How does someone approve a date?
When you view someone’s profile and like his or her date idea, click, “let’s do it!” They will receive a message that you are interested in their date idea.
Julie: What makes dating in Los Angeles different or unique?
When I was dating in LA, the hardest thing was that it’s a superficial dating scene here. I found it hard to meet people at clubs and realized that getting on an online dating website would speed up the search and allow you to connect with others based on common interests.
What are some of your favorite local date recommendations in Los Angeles?
Rooftop bars are one of my personal favorites for dates. The Standard downtown and SkyBar in West Hollywood are fun. Other ideas include the Santa Monica Pier and Hollywood restaurants such as Katsuya, Redbury Hotel, and Drais.
I also recommend hiking in Runyan Canyon or going to an art museum.
What’s next for PyaarStory?
Our mobile app will be launching in mid-September.
What’s your relationship status?
I’m in a committed relationship with someone that I did meet online, so I believe very much in the success of online dating. We also lived in different cities, so we used Skype to have a nightly date before we met in person.
How does one sign up?
Visit PyaarStory.com where you can sign up for free and have 24-hours of free full access to the site. After that, you can pay $15/month or prepay for three months for $40.
Julie Spira is America's Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She's the founder of CyberDatingExpert.com and was an early adopter of Internet dating, having created her first profile 20 years ago. Julie works with singles from college-age to baby boomers with her Irresistible Profiles programs to help them find their one in 40 million. For online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, like her Facebook page, and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.