The desire for human connection hasn’t decreased during the pandemic and has increased moreover.
Some singles for the first time have turned to virtual dating this year when the usual ways of meeting people vanished during the pandemic.
Dating in the age of COVID-19 has become simpler in some ways, yet there is a regular fear of rejection along with the fear of infection.
According to Dr. Sonal Anand, Psychiatrist at Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai , “This pandemic has affected people in lot of ways, due to lack of communication and socialization. While some people have cope up really well but some have started facing a phase of loneliness and depression and that can be a reason why they are looking for online dating apps to talk out and spend time.”
“The pandemic has affected all of us emotionally therefore socialization is definitely a welcome, but on online dating app you don’t know the person for which a background check is very essential. You need to understand that you can’t get emotionally dependent on that person,” she said.
“People who are extrovert in nature, who like hanging out or loves talking to people might have faced a tough time during the pandemic and those are the people who are using these platform extensively,” she added.
In March, a dating app for well-off singles, found that 87% of senior singles wanted to wait to meet in person until the pandemic was over. But by June, many had changed their minds and only 43% wanted to wait.
According to chief dating expert, Rachel DeAlto, this past July was busier than Valentine’s Day in their typical ‘peak season’ for dating app usage.
An online dating app called Hinge has increased 30% of messaging on its site. While Tinder saw its biggest day ever on March 29, with over 3 billion swipes, and on OKCupid, virtual dates shot up 700%, according to reports.
A luxury dating service for commitment-minded singles based in Chicago, is busier than ever this year, with 15 marriages taking place so far, says senior director of matchmaking Sara Heimerl. “People have started to reassess things in their lives and realize that relationships are a huge priority.”
Abraar Karan, MD, an internal medicine and global health doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston says, “Public health experts are not discouraging people from dating as long as they do it safely. “Everything we do has a risk/benefit and it’s totally reasonable to date if the benefits, such as social interaction, outweigh the risks, such as underlying medical conditions. Loneliness can be a big problem too.
According to an online survey of 1,321 singles in July by YouGov, a public opinion company, People in America is looking for partners, who take precautions against COVID-19 seriously.
While according to many, they won’t go on a second date if their potential romantic partner: refuses to wear a mask (57%); disobeyed stay-at-home orders/social distancing guidelines (55%); or is unwilling to date virtually (21%).
In fact, nearly half of singles say they are pickier about who they decide to meet in person than before the pandemic, and 32% say they are pickier about who they date virtually.
More Time to Communicate
Couples who met during lockdowns say they have had more time to talk to each other with fewer distractions, which led to deeper conversations.
Like, Jordan and Brittany Tyler, both 33 and professionals in Allegan, MI, met in March on Match.com. They became engaged in May and married in July. “We did a lot more talking, which escalated the [dating] time frame because we were both working at home and had more free personal time. We weren’t going out during the lockdown, which ran until the second week in June,” says Jordan.
“I didn’t pretend to be somebody. At that first dinner, I cried and shared intimate things about myself. We talked so much by the time we met, it was very different,” says Brittany.
They talked over phone and texted each other more than usual before they decided to meet in person.
Video Dating Takes Off
Health experts recommend virtual dating and say it’s the safest way for people to engage with each other, especially for singles who have health conditions.
Moreover according to the health experts, it’s the best time to discuss people’s routines and interactions, during the pandemic.
Hence, virtual dating has become very popular because of the pandemic.
A lot of first dates are now taking place on FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype before people take the leap to meeting in person, such as a socially distanced walk.
Video dating features were not that popular before pandemic and now people don’t want to want to return to in-person first dates because this is more convenient and not that awkward and people don’t have to dress up and go somewhere and it’s cheaper as well.