If dating wasn’t hard enough before the events of 2020 then finding love with the pandemic as a backdrop has added another layer of problems to contend with.
But does that mean it’s all doom and gloom for those looking for love or has it actually made people more genuine in their quest for deep and meaningful connections?
With physical meet ups restricted by social distancing and lockdown rules, dating has had to move almost entirely online.
Since March 2020 and the first lockdown, dating apps have reported an increase in users and by April 2020 Tinder had seen messaging increase 52% - not surprising when so many other traditional routes for face-to-face connections are limited.
Despite the fact that over a third (32%) of relationships pre-pandemic started online, daters have still had to adjust their processes and their route to love.
During lockdown one fifth of Tinder users aged 18 to 25 watched TV virtually as a first date and video dating has definitely become ‘the norm’ as a way to move past the initial messaging stage. Without traditional dating activities like the cinema or bowling that provide distractions, physical meet ups have been much more about getting to know each other - more walking and talking than eating, drinking or hanging out in a darkened room together.
But what does dating post pandemic look like? Nearly 40% of users surveyed by Bumble reported that they were planning to get serious about dating, wasting little time and treating dates more like interviews. A further 48% confirmed that they would be looking for love closer to home in the future – saving on travelling time, costs and wasted journeys!
There is evidence to suggest that dating in a pandemic has brought about some positive changes. Dating site ‘Singles in America’ surveyed 5000 people and found that 69% of daters were being more honest and open with the people they were connected with; whilst 63% were spending more time getting to know their matches. In the UK, 46% of Bumble users were looking for something serious after experiencing loneliness in lockdown.
The single people of the world have had to face loneliness, reduced intimacy and a complete shift to the already finely balanced rules of dating. What coping mechanisms can they adopt to navigate the current situation?
KEEP A PERSPECTIVE – Everything is very different in the world right now and it’s worth remembering that all the usual rules have gone out of the window! Don’t set unrealistic love goals, keep things in perspective.
GO SLOW… - If ever there was a chance to slow down the dating process and really get to know each other this is it. Having to invest some time in communication before meeting could be a really good thing.
FIND YOUR POSITIVITY – Being single isn’t a failing! If dating (or the lack of) is taking over and creating feelings of inadequacy take some time out and step out of the dating pool.
Whilst lockdown dating definitely hasn’t been easy there is much to suggest that the legacy for the future is a more focused dating scene where people value human connection much more than they have previously. Even if they won’t be prepared to travel too far to experience it!
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