Dating is hard as it is, and a worldwide pandemic certainly didn’t make it easier. With all the bars, restaurants, clubs, and other public spaces being closed people were left with no option but to go online. A COVID-impact survey showed that 80% of people under the age of 30 reported feeling lonely and depressed during the first wave of lockdown. This is why the dating apps were thriving in 2020 and are still having a noticeable increase in their user base in 2021. Creating an online dating profile and diving into cyberspace turned out to be a great solution for those who suffered from loneliness and isolation.
While in 2021 some countries are starting to ease restrictions, others are extending lockdowns or introducing new regional measures. Some countries limit their restrictions to medical masks in shops and on public transport, some still have a curfew during evening and night time, and some tighten their lockdown and ban movement between districts. Ever since the pandemic started a new dating etiquette was formed that includes discussing your safety protocol before agreeing for a date. You need to reach common ground on mask wearing, physical distance, outside activities vs indoors ones, what type of date and contact level are you into, etc.
Did COVID-19 change the dating world forever?
During the first outbreak of coronavirus, most of the big city governments came up with a set of suggestions for casual daters to help them stay safe and to reduce the spread of COVID-19. For example, The New York Health Department published a document titled “Sex and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19)” where they suggested masturbation as the safest form of sex. The other advice they offered was to meet sex partners online (video dates, sexting, chat rooms) and consider taking a break from in-person dates. Many people who used to think of online dating as a last resort for partners in long-distance relationships reconsidered their opinion and found a lot of positive things in the new norms of dating. For example, the logistics of it all became much easier. You don’t need to plan the right place to meet your date, it’s easier to work around busy schedules, and there’s no need to split the bill for dinner or drinks, etc. People are adopting new behaviours and are getting more comfortable with doing things remotely.
Bumble saw a 26% increase in the number of messages sent on the platform, and Pure dating app doubled the same metric during lockdown time. Such features as in-app video calls offered by both Pure and Bumble and a few more dating apps became even more popular among users.
Cityline interviewed a few single and dating people to find out if they think the 2020 pandemic changed dating forever.
How to start online dating?
If you’re new to the whole online dating trend, the first thing you need to figure out is why you want to date right now. Is it because you want a long-term committed relationship, or is it because you’re lonely and just want to meet somebody to provide you with emotional support? Be honest with yourself. In any case, if you decide that having an online relationship (via texting or video calls) will make you feel less lonely and make your lockdown experience more comfortable, don’t hesitate to try it out. Ultimately, any kind of relationship is an exchange of care. And during times of crisis, we need care the most. Once you understand what it is that you need from your potential partner, don’t hesitate to put it on your online dating profile.
Good Morning America shares a few tips for dating during the pandemic in America.
With all of the fun it may bring into your life, online dating also requires some patience and effort, so we advise you to set up a profile on a few different apps to get more potential partners.
You'll crave for more!
What apps should I use to meet somebody special?
We did a little research for you and listed a few of the top choices on the dating app market. These apps will offer you video chat features and plenty of other ways to stay in touch even when you’re stuck indoors. Some of the apps mentioned here will help you find a quick online hookup or a fling with like-minded people, while others are more useful in finding a long-term serious relationship. A good dating app should have great security measures and keep your data safe. So we’d recommend you to read the privacy policies of any dating app you use.
Pure is the best app for sexting and video calls as well as other romantic and fun online communication. Pure app offers a friendly and welcoming community of people who are also looking for some emotional support and maybe even some physical touch during this pandemic. If you belong to the LGBTQ+ dating pool, this app is inclusive. Pure guarantees your privacy and safety. It has such useful features as self-destructing chats and special notifications that let you know if your partner tries to take a screenshot of a conversation or a private photo you shared with them.
Pure is also really quick and easy to use. Just download the app, sign up, and publish your first post to start looking for a partner. No social media links or phone numbers are needed, just browse through other users’ posts and find your perfect match!
Bumble is a big name in the dating apps world. Besides the usual option to text people, the app also offers in-app voice calling and video calling. The app’s video chat can be a great way to get to know someone better before meeting them in person. Bumble is different from other dating apps because it requires women to message first. So it’s not really an option if you’re a female that doesn’t want to take the first step, but most people really do appreciate that feature. As for same-sex connections or friendships, either person has to make a move within 24 hours, otherwise, the match will disappear. You need to be really active on Bumble because matches disappear after 24 hours of inactivity.
Hinge is another great dating app to consider. It is most suitable for people who are looking for a serious relationship. Hinge calls itself the app “designed to be deleted” because you’re meant to find a relationship so you can stop using dating apps. Hinge gives you an option to display a lot of useful information about yourself and see the potential deal-breakers on your partner’s profile. The profiles are pretty engaging – you can look up people’s political views, religion, alcohol consumption frequency, interest level in having children, etc. You’ll have to be quite selective about who you like though because the app only lets you send 10 likes per day. The Hinge also offers a Date From Home feature that helps users to easily tell someone whether they’re ready for a virtual date.
Plenty of Fish
Plenty of Fish has been around for a long time and is known to be one of the world’s largest dating platforms. The app recently launched Live! feature, which enables users to live stream with potential matches. It allows you to go beyond a member’s profile and see what they’re like in-person from the comfort of your home. Live! is a streaming service for the dating world, with special dating games and virtual gifts. When registering for the app, expect to answer a lot of questions – this way the app figures out who to match you with.
Top 6 tips for dating online
- Set up a good dating profile. Set a casual/realistic-looking photo of yourself, add a short text that represents your personality and what you want from a potential partner. And please, oh please, refrain from making Coronavirus jokes. It’s so 2020.
- Be clear about what you want. Expressing to others what you are looking for can help spare wasted dating effort.
- Ask important questions early before you get invested too much. In any kind of relationship, it’s always essential to keep your eyes open for red flags. It’s always better to know who someone really is before meeting in person.
- Be patient, and have as many remote meetings as you need. Video dating can be an effective way to learn about each other. And if you want to test the waters for your sex compatibility, you can always try sexting, and phone or video sex.
- If you decide to meet in person, set safety rules. Establish a safe meeting place, rules on maintaining social distancing, taking covid tests, and quarantining for a few weeks before the meeting.
- Share your date location with a friend or relative. This can give you an extra layer of protection just in case things go south. It’s also best not to allow your partner to pick you up or drop you off on your first date.