In early March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, severe restrictions were imposed on most countries of the world. With restaurants, bars, and parks closed, we have to keep social distancing due to the risk of getting infected. It would seem that these harsh conditions should have jeopardized the existence of the dating industry itself, but in the absence of alternatives, people got very creative and quickly mastered a variety of online formats for dating in order to find their love under the quarantine.
Dating Websites and Apps in the COVID-19 Era
Having lost the opportunity to go on off-line dates, people did not stop getting to know each other: dating websites and apps celebrate unprecedented activity in finding potential matches or buying a wife online. Zoom and FaceTime have become a decent replacement for the cafes and cinemas. The world-known dating sites added an option of video calls to their main features. Thus, in July 2020, Tinder started testing its video call capabilities in addition to one more update in a form of free use of the Passport feature that ensures a possibility to search for your love in any corner of the world.
The main Tinder’s competitor within the US dating market, Bumble dating app, introduced a new badge for the profiles of mail order brides and grooms. It can help potential matches identify those who are ready for online dating face-to-face meetings through the video connection. Also, Bumble has launched an online game where the potential couple has to answer the same questions and thus find something in common. Besides, the website has removed the restrictions on the distance filter and introduced audio messages to make people closer to each other.
Thus, dating platforms are now trying to exist in the whole new reality in which all the civilized world has appeared due to the pandemic. Of course, the first dialogues take place virtually, which is vital now. Nevertheless, the purpose of all these romantic conversations is to meet each other offline.
Under the quarantine, people began to spend more time online flirting. All the dating websites keep telling about the significant increase in the number of their visitors in the second week of March. On the other hand, such a huge interest of the current users is at risk of fast decrease, given that it’s not so easy to date in the current pandemic reality.
The representatives of the #Open dating app that is designed for those who follow the principles of open relationships, state that the company totally understands how hard it is being locked down without seeing each other. However, there are still a plethora of other methods to have fun, such as video calls, phone sex, and sexting. Getting excited without getting infected is easy.
Another popular dating app, OkCupid, also talks about a significant increase in the activity among its younger users. The website members tend to interact inside the OkCupid app more than ever during COVID-19. According to TheHIll, between January and February 2020, OkCupid recorded 188% more mentions of the coronavirus in the profiles of its members. Some of them are even joking “Is your name Coronavirus? Then how did you manage to take my breath away?”.
Online Dating Through the Eyes of Singles
No one knows how to properly date during the quarantine times. Some people say it is better not to go out with strangers. Others state that it is totally safe to meet each other in the open air, avoiding, however, physical contact even for those who have been in a relationship for a long time. There are those who offer another way out – sexting and phone sex.
Another interesting point: those romantic stories that have usually ended up as a one-night affair, now are turning into weekly texting and courtship. According to the Economist, the lockdown loneliness forces people to reconsider what they want from a relationship. So, online dating services have no other option than to adapt to their users’ needs. Now people are looking for communication and emotional intimacy – the occasional sex has become a thing of the past.
Before the pandemic, potential mail order wives and husbands complained about the inconsistency of some website members. A lot of people preferred not to start the conversation with their matches, as the potential interlocutors could have disappeared without saying a word. The ease with which users could make new connections prompted them to view each match as one of many easily replaceable options. This was extremely frustrating for many dating app users. Coronavirus pandemic has made people less frivolous. They take more time to get to know each other, often use video calls, and tend to show their faces. People learn to actually listen to each other, react, and delve deeper into the conversation. As a result, the interlocutors either immediately realize that they don’t match, or feel really interested to know each other better. From this point of view, the lockdown has improved people’s emotional life – dating website users have become more emphatic and responsive than before the pandemic times.
To Sum Up
The sudden disappearance of social connections between people has become one of the main negative consequences of COVID-19. Online dating platforms are extremely useful in this sense, as they ensure a possibility to find people with whom you can communicate while keeping a social distance. With the assistance of dating sites, you can try your luck in finding your true love or buying a wife on some reputable dating platforms. However, for the majority of online users, keeping in touch with each other turns out to be more important than the distance. The world is going through tough times. Offline meetings have been left behind. And online dating can help people struggle with the uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought to our daily routine.