The arrival of covid-19 has brought many challenges one of which is the logistics of dating! How are people supposed to find and meet new partners with social distancing and lock down restrictions?
Thankfully, online dating is the answer. Whilst it’s not a new concept, the hours spent on online dating sites during the pandemic has rocketed. It seems that people are embracing the time they do have at home and using it to search the web for love in lockdown! In fact, Tinder saw its highest user figures on 29th March with 3 BILLION swipes in one day!
What will finding love look like as we move forwards and restrictions ease?
There are a wealth of sites to choose from. Some focus on finding local connections and others have a wider, even International reach such as www.welovedate.com. Some offering free dating and others having a chargeable service but what they will all have in common is a desire to connect people virtually at a time when social connection has never been more important.
So what will online dating look like as companies embrace a new way of connecting?
The obvious change would be a move to ‘virtual dates’ where people chat face to face over their phone or device. Not only does this allow people to see each other rather than just rely on messaging but it also improves the safety aspect of meeting up with a relative stranger. Hopefully, it will also act as another level of filtering; whereby people can discount other site users if they don’t feel a connection and go on to develop conversations with those who they do get on with, in preparation for a real life meeting.
Anyone working from home will also know that group ‘zoom’ (other platforms are available) meetings are an option for social get togethers and so groups could be set up around interest areas, professions etc so that members have things in common already and hopefully natural topics of conversation. And of course, there’s virtual speed dating where you would have 60 seconds to chat with a stranger before clicking to move on to the next attendee. Although I tried a couple of online dating sites when I was single, I never attended a speed dating event and always feel like I missed out on the fun. I think speed dating is a great option for people who want to build their confidence slightly because they only need to chat for a short while and can rehearse their questions and own ‘sales pitch’.
Of course, not everyone is comfortable with the 2D aspect of virtual meetings and for those users, there will still be standard messaging and one of my very favourite features of modern communication; the voice note! For me, this is the perfect mixture of personal touch without the awkward silences or speedy responses, that you later regret, in a phone conversation. I would definitely like to see dating sites embrace this as an option.
Of course, there is no substitute for meeting people in the flesh and discovering if you get ‘the feeling’ with them but at a time when we need to be observing social distancing, I think online dating offers a safe, fun and potentially exciting alternative.