The last year has seen a monumental change in the way in which we live our lives. Brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, the world we live in now is a much different place to the one we knew before. Some will argue this is for the better, the majority would disagree.
For those of us who are single and looking for love, we likely disagree more than most. Dr. Gagan Bhatnagar tweeted shortly before Christmas that “Being single during this pandemic has been downright dreadful”. He is not alone, there are millions of singles, hoping to find love, but unable to do so due to the restrictions placed on us.
For singles, getting close to and spending time with a prospective lover during lockdown has been nigh on impossible. So, how has the pandemic changed the dating landscape?
The rise of dating apps
With infection rates still soaring in the majority of countries, staying indoors and isolating has led to a huge increase in the use of dating apps.
Forecasts predict that within a year, 26.6 million adults, in the US alone will use dating apps to find love, a staggering 18.4% increase from 2019. Data company Apptopia claims that in the last year alone, since the beginning of the pandemic, 1.5 million Americans have joined dating apps.
Apps; including, Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, and Hinge have reported huge growth across all user demographics since the pandemic took hold. Interestingly, these apps are no longer just for the young, tech-savvy amongst us, dating apps are seeing huge growth amongst those aged 60+, proving that not only do we all want to find that special someone, but we are also prepared to adjust and evolve to make that happen.
Dating apps are working diligently to help us on the journey, but how exactly are they serving users who are isolated and unable to meet those they match with?
Innovation in a time of isolation
Video chat features have seen huge growth during the pandemic, with Bumble reporting an increase of 42% amongst users. Video is playing a huge part in helping users connect during isolation, with apps like Curtn and Match.com also exploring video chats. Not only does video chatting help users to connect, but it can also limit those awkward moments when you meet somebody that looks nothing like their picture.
Gamification has also seen huge improvements since the first lockdown, seemingly connecting users through fun tasks and challenges is very popular. Lanternis the first app to take an entertainment approach to online dating, with story-driven narratives that leverage gamification technology. The apps’ playful scenarios are much more fun than the swiping-based-solely-on-physical-appearance ethos of most other apps.
Dating apps are regularly adding new features and updates to help their users connect during the pandemic, including Flirtio, and it’s clear that more are sure to follow as restrictions are eased around in various countries, but how will this pandemic change how we date in the future?
Dating in a post-pandemic world
It’s impossible to predict exactly how the dating landscape will look, post Covid-19. With little certainty over when life will return to normal, we can only guess how the future will look. Here are some expert predictions:
- Video is here to stay – with the ability to date for free, from your bedroom, we may also be able to fit more dates into our diaries. Rather than spending copious amounts of time and money dating in person, we can date through video and only meet those we have a strong connection with, video will help make dating efficient again.
- The vetting process has gotten easier – with the rise of video chat and such features, we will be able to vet those we connect with much more effectively, ensuring we only meet matches we are interested in. The vetting process won’t remove first dates, but it may allow us to be more selective over whom we do meet for a first date.
- Getting physical might be a slower process – sometimes when dating, we can feel pressure to get intimate before we’re ready. Now, we can wait for that deeper connection without having to worry. Initially, at least, there’s going to be paranoia about kissing someone you don’t know, so we’ll use this time to make sure it’s right for both parties.
- Flings may decrease – people are taking dating more seriously, people have become aware of how precious life and time are, so are investing their energy in more authentic, connected conversations, this should reduce the number of people looking for that something extra saucy on the side.
We don’t know for sure how dating will work, post-pandemic, as with everything these last 12 months we need to wait and see. In the meantime, we have created FLIRTO to help those of us looking for love, to find the connection we desire.