Lockdown Dating: How COVID-19 Has Changed Our Dream Date
The world of dating has been forever changes by Covid-19 and its lockdowns.
The Government issued restrictions that stripped away peoples’ ability to meet people naturally in their favored settings, from bars to gigs to museums. Instead, many who had not dabbled in the world of online dating turned to apps such as Tinder and Bumble to chat to new people and look for relationships.
The Drum notes that Tinder saw a rise of 11% more swipes on its app and Hinge saw a rise in downloads of 63% in 2020, compared to the year before. Dating site OkCupid also found that there has been a shift in how women interact on dating apps, with more now making the first move. In January 2021, women under the age of 30 using the app sent more first messages (28.5%) than in 2019.
The dating app discovered that in the US those who ticked yes to the question ‘will you get the Covid-19 vaccine’ received 12% more matches and 20% more likes. Dating in the pandemic has made people more conscious of their health, the impact they can have on others, and that another’s social views heavily impact their feelings and who they want to date.
Research from Legal & General has discovered that 59% of 25 to 34-year-olds have used dating apps since the pandemic began, although older age groups have been more resistant to the technology.
Their research also uncovered that 44% of lockdown daters met at the park for a stroll and to get to know one another, as the usual date night hangouts such as restaurants and cinemas closed their doors. Those surveyed claimed that restaurants (38%), the pub (24%), and the park (22%) would be their preferred date locations once restrictions were lifted. But Covid-19 didn’t only impact our date settings, it also changed our perspective on relationships. Legal & General also discovered that 57% of the UK are now more open to a serious relationship than they were before the pandemic. Perhaps this is an after-effect of the loneliness felt while living alone during the lockdowns, with just video calls to keep in touch with friends and family.
One in four UK adults (24%) claimed that they felt lonely during the second lockdown in late 2020. Some may not have experienced this before as they had the opportunity to go out and socialize and enjoy the normal world of dating.
This new perspective may be what has impacted peoples’ feelings about relationships and companionship. They may be more inclined to give someone a chance and try to make something work than simply flee at the first sign of non-compatibility.
Legal & General’s research also confirms this. Of those surveyed, loyalty and honesty ranked the highest in desired traits in a partner, and 75% of people who have been single longer than five years are now more open to striking up a serious relationship.
As we continue to navigate this post-lockdown world, we may find that some old feelings come back regarding dating as people are able to get out and socialize as normal again. However, there are still those who are being cautious and careful to ensure the virus doesn’t continue to spread.