It has been almost two years since the pandemic started, changing the way we move as social beings throughout the world. Due to the uncertainty of the virus, many people have changed their behaviors to stay safe during these times. In-person activities turned virtual to adhere to the COVID-19 healthy safety guidelines. One such altered activity is dating.
Dating was already a modernized activity; however, the pandemic accelerated the dating industry, changing how people meet, interact, and start relationships. For example, many singles have adapted to using online platforms such as Zoom, FaceTime, or other video features on dating apps to go on virtual dates with potential partners. According to Match, a study determined that only 6 percent of users usually used the video chatting feature while during the pandemic, 69 percent of the active users were more willing to use the video chatting feature to meet a potential partner.
Popular dating apps such as Hinge, OkCupid, Match, Bumble, and Tinder have also partnered with the government to add a badge to users’ profiles to indicate whether they have been vaccinated. Some dating apps will even boost the profiles of those vaccinated to be more visible for potential partners and filter out less qualified candidates. With modernized dating apps, people are more motivated to screen their potential connections ensuring that they make genuine connections while also staying safe.
However, there is a downside to the new dating system — shifting from in-person meetings to virtual meetings. Using dating apps can become time-consuming, and some may not feel as successful with digital dating as they were with in-person dating. Spending more time online trying to find a partner can have an impact on one’s mental health. Furthermore, apps that added the vaccine badge for users may cause discrimination towards unvaccinated users.
Dating during the pandemic can be tricky at times but can offer unique opportunities to meet new people. Users can spend more time genuinely getting to know potential partners before meeting them in person, ensuring their safety, and encouraging healthy behaviors, making digital dating worthwhile.