To find love in the age of social distancing you’re going to need to think outside the bar.
Two thirds of online daters say that despite the pandemic, they’re still looking for love. But obviously the game has changed. Whereas, for many, the app-based back and forth was merely preamble before diving into dating – now that back and forth is the dating.
Daters are ready to get creative, however. The same research, carried out by the app Happn, found that 91% of people are open to trying new ways of dating during the current isolation period. According to nearly half of those interviewed, dating over face-time is the new ‘must-do’ while we’re unable to meet up in bars or restaurants.
And that could be seen as an opportunity, rather than a pitfall. Three quarters of single Brits feel as though the isolation period will help them to make a stronger connection online. Users say they’ll have the chance to speak in more detail about each other, can invest in a more quality conversation, and might even forge a deeper emotional connection when it’s only talk and not, well, y’know, on people’s minds.
David Vermeulen, CEO and founder of The Inner Circle, said: “We’re seeing a huge surge in activity. Matches are up by 99% and, proving people are more up for talking, the number of messages being sent is up by 116%.
The Inner Circle also confirmed the trend for members organising online dates with their matches. Since the beginning of March, the app has seen a 50% increase in people suggesting to call, Skype and Zoom their matches.
But how can you make the most of your virtual date to forge a connection IRL? Here dating expert, Charly Lester, gives her top tips for keeping dating exciting while social distancing:
Play virtual games: There are lots of apps that you can download to play with your matches; Scrabble, Pictionary or Connect 4, to name just a few. It’s a great way to get to know each other as your personalities come out when you start to get competitive. And it’s a great excuse to get a little flirty.
Coronavirus and Chill: Pick a TV show or movie to watch together and show your sense of humour by commenting on scenes and opinions on shows – it could start a debate, a connection, a relationship.
Bring going out inside: Grab a glass of wine and set up a Skype date to get to know your match a little more. If you want to move it to a second date, you could even cook dinner and imagine you’re at a restaurant.
Play 21 truths, instead of dares: Why not add some suspense while you dive deeper into each other’s lives? Make each question count!
Create a playlist: You may not be able to travel to your desert island, but that doesn’t stop you picking the discs you’d take with you. Put some of your favourite jams together and swap with your match. From rap music to classical, or even Disney soundtracks, they say you can tell a lot about a person by their music taste and it could spark a great conversation.
Sketch your match: You could make it humorous or actually make an effort to try. Who knows, you might have hidden talent that even you didn’t know about.