Has the Future of Dating Changed as a Result of the Pandemic?

Dating is a difficult game even when there isn’t a deadly virus rampaging across the globe. [...]

Dating is a difficult game even when there isn’t a deadly virus rampaging across the globe. But if you’ve been single during the past year of intermittent lockdown, you might have had a tougher time than most. Going on socially-distanced dates, and scouring dating apps for new prospects isn’t quite the same as flesh-and-blood interaction in a real physical space.

It’s unlikely that we’ll simply return to our old dating habits once the pandemic draws to an end and the vaccine has been widely administered. Attitudes have changed, and for many, they might not change back. 

Office Romances

The era of working from home has done a great deal to change attitudes when it comes to the office romances. According to research from instantprint, a banner printing company based in Rotherham, the office romance has dwindled during lockdown, with only 10% of those surveyed confessing to having started an office romance since the first one began.

The rest of the workforce seem to be more ambivalent about the practice (probably because they don’t have to look at the lovestruck couple making eyes at one another over the photocopier). Just 16% of respondents claimed to be opposed to couples getting together while working from home, compared with 56% the previous year.

Dating Apps

It might be that you’ve noticed some of the advantages of a digital approach to love. And the dating apps themselves have had to adapt to cater to new forms of demand. Many have integrated video chat facilities, allowing you to consent to talk face-to-face to a new date, right from within the app. This removes a great deal of the stress of getting prepared, and effectively makes dating that little bit more disposable. When you’re doing it in this way, it’s easier than ever to bail on a date and look for another one.

Bars & Clubs

A bar is a classic place to pick up a romantic partner. All you needed to do was approach a perfect stranger, dazzle them with your sparkling wit, and spend the rest of the evening having a scintillating conversation about the issues of the day. Of course, it doesn’t always go quite so smoothly, and not everyone’s built for the exposure (and, let’s face it, strong potential for humiliation) that goes with a modern club.

A loud bar isn’t the best venue for conversation, anyway. You’re more likely to get that on a dating app. Sure enough, the ‘quality’ of messages sent on dating apps like Bumble has skyrocketed, based on the length of messages shared. It might be that, all being in the same boat during lockdown, singletons have the perfect thing to vent about. Whether this persists in the long term remains to be seen.

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Laura.Bartlett

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