If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed and lonely right now—you’re not alone. The world is collectively responding to the outbreak of a new strand of the coronavirus, COVID-19. Major countries and cities have gone on lockdown, with many others predicted to follow suit soon. Though it is a troubling, difficult time, there may be a silver lining of hope that comes from this global pandemic: Love.
\And not just love for thy neighbor—and for the medical community, sanitation workers, grocery store clerks and others in high-risk occupations—but perhaps, romantic love. If you happen to be single and self-quarantining, you may discover you’re more likely to log into your online dating apps. In fact, Dating.com has found an uptick in usage over the past several weeks, with high spikes in the United States, Italy, China and Spain. In America, the largest surges have been found in California, New York and Washington, Seattle.
Based on their research, 82 percent of singles have found solace in online dating, while only 5 percent reported they will stop all dating until after the virus passes. Surprisingly, 50 percent of participants said they would be interested in an online date with a potential match.
While it is definitely unprecedented, uncharted waters, in inability to meet face-to-face forces you to learn how to communicate. And it can mimic the old fashioned ‘courting’ that your grandparents preferred decades ago. Since it is still too soon to say when curfews and restrictions will be lifted, you may have weeks of chatting before you can grab a coffee or a drink, providing plenty of time to really get to know the other person.
As Maria Sullivan, the vice president and resident dating expert for Dating.com shared in a press release, setting up virtual meet-and-greets is not only healthy for singles and their communities, but for the beginning stages of a could-be relationship. “Online dating such as text chatting and video calling is a great way for singles to have that human connection, while not increasing the risk of catching the infectious virus. Both of these means of communication will also aid in social-distancing to help lower the risk of the coronavirus spreading and hopefully lead to the end of it all together.”
If you’re up for the challenge, pull up your dating app of choice (psst: we’ve reviewed many here) and suggest some of these ideas.
Watch a movie.
At the same time! Whether you both pick something from Amazon Prime, Netflix of Hulu, make sure you ‘live text’ throughout to share your opinion. For an additional connection, have a phone call afterwards to discuss the plot, acting and beyond.
Have dinner together.
This one is easy: whip up whatever staples you’re currently nomming on, set up your webcam and talk while you eat. This will feel the most like in-person dating, since many singles meet up for a meal or for a drink as a first date.
Set up a group date.
Perhaps your roommate is single. And your match’s roommate is as well. This creates the perfect opportunity to have a digital group date. This can take the pressure—and awkwardness—out of the situation and create a fun, casual experience.
Simply, talk on the phone.
If you’re not quite ready for a video exchange, that’s okay. Instead, suggest a phone call! With ample time to pass, this can be a quick way to see if you have chemistry and how well your bantering pairs together.
What do you think? Will you continue to date during this pandemic?