We may be slowly inching toward a new normal, but the dating scene is anything but. For the last year, people have turned to dating apps and sites in record numbers since the chances — ability, even — to meet someone at a bar, club or social gathering were totally out of question. Because of this, apps have found ways to meet the moment, enhancing their video chatting features and even adding badges to indicate a user’s vaccination status. But as vaccinations become more accessible and the weather warms, people are ready to date out in the real world, even going so far as to calling the next few months, “hot vax summer.” Some, however, are still apprehensive about going on dates IRL until things are completely back to normal — whenever that will be.
A recent survey by Morning Consult found that, as of April 18, 2021, 54% of men in the United States are comfortable dating in the current climate compared to only 44% of women in the United States. In fact, during a five-month period of surveying, Morning Consult found that men’s comfort level never dipped below 40% whereas women’s comfort levels dropped to a low of 24% during January 2021.
As a whole, 49% of adults say they feel comfortable dating right now, increasing 13% from the previous month. The more people get vaccinated, the more that number is expected to increase.
These numbers support Match.com’s 2020 survey about dating during COVID-19: They reported that ⅔ of the 5,000 single respondents say they are ready to get back to in-person dates. Gen Z men are the most eager (sounds about right), with 50% saying they are “very ready” to get back out there. But that might not work in their favor: 68% of Boomer women say that they “aren’t ready at all.” This, of course, varies from place to place: Singles in Jacksonville, FL; San Antonio, TX and Atlanta, GA are by far the most comfortable meeting up for in-person dates unlike singles in Portland, OR; Fort Worth, TX and Phoenix, AZ.
Still, there are many singles who will continue with video dating even as cities begin to open up. 69% of the singles in the Match.com survey said that they would go on another video date in the future, at least to determine if there was chemistry and if someone was a good enough match to meet in person.
So, if you’re still not completely comfortable with going out on dates just yet, don’t rule out taking the virtual route because chances are, you’ll find someone better suited for you anyway. But whatever you do, wait until you feel comfortable enough to do so.