Dating seems to be last on many people’s minds when considering the issues affected by the pandemic, but of course, dating has hit a major block road. Relationships in Lockdown have often faced an intense living situation or others have been forced to go to long-distance and made already long-distance relationships more distant and meet-ups more irregular.
And what about those singletons? Well, they’ve had another problem, they have been almost completely isolated and resulted in feeling ‘even more single’ than before. At the beginning of lockdowns in 2020, the normal date night plans and standard ‘meet cutes’ seemed impossible in the time of isolation when you can’t go further than the local park. Even pre-pandemic one major go-to for young singles was dating apps- Tinder, Bumble, Hinge were all ways for people to connect for dates and make loved-up connections. But since the COVID rise, the usage of dating apps has increased significantly, as more people turn to dating apps as a way of making connections, as well as filling time. And this may have changed how people date, not only are more people becoming increasingly reliant on social media interactions and online facetime calls as opposed to normal in-person dates. At points throughout the past year where lockdowns have eased and dates in-person have been permitted, albeit often socially distanced, it becomes a strange interaction when you’ve been trapped inside a house, with little human contact with anyone outside of your flatmates or family. Not only is a date a scary thing to do in itself, being conscious of COVID restrictions and ensuring you are protected and have a good time getting to know someone new. And of course, the other concern of online dating- is the fear of catfish. It is always a concern on any date you go on that the person you’re meeting may not be exactly who you think they are. Hopefully that the reality of an unexpected person on a date is not a common one, but it is a risk every online dater may take.
Has this year taught us anything about dating? Yes, mostly that we are going to have to adjust our confidence and style of dating. No longer can we as freely intermingle and feel as comfortable talking to new strangers- lower COVID numbers won’t change the built-up anxieties of meeting people in person after months of being stuck behind closed doors has. Hopefully, it’ll make us more cautious, but once things begin to ease completely, we can return to a new sense of normality in dating too.
(Photo credit @Alireza Helmi from Unsplash.com)