Is there anything more awkward than a first date? The anticipation. The anxiety. The long conversational pauses. Wouldn’t it be great to experience that kind of in-person interaction again? Someday – hopefully soon – we will get back to those awkward moments. In the meantime, singles are forced to find a connection virtually. How’s that working out?
The pandemic has severely reduced our ability to socialize – in person. We are forced to spend more time talking with friends and co-workers on Zoom, Facebook or FaceTime. While that allows us to keep in touch, it also fosters a greater feeling of loneliness. Especially among singles.
According to a Pew Research study, more than half of Americans say dating has become more difficult over the last ten years. The pandemic has certainly exacerbated that feeling.
We don’t hang out in social settings. We don’t interact with co-workers. We too often stare at the same four walls all day.
Fortunately, in some ways, dating has gotten easier. The proliferation of dating apps has made meeting someone new a lot easier. Not to mention how Zoom allows to still see each other.
According to a Stanford University study, in 2017 39 percent of heterosexual couples and almost 65 percent of gay couples met online. We could assume that rate has increased since COVID-19 reared its ugly head. As a matter of fact, according to the Match Group – which owns several dating apps – their subscriber rate increased by 11% in the second quarter of 2020.
The loneliness factor is certainly driving much of this. People are – possibly – more eager to make a connection. Not necessarily for marriage but certainly for companionship. At the same time, this enhanced desire does come with some fallout.
The online world is full of trolls and fakes. This has heightened a concern for some about safety. Is that person I am “meeting” real? Dating is always full of risks. People misrepresent themselves in person, as well, though it is much easier to do this in a virtual world. Yet, the advantage of apps like Zoom allow us to, “kick the tires”, if you will.
On the other hand, the pandemic has actually accelerated the dating process. Back in the day, you would meet someone and arrange a date. If that worked out you’d arrange another. This is a process that could take weeks. In the virtual world, there is a concept called, “fail fast.” People are often making their decisions more quickly. A Zoom call or two over the course of a couple of days can seal the deal or stop the process. Which fits quite nicely into our short attention span world.
One other change the pandemic has wrought is a positive. We have more time to spend on the search for love. We are not commuting to work. While we may spend eight hours a day working from home, there are gaps that can be filled by searching the dating apps. It also gives us the time to schedule those Zoom calls and feel more connected.
How this all plays really varies by the individual. What each of us are comfortable with and how we adapt to the changes will affect how we approach finding someone new.
The good news is – people are meeting online. They are making connections. And, they are falling in love. A quick Google search will reveal countless stories of those who have made a love connection during these difficult times.
If you have made a connection during the pandemic, we’d love it if you would share your story in the comments section.
Don’t give up! The process may be more difficult but there is someone out there who is just right for you. However, like trying to find a new job, the connection will not happen as quickly as you want it to. So, schedule a Zoom call today!
Additional article source: https://goop.com/wellness/relationships/dating-during-covid/