We’re all inside. We’re all watching far too much TV and I’m sure some of us are eating far too many biscuits. And it’s becoming very evident that a lot of people are on dating apps; certainly more than usual.
In fact, this week a friend shared an article with me that said:
On the last Sunday in March, there were more swipes on Tinder than any previous day in the history of the platform – more than three billion across the globe.
That’s a lot of restless fingers.
And over the weekend, the Daily Mail (yes, I know – it popped up on my iPhone news app and the headline drew me in) reported that Illicit Encounters (an app for affairs) has seen an 18% spike in the site’s activity since the lockdown began.
As a dating app veteran (and I could have added more hyperlinks, but that would be overkill), I’m interested to find out whether online dating is more fun now there’s no
pressure possibility to meet for quite some time, or whether it all seems rather futile.
So I’ve been talking to my single friends.
Lots of them said they’re happy to be online now and friends with social anxiety are having a wonderful time!
Firstly, when you don’t fancy up-skilling, there’s not a lot else to do after you’ve watched everything on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sky, and you’ve finished the few books you brought home.
Secondly, there’s a lot of time to get to know each other before going on a date. Friends have said they’re enjoying talking to potential partners for a few weeks prior to organising a meetup, especially as there’s no other choice. They reckon we’re moving away from instant gratification in dating and return to a time of ‘courting’ a date.
Thirdly, video dates offer an insight you don’t usually get on a first date. You can see your date’s house and bedroom and determine whether they’re a bookworm or a slob. Similarly, friends have said they’re more relaxed on a video call as they’re in the comfort of their own homes. We’ve all felt a bit funny before a first date, but how do these nerves shift prior to a Skype or Zoom date?
The main problem with online dating at the moment is there’s not much to talk about; conversations run dry almost as soon as they’ve begun.
Single friends who live on their own say they’re finding they’re ‘desperate for human interaction‘ so they ‘chat shit’ because there’s nothing else to say.
Many friends have said ‘it’s awful – don’t do it’. Reasons vary from being self-conscious on camera to feeling anxious, stressed and uncertain about the quarantine.
‘No sex, no body-language [signals], no fun dates and you don’t know when you’re actually gonna meet.’
I have also been warned that some profiles have been made to stave off boredom in a lockdown. How do you sift out the profiles of those who genuinely want to message and date and those who are just after a series of sects?
What if we really like someone? We can’t meet them, we have to fight our instincts to socialise and social distancing is putting a big block between potential (and existing) lovers. Can we maintain the conversation for a few weeks (months?!) before we’re released into the wild? And when we finally get back out there, will everyone leap into each other’s beds or will we have social-distancing in the back of our minds and be reluctant to touch others?
Will ‘the awkward moment of a first kiss’ become ‘the awkward moment when you’re close to each other’?
As always, comments are more than welcome. Please share your experiences.