#bumble | #tinder | #pof Coronavirus: The reality of dating in lockdown – it’s ‘weird’, ‘hilarious’ – but worth it

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The lockdown doesn’t need to put a dampener on dating. Here’s how you can make it work. FILE PHOTO

They’ve had drinks together, talked for hours and introduced each other to loved ones, but Auckland woman Marianna and the man she’s dating are yet to meet face-to-face

The pair hit it off after chatting on dating app Bumble three weeks ago but have been unable to go out together due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Instead, they’ve been getting to know one another through video calls.

“I dressed up and put on a cute pair of shoes and sat at my desk, which was a bit hilarious. Obviously, it was a bit weird, but we just got on with it with a glass of wine in hand,” Marianna said of their first virtual “date”.

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The 27-year-old said she and her new love interest ended up talking for about four hours.

“It was definitely an interesting experience but also I think once you get over that initial awkwardness about the situation, if the conversation’s good it just kind of flows as it would in real life.

“I had heaps of fun. It was really great. I’m glad we did it.”

Holly Dixon

University of Auckland relationships expert Holly Dixon says the lockdown is the perfect time to start dating.

?The pair planned to go ice skating, dancing or to the beach together once the alert levels are decreased.

Marianna told Stuff while many single people likely thought lockdown would put a dampener on dating, you could make it work with some creativity.

“I do think it’s provided a lot of time for self reflection. You already know that there’s real value with building a connection with someone and getting to know them well without jumping into a relationship or adding physical intimacy too quickly.”

Relationship educator and University of Auckland researcher Holly Dixon agrees.

She said the lockdown could actually be the perfect time to start dating, as people seemed to be more compassionate and authentic than usual.

The 28-year-old, whose start-up Togetherly uses science to help couples improve their relationships, said the inability to be physically intimate could prove to be beneficial for new couples.

“Sex triggers the release of hormones that make us feel safe and happy and trusting and committed and those hormones prompt attachment or bonding responses in us which are going to incline us towards a deeper and more emotional bond with someone.

“It’s not that I think sex early on in the relationship is a bad thing. [But] there’s a benefit to slowing down because it allows us to do all those checks and balances and use our head as well as our heart without the expedited experience of attachment hormones due to sex.”

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