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Is a global pandemic the perfect opportunity to find love?
This might sound like a bizarre question, and your instinctive response is probably ‘of course not’, given that a lockdown makes socialising near impossible. But hold on a minute and hear me out, because it might not be as black and white as you think…
Just weeks before the coronavirus lockdown began in the UK, Love is Blind aired. One of Netflix’s most addictive new reality shows, the premise of which is to encourage optimistic daters to build meaningful connections and commit to marriage before even getting a glimpse of the other person.
Then, in April, the streaming giant released Too Hot to Handle, another reality show which throws a bunch of attractive singles into a holiday villa together, where they can win a cash prize on one condition: no canoodling! Instead potential couples must work on building genuine connections in their relationships while improving themselves.
Now, if you believe in signs, then perhaps this could be the universe (or just Netflix) trying to teach us to forget the nonsense and pressure of our everyday lives and instead use this enforced time apart to make more meaningful connections.
So what if we turn the tables on this lockdown, and instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, view it as our very own version of a Netflix dating show?
Dating app happn, which has experienced an increase in users since lockdown started, found that two out of three online daters said they are ‘still searching for love despite the current situation’.
“Dating app happn, which has experienced an increase in users since lockdown started, found that two out of three online daters said they are “still searching for love despite the current situation’”
Despite what you might assume, the reality is that many online daters feel that the outbreak has actually made their quest for love even more important than before.
Perhaps this is why 90% of those surveyed said they are more than willing to adapt to the current circumstances and try new and inventive ways of dating, since they believe it may enable them to build stronger emotional connections.
So, for all those romantics out there looking for lockdown love, here are some top tips…
3 TOP tips for virtual DATING
1 Arrange a first date over video call
As they say, modern problems require modern solutions, and video calling is a fantastic way to overcome the social distancing issue in dating. For some, a virtual date can actually be a vast improvement on a physical one because it’s more intimate – there are no distractions (unless your pet pops in!). Plus, you may even feel more relaxed in your own home since you don’t even have to change out of your PJ bottoms – they’ll never know! Be apart, together. Share your best films, podcasts, books and music recommendations so you both have plenty to discuss and can get to know each other’s interests far better.
Psychologist and Relationship Expert, Emma Kenny firmly agrees: ‘A real positive about having to wait to meet in person is the opportunity to cultivate a deeper connection during a challenging time. Getting to know one another’s like and dislikes, whilst sharing a space and time that’s unlikely to be repeated, means bonding in a unique way.’
2 Get creative with your dates
Just because you can’t be together doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. It’s amazing how quickly people can make the best out of a bad situation just by addressing it positively.
There really has never been a better time to date virtually – you can take your date on some art gallery tours, challenge each other with a Strava run-off, do some virtual yoga or try baking the same thing and see whose effort turns out best.
If you need any more inspiration, click here for our pick of the top things to do at home this weekend.
3 Be honest
No dating tips matter if you don’t remember the most important part of building a genuine connection – honesty.
Marine Ravinet, Head of Trends at happn, advises: ‘Now’s the time to really strengthen and build on that relationship with your crush. Ask the questions you wouldn’t have the confidence to face-to-face, be honest with your wants and needs from the get-go, and make sure you’re listening to each other.
‘The next few months may be a little blurry but it’s key to remember that while the walls around you may be up, emotionally, it’s more important than ever to let people in.’
DON’T Bumble IT…
If you’re after some more guidance on how to navigate the prospects of lockdown dating, then you’ll be happy to know that one of your other favourite dating apps has also got your back… Bumble has launched its first ever live dating show in an endeavour to help us all out during this time of crisis.
Throughout May, Clara Amfo will be presenting a live show on her Instagram every Thursday at 6pm. Each week she will welcome different celebrity guests who will answer questions about virtual dating and how to find love during coronavirus.
There’s sure to be some good advice worth picking up and no doubt their wisdom will leave you well-equipped to find love in these bizarre times.