#bumble | #tinder | #pof ‘It’s on pause. It’s like you’re spectating your own life’


Rachel O’Neill (25) has been single for the past few years, but Covid-19 has brought how lonely it can be into sharp relief.

“The thing about the pandemic is, it’s made us realise what’s really, really important in life: friends, family, good support systems and things like that,” says O’Neill.

“You can explain to yourself that there is a pandemic and it’s not really about you, it’s just the circumstances you’re living in, but it still doesn’t make it any easier when you’re having a really [bad] day, and you want to chat with someone and have a laugh.”

She hoped to start dating again this year, but public health restrictions, she says, have made it next to impossible.

“I kind of feel like I’m just sitting here waiting for something. I don’t know what it is but waiting for a sign. It’s on pause. It’s like you’re spectating your own life.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in an increase in the number of Irish people turning to dating services, as restrictions on socialising and movement cause a sense of isolation among the population.

Jennifer Haskins, dating expert and director of matchmaking service Two’s Company, has seen a 30 per cent increase in the number of people enquiring about her service, and could receive up to 50 calls a day.

“Not all of those people will sign up for the service now, maybe it doesn’t suit them, or the pricing doesn’t work for them, but it still shows a desire to meet new people,” says Haskins.

“I think Covid has hugely influenced people in their search for a partner and highlighted the need for that in their lives. If someone is single and living alone, their sense of isolation became much more heightened.”

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