As an avid swiper, the realm of online dating applications is a treacherous journey of wading through catfishers, bare minimum profiles and novel-length bios.
Yet, COVID-19 has shaken up the dating culture across the world, which has proven to be the radical change my dating life needed after futile efforts to meet people.
With the global pandemic raging on, it’s important to note that casual hook-ups and in-person dates aren’t the safest ways to jump into the dating pool so, in addition to general recommendations, there are also alternatives to maintain social distancing.
Keep It Safe
Although the rest of the country seems to think the pandemic is over, we’re still in the midst of a public health crisis.
Texas hit an all-time high in COVID-19 positive cases with 5,000 new cases on Tuesday, according to the Dallas Morning News. The Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas, is starting to admit adult patients to free up hospital beds in Houston, which happens to also be the world’s largest medical center, according to KHOU.
Keep practicing social distancing and wearing those masks until we’re out of the woods with the pandemic.
Finding the Best Fit
If you’re a first-time user of dating apps, it can be daunting figuring out which app to download and start swiping on.
Tinder, arguably the most popular, is a toss-up between casual hookups and dating. Grindr, the LGBTQ+ version of Tinder, is the largest and most popular gay mobile app in the world and has the same premise as Tinder.
Bumble and Hinge provide a more serious experience to online dating, with both applications including personal questions and a variety of options to customize your potential match pool.
Picking an app to start can be overwhelming since there are so many choices, but choose whichever one you’re most comfortable with. There are dozens of other online dating apps, all with their own quirks, so feel free to browse the App Store and give one a trial run before diving in.
Spice Up Your Bio
No one wants to read a full-length novel on the highlights of your personality or your career posturing. Dating apps are not job interviews, so there’s no need for your elevator pitch. Keep it short and simple while showing off your most redeemable qualities or something quirky about yourself.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s the blank bio or the classic, “I’m only on here because I’m bored,” statement. Stating that you’re only on a dating app because you’re bored isn’t going to get you any right swipes or admirers. The boredom tactic only sounds like you’re not invested in any sort of relationship, which is ironic considering you’re on a dating app.
Additionally, make it clear that you’re practicing social distancing (as you should) and your health is a greater priority than a date or a hookup.
Slay in Your Photos
Before a potential match reads your bio, they’ll see your pictures so it’s imperative to have the perfect blend of pictures that encapsulates your personality while showing yourself off.
Obviously, pick photos you like of yourself without thinking about what other users might think. If the photo doesn’t make you want to put it up on a billboard for the entire world to see, then don’t put it in your dating profile.
The real saviors are the iPhone’s Portrait Mode and golden hour, and they’ll make anyone look like they just stepped off the set of a Vogue photoshoot.
Travel the World Virtually
Although travel is looking to be a far distant luxury, you can meet new people and “travel” all over the world with a location setting change on dating apps.
Tinder’s Passport feature, which is normally part of their paid subscriptions, became available for free to all Tinder members across the world. The feature allows members to change their location to any city and swipe through members in that city, instead of being confined to your current location.
Bumble also launched a change in their location settings and members can now match with anyone in their country, instead of their 100-mile radius.
Jump on a virtual airplane and “fly” to your favorite international city without leaving the comfort of your bedroom by just changing your location setting.
If you’re practicing social distancing (which you should be), Hinge and Bumble have launched their own in-app video chat features. Additionally, FaceTime and Zoom dates are an easy compromise to going out and allow you to get to know someone without breaking social distancing rules.
Dating during a pandemic is something I never thought I would ever experience. Nevertheless stay safe, wear a mask and swipe wisely on dating apps.
Featured Illustration: Srinidhi Shukla