Falling in love to dating your partner, novel coronavirus has changed all normals, thanks to social and physical distancing. Even modern love has switched to the online mode.
From getting introduced through chats, then proceeding to chat and promising to meet, dating rituals have been modified.
The Lockdown Bug
Now that the restriction of movement is mandatory and meeting strangers not a viable option, ‘singles’ on the dating app are waiting. Online dating apps like Tinder, QuackQuack, Bumble and OkCupid that were famous for hooking up people with strangers are now full of bored single people who need somebody to talk to. “The Lockdown Bug has caught up with many and you’ll find people wanting to be friends, not your romantic partners,” says Akash Kaushik, a new member of digital dating community. “I am here for the same reason,” he adds.
Welcome to Virtual Hook-ups
“Will you be my Virtual hookup?” a boy asked me on Tinder, says Saniya Singh. Technically, all beginnings on dating applications are a virtual start, but the lockdown has brought real meaning to it. Now they are virtual through and through, with no guarantee of when a meeting will materialise and even less chances of physical relations.
It’s easier now for a Virtual Hookup with someone in London while you’re in India. Tinder service of Passports lets you connect with singles all over the world. The feature was available only to Tinder Plus and Gold members who pay for subscriptions, but the company made it free for all users amid coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. “Now just the fun of virtual romance attracts more to the platform than any actual desire to find love,” says Leela.
Lockdowns were a little harder for those who are already in a committed relationship. They are now getting adjusted to physical distancing and no cafe or dinner dates. Sessions of intimacy and togetherness have been rudely disrupted. “But it is also true that this isolation is giving a whole new dimension to the concept of dating,” remarks Komal Joshi, a student. The idea of a long-distance relationship (without being in one) is in the mainstream now.
“Since I can’t meet my partner, we try to connect through video calls. We don’t let monotony hit our relation. We indulge in various other games like Ludo, Scrabbles, PubG to keep ourselves connected in more ways than one,” she reveals.
Living in the same city and yet not being able to meet, “it feels like an LDR”, comments Priyanka.
It’s not like people have given up the idea of romance, they have just evolved in times of Covid-19. While communication is the key to good relationships, it can get harder when one can’t meet his/her partner physically over a long period. “Resolving issues is easier in person, so now that we can’t meet, we have to be more careful, though video calls really help, online gaming as well,” she feels.
Online dating is like a double-edged sword. While romantic partners binge on online dates with watch parties, video calls and games, those on dating applications experience the newer version of virtual hookups (less commitment, more talk).