#onlinedating | Coronavirus lockdowns and dating: How singles can make the most of virtual dates to find love online | #bumble | #tinder | #pof


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The dating scene can be intimidating at the best of times when you’re single – and self-isolation definitely doesn’t make things easier.

But for relationship expert Sami Lukis, she’s discovered some unexpected upsides to dating during a global pandemic.

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“Singles can still date in this era of social distancing,” Lukis said.

“When you meet someone through a dating app, rather than organising a time to meet them in person in a bar, restaurant or coffee shop, you can organise a time to meet them on a screen.

“You can really get to know someone that way.”

Get creative with virtual dates

“You can have virtual drinks or virtual dinner – you can do whatever you want,” Lukis said.

“For singles, particularly people like me that are home isolating alone, it’s a lovely distraction from the whole COVID-19 bubble, and it’s a lovely way to connect with other people.

“I don’t know about other singles, but for me, the highlight of my day is changing from my pyjamas into my activewear and then back into my pyjamas at night – so it’s nice to actually put on some real clothes and have a date.

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“With apps like Zoom, you can create virtual backdrops, so you can set the backdrop to make it look like you’re actually sitting in a bar or restaurant.

“I know a guy who uses an audio loop of the atmosphere of a bar or restaurant, and he plays that in the background when he sets up a virtual dinner date.

“But you can also choose to go all-natural and sit on your couch, because when you do that you get a glimpse into someone’s home – so for me, I get to see if he’s a slob, and I think that’s handy intel on a first date.”

Re-evaluating your romantic views

This lockdown could also be a good opportunity for singles to re-evaluate their ideas around romance and intimacy.

“I think removing the physical aspect from that early stage of dating is really going to force us all to put the brakes on,” Lukis said.

“This era of dating apps that we’ve all launched into has turned us into dating machines. Everyone’s dating on steroids – you’re swiping like your life depends on it.

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“But I think by removing the ability to meet someone in person from those early stages might encourage people to reassess their views on dating and their approach to it – and maybe it’ll bring back some old-fashioned courtships to the whole process.

“I went on a wonderful digital date last week – and five minutes after the date finished, as I was still sitting there on my couch, he texted me saying, ‘I just wanted to check that you got home okay.’ I thought that was so sweet.”

What to watch out for

“The most important thing is to be wary of time wasters,” Lukis said.

“Dating apps have reported since lockdowns began an increase in users and usage. There are more people on them and spending more time on them.

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“Unfortunately, that’s going to include a fair share of time wasters – people who treat dating like a game and just like to flirt up a storm with no intention of creating any kind of meaningful relationship.

“There’s probably a lot of people on dating apps at the moment who aren’t even single.”

Manage your expectations

“You also need to be wary of forming false connections and really manage your expectations in this period,” Lukis said.

“We all know you can feel like you’ve got this amazing rapport and spent weeks chatting online – but when you meet them in person it’s a dud.

“You’ve got to account for pheromones, chemistry, touch and smell, which are all very important factors that really could make or break the relationship when you eventually meet the person – so don’t go planning your wedding until you’ve actually met them in person.

“Also resist the temptation to reach out an ex, and fall into the sexting trap. We’re all bored and lone,y but make sure you don’t end up in some saucy situations that you might regret later.”



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