Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum
Dating apps help fill a lack of human connection during COVID-19
November marks eight months since social distancing orders were put into place by the government to stop the spread of COVID-19. With stay at home orders and businesses, classes, bars and restaurants closed (or at limited capacity), options for meeting new people are at a new low.
So naturally, it makes sense that singles turn to dating apps to meet new people. It’s the next best option that accommodates quarantine, while also allowing us to try to go on with our lives.
Because of social distancing measures many people have felt a lack of human connection, let alone a lack of intimacy with other people. In turn, this can be detrimental to our mental health, so it is important to do something about it.
Dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, Match, or Grindr offer a way to meet other singles online to fulfill your need for human connection, while simultaneously helping prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Although it is up to the user, it seems as though many are staying home and looking for someone to share an emotional connection with rather than going out for ‘no strings attached’ hook-ups.
But all aside from the COVID-friendly benefit of dating apps, many people still wonder: can you actually create a relationship with someone without meeting them in person?
Those that watched Netflix’s Love is Blind in early 2020 may already have their opinion. In the dating reality show, two singles try to fall in love without ever seeing one another, only by talking. The purpose of the experiment was to determine if love is more about emotional connection than physical attraction.
Dating apps during a pandemic is similar — you can talk all you want but you can’t be with the person face-to-face. This gives people the chance to form those emotional connections.
There have always been people who feel that dating apps aren’t a respectable way of meeting people, but I think that quarantine has helped online dating prove its worth. Not only because it’s our only way of meeting new people safely, but because the overall atmosphere on dating apps is different now.
Before the pandemic, there seemed to be a stigma that dating apps are all about hook-ups, and that couples who did meet through apps like Tinder must have ‘just happened’ to hit it off and are considered rare. But now that people can’t sleep around through all of their matches, more are forced to form connections by texting or chatting online. This helps dating apps gain the respectability they deserve as they no longer have to be viewed as superficial or shallow.
In the end, online dating apps may not be for everyone, but they certainly are a valid and encouraging attempt to creating a strong relationship, especially in a time that people cannot connect in person.
There is no set right or wrong way on how to meet a new partner, and as long as you are staying safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19, the only opinion that should matter to you is your own.