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Can you really fall head over heels online? (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Do you believe in love over wifi?

Lots of people do, and especially so after a year of coronavirus restrictions has made dating over video and phone calls very much the norm.

A new study from Bumble has found that 67% of Brits now believe it’s possible to fall in love with someone they have never met in real life.

That’s promising, considering many singles will have ‘met’ a potential match online in lockdown.

While they might be looking forward to finally getting physical – or at least seeing their crush from two feet away – the study suggests we might have been able to find romance and connection even amid Covid-19.

We’ll just have to wait and see if online love translates to the offline world – just 44% of people say they feel hopeful that their virtual connections will work away from the screens.

But can you really fall in love with someone over the internet in the first place? Is that actually love, or just online infatuation?

Michelle Begy, founder of Ignite Dating, believes that strong romantic feelings are absolutely possible without a physical meeting, but urges caution.

‘With no choice but to spend more time getting to know a potential partner before meeting in person, the pandemic has resulted in deeper connections and more open relationships with those that have started a new relationship during lockdown,’ Michelle tells Metro.co.uk.

We’ve become far more open to virtual dates (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

‘As a result, it is possible to develop feelings with somebody that you have not yet met in real life – but there is a big difference between real love and infatuation.’

While some people have managed to build strong, lasting relationships through the pandemic others may have confused feelings of genuine love with infatuation and a distraction from the loneliness they were experiencing.

If you are quickly finding yourself rearranging your schedule to make time for that person and obsessing over the fact that they have not been texting or calling throughout the day, then it is likely that what you are feeling is pure infatuation, not love.

The speed at which relationships are progressing in lockdown – just look at the rise of turbo-relationships – might be a warning sign, too.

Do you feel like you’ve fallen in love far more quickly than you ever have before? It might be worth trying to slow down. Intensity is great, but if the goal is a long-term relationship, a slower burn can be far better.

If you are debating whether you’re in love or pure lockdown-induced lust, try talking to an outside perspective.

‘Through regular reflection with an outside party, people can comprehend what they are feeling towards that potential partner and whether those feelings would have occurred if it were not for the unprecedented circumstances that we have found ourselves in,’ says Michelle. ‘This support helps the person to take a step back and analyse the relationship to keep proportion and balance and stop their feelings running away with them.’

Michelle also offers some common signs that you’re actually in love, so perhaps see if you’re checking these off…

Signs you’re in love

• You feel secure with them (in terms of an attachment style)
• There is no angst and trust is developing
• You have started thinking about introducing them to your family
• You’re craving cuddles with your partner rather than the sex
• You’re not counting the seconds until they text you back
• Everything reminds you of them
• Future plans have become a regular part of your conversations
• You’re secure in their affection
• You see and accept the good and the bad parts of them
• You feel deeply connected

Ticking all these boxes? Congrats, you might actually have found a long-lasting pandemic partnering.

No worries if not, though. The world is opening back up and remains your oyster.

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.


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