[imagesource: Genevieve Humphreys]
Putting aside my personal feelings about dating apps (they’re sometimes a hellscape of misogyny and dick pics), I can see the appeal and necessity of interpersonal interactions during a pandemic.
COVID-19 has changed the face of dating as we know it, but that doesn’t mean that you have to put your relationship ambitions on hold.
Your casual hookup ambitions can also be in play – they just look a little different now.
If you’re searching for a partner to share a meal or take a stroll through the park with – wearing a mask and keeping a few feet apart – or to explore your sexuality with via video chat, there are ways for people to connect without putting themselves and others at risk.
Forbes spoke to Jennifer Berman, the former co-host of the CBS television show The Doctors and a specialist in female sexual medicine, who says that:
”We are hard wired to connect with other people. It is in our DNA to connect. Research has shown that the single most important factor for people who live the longest was connections to other people. Families, friends, and community.”
Studies show that from March to May, around the world, conversations increased by 20% on Tinder.
In major cities in America, interactions on Bumble spiked by 20%, with, per CNBC, ‘virtual dates’ on the rise via voice and video calls (a feature now available on Bumble), which many users describe as “better than [meeting] in real life because we’re having to communicate more”.
So, how do you get in on this? The first step is a profile that doesn’t list your education as “the school of hard knocks”, or a profile picture of you holding someone else’s pet.
For a more detailed set of guidelines, jewellery retailer Shane Co. surveyed 1 000 people to find out more about top dating trends right now.
The survey found that the top three most popular dating apps are Tinder (43%), Match.com (16,4%), and Bumble (13,5%).
On to the factors that most influenced the decision to match with someone on an app:
While physical attractiveness comes out on top, common interests are listed as the second most important factor. The survey also showed that Baby Boomers were more influenced by age than any other generation, while Gen X is influenced by humour.
Millennials are influenced by proximity to avocados – that’s not real, but it’s probably true.
Which brings us to what not to do:
Ghosting is the act of losing interest in someone, but not having the balls to tell them, so you just stop texting and pretend they don’t exist.
It’s rude – be better.
Lying on a profile includes personal information that turns out not to be true (your age, interests and so on), or a profile picture from 10 years ago.
The following dating profiles are the most irritating:
Holding a gun and a dead animal in a picture isn’t going to do you any favours. Neither is channelling The Matrix by refusing to take off your shades.
Also, put a shirt on, and step away from the gym.
Then there’s the subtle art of sliding in DMs (direct messages).
Facebook Messenger is the most popular because it can be used by people who you aren’t friends with on the social media platform. This often amounts to a lot of unwanted attention.
As the survey points out, “sliding into a DM is a bold manoeuvre — a domain where few have prospered, but where most have failed”.
When asked how it feels when someone slides into their DMs, most men felt flattered, while most women felt “creeped out”.
All of the above can be summed up in one simple statement:
When using a dating app, be honest and don’t be a dick.
And, whatever you do, don’t send an unsolicited dick pic.