- Singles have to rethink how they date in the age of the coronavirus.
- Some are trying FaceTime dates so they can practice social distancing, while others are having trouble finding good dates to talk to.
- People who used to enjoy meeting other singles at bars or through mutual friends have no choice but to try apps if they want to continue dating.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Singles with once-vibrant dating lives have been forced to reckon with the changing landscape as health experts recommend even young and healthy people distance themselves from others during the coronavirus outbreak.
As a result, singles have to rethink how they communicate with love interests.
Some are using dating app messaging as a newfound way to deal with boredom and social isolation, while others are using FaceTime and grilling potential dates on their recent travels as a way to cope with the change and protect their health.
FaceTime dates could become the new normal
Brittany Potter, a 26-year-old living in New York City, said the coronavirus outbreak has decreased the number of dates she’d typically go on in a given week.
“I’ve been single for the last two years and I go on dates pretty regularly, probably once a week, maybe twice a week,” Potter told Insider, adding that the majority of her dates would be at bars.
But now, Potter is taking extra precautions because she has asthma and is immunocompromised, making her at higher risk for serious infection. She said that going forward, she’ll likely limit herself to FaceTime dates to play things safe.
Last week, a man Potter was talking to on a dating app asked if she wanted to “quarantine and chill,” by coming over to his apartment for wine, pizza, and a movie. After Potter did so, she said she felt unsure it was the best idea.
“I am glad that we didn’t go to a public place or a bar or anything, but there definitely is a sense of like, ‘Oh, I kind of wish that I would have just stayed home and not gone out,'” she said.
On dating apps, Potter said some of her matches suggested an initial FaceTime date, and if they get along, they can plan an in-person date when it’s safe again. Although she hasn’t taken up any of their offers yet, she has FaceTimed regularly with her friend-with-benefits for whom she’s currently dog-sitting as a way to cope with boredom and lack of in-person dates.
“We’ve been FaceTiming because I’m in his apartment, I’m with his dog, and he’s still in Brazil,” she said. “I don’t know if he’s going to be able to come back. I have no idea. So I’m just here with his dog and his apartment.”
Some are relying on dating apps for the first time
Nimarta, a Los Angeles resident in her mid-20s, said she was never a big dating app user until the coronavirus outbreak.
Before, she’d typically meet other singles out at the bar or through mutual friends, but now, that isn’t an option.
“I’m actually enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would because before I was a terrible app user,” Nimarta, who asked to omit her last name for privacy, said. “Before, I would be using the apps and then I’d do this really stupid thing where I’d chat with a couple of people for awhile and then forget.” Months later, she’d return to the app, see the forgotten messages, and realize she’d lost the potential connection.
But now, in an attempt to curb boredom and have some human connection, Nimarta is using dating apps almost daily to chat with other singles. She’s not sure if she’ll ever date these people because she’s always been a more casual dater, but she said she’s open to forming an in-person connection down the line if she really clicks with one of her matches.
The coronavirus outbreak is displacing singles
Megan, a 25-year-old who lives in Brooklyn, said that all of her recent Bumble and Hinge matches have relocated to other states even though they typically reside in New York City.
“A lot of people that I’ve been talking to for a bit and getting ready to go on a date with are [now] at home in Connecticut or out of the city with their family riding it out,” Megan, who asked to omit her last name for privacy reasons, said. “I’ve sort of just continued talking to them, almost at an even more frequent pace, because I’m interested in meeting up with them afterwards. So hopefully in an ideal world, we’ll keep talking until it’s over and then can meet up for drinks.”
Dating during the outbreak could have benefits
Although singles have had their dating lives uprooted, many are embracing the new normal and find benefits to it.
Emma Taylor, a 28-year-old living in London, told Insider that a recent exchange she had with a potential Tinder date went sour when she realized he wasn’t taking coronavirus precautions seriously. She decided to end things with him then and there.
“Kind of glad I didn’t waste expensive make-up getting ready for tonight,” Taylor told Insider.
Potter said she saw the upsides to emotionally connecting with a prospective date before meeting them in person.
“If I go on a date with someone, in the back of my mind I’m always like, ‘Could I find something better?’ I think now, not being around as much of that, it forces us to slow down and get to know people a little better,” Potter said. “We don’t have as many distractions and we’re not as busy, so I definitely think that like there could be some advantages,” she said.