Mary Horner discusses the best ways to date during a lockdown
Dating is hard enough, without the current pandemic forcing us into quarantine. With the world sentenced to self-isolation, the idea of spending hours online trying to keep a conversation going can seem more like a punishment than a perk. It's become the norm to begin a relationship online, so much so that sauntering over to someone and trying out your best pick-up lines seems as outdated as a pair of bedazzled jeans from the 90s. The lockdown has pushed society more and more into accepting online dating as a way of life. It provides a platform where two people can instantly connect through the hardships faced by the uncertain circumstances surrounding Covid-19. So, let's look at some of the most popular dating apps currently used.
- A great way to chat to people nearby.
- 6,940 matches every minute, theoretically meaning you should be chatting to more people.
- In-app purchases means you have to pay for unlimited likes.
- Infamous for hook-ups; not great on a lockdown
- Women make the first move, the power given to initiate conversation encourages a more thoughtful opening sentence.
- More space to explain about you and what you're looking for, avoiding those 3am DTF? texts
- Can be a place where Tinder rejects often go, which can lead to unimaginative and boring profiles lacking thought and effort
- Brands itself as a place to find "meaningful connections" with an app that's designed to be deleted.
- Prompt questions refreshed monthly to keep your profile up to date.
- Limited to 10 likes and 10 matches per day as a free user.
- Likely to match with a profile that you've come across on Tinder or Bumble.
The concept of hosting first dates via software like Zoom feeds more into our imagination than reality. Sure, it means you can show up on a date wearing your comfiest pyjamas, but online dating has evolved to become much more than a simple video chat. Online dating has already established itself as a modern and accessible way to meet someone new. Regardless of the drawbacks apps present, they provide a quick and easy way to connect with others. Although, in the long run, these apps may be replaced by something more edgy and vogue, the setbacks of online dating apps seem less significant considering the current situation. Swiping, liking and sliding into DMs is something our generation is accustomed to. Sending snaps and using Facetime is something so commonly used that moving to a platform like Zoom would feel, to many, as a step in the wrong direction. Scheduling and inviting someone to a Zoom meeting is hardly as relaxed or informal as using Snapchat, for instance. The playful filters coupled with the anticipation of receiving a snap holds an unofficial authority over video conferencing software (that most uni students now associate with awkward online seminars).
It's imperative that now, more than ever, people are encouraged to seek social interaction safely online. Getting to know someone online is second nature to younger generations who grew up having access to new forms of technology. It's easy to see though how many online dating virgins can get on board with it too.
And we're helped by the advancements in software, like Netflix Party (which is the perfect setup for a film date), whilst profile builders and prompts from dating companies make it easier to get to know others quicker.
We've all fallen victim at one point or another to swiping aimlessly on profiles, and for many online dating veterans, the concept of ghosting is not something new. With new legal measures now stating that you are only allowed to leave the house when absolutely necessary, maybe this will encourage people to work through the motions of an online conversation rather than disappearing when they get bored.
Nobody can definitively say when the lockdown will be over, and there are still tough times ahead. Maybe, by being more open-minded and invested in the conversations we have online, our non-existent social life in this lockdown can be saved.