From Matchmaker Services to Bumble: How Are People Dating During the Pandemic?
Dating during the pandemic has been a very touch-and-go situation â€” well, minus the touching, in most cases. For couples who were together pre-pandemic, quarantining together has offered a make-it-or-break-it scenario; break-ups have left some folks a bit stranded, missing essential support systems during a very unconventional time. Others have taken long-distance dating to the next level. Some couples have even forged ahead with Zoom weddings.
For singles, or newly single folks, dating during the COVID-19 pandemic can present a whole host of issues. During non-COVID times, fall marks the start of "cuffing season," which is defined by Merriam-Webster as "a period of time where single people begin looking for short term partnerships to pass the colder months of the year." This year, itâ€™s not only about weathering the cold months; itâ€™s about staving off loneliness, satiating touch starvation and, for some, not letting the pandemic interrupt their search for a partner.
According to a survey conducted by Stanford University in 2019, 39% of straight couples and 65% of gay and lesbian couples met online in 2017. Of course, that was before 2020. Now, dating during the pandemic can seem A) unnecessarily risky, and B) like a lot of effort. After all, weâ€™re all living with an extraordinary amount of stress â€” emotional, economic and otherwise. Nonetheless, Match Group, the parent company of popular dating apps like Match, OKCupid, Tinder, Hinge and more, has seen a reported "15% increase in new subscribers" during 2020. Needless to say, dating and matchmaking apps are here to stay, regardless of COVID-19.