The Effect of the Pandemic on Single People and Couples

couple snuggling

When the first cases of COVID-19 occurred, we thought they were nothing worse than the flu. We expected the tide to recede in two weeks. If you were single but mingling during that time, you probably thought being in lockdown for two weeks was no big deal. Lo and behold, nothing much has changed a year later.

The pandemic did not only change the way we work; it also changed the way we date. Conversations via dating apps surged, but they barely progressed to meeting up. Elite matchmaking services, on the other hand, found their hands full. It showed that single individuals no longer sought out short-term relationships or relationships based on convenience. They’re now looking for “the One.”

Why Online Dating Boomed

Online dating activity surged 19-26% since the pandemic began in March 2020. According to cardiologist and author Dr. Jennifer Mieres, the boom likely resulted from loneliness. When singles are lonely, they tend to feel fear, especially at such an unprecedented time. Many young adults grew concerned about their mortality. As a result, they craved human connection, which they easily got through online dating.

Not all singles felt lonely, though, especially those that lived with their families. Still, the uncertainty caused by the pandemic drew out feelings of longing for a partner. After all, it could be less challenging to overcome tough times in solidarity with a significant other.

And because COVID-19 is threatening our safety until today, dating and relationships became more intentional. Playing it cool has gone outdated. If you want to date now, you should start asking personal questions right away, such as whether they were tested, what they were doing in the past 14 days, and so on, all related to health risks.

And, of course, you eventually have to ask the dreaded “what are we?” question. If they dated around the past 14 days, it might not be safe to take the relationship to the next level because that will increase your level of exposure to the virus. The sparks between you might dim out fast if you ask personal questions, but these days, it’s better to be single and healthy than taken but sick. You can always go back to swiping right anyway.

The Rise of Elite Matchmaking Services

The scene in the elite matchmaking world is a lot different. If dating app users want to ease their loneliness, elite singles are trying to learn how to go on a virtual date and make it worthwhile. They’re paying dating coaches to ensure their fun and success. Some were still willing to go on socially distant, in-person dates, but Zoom dates were more popular.

They did all these not to simply meet someone new and treat them like an option. Instead, they became more particular about what they wanted in a partnership. Matchmakers say this behavior has led to more serious and international eligibles. Even those who have had turbo relationships — new relationships that quickly became serious due to the pandemic — called matchmakers to say they realized the qualities they truly needed in a partner.

This is comforting news to singles who never got swept up in the hookup culture. If the pandemic did something positive to their lives, it’s the shift in the dating mindset. Their chances of ending up with dates who don’t want a real partnership have decreased. More singles are open to serious relationships now. In addition, health has become a crucial topic between two people on a date.

Should Dating App Users Switch to Matchmakers?

If you only ever used dating apps, odds are you’ve experienced many bland conversations, insincere matches, and matches who can’t seem to make up their minds about anything. If you haven’t been scammed yet, you’re lucky.

These disadvantages have dwindled during the pandemic, but if you experience even one of them, it can be twice more frustrating. In these trying times, dating woes are the last thing you need. So should you switch to pro matchmakers?

It depends on your intentions. If you’re serious about looking for a long-term partner now, hiring a pro matchmaker might be worth it. If you’re open to turbo relationships or want someone to talk to when you’re bored or lonely, maybe dating apps will suffice. At the end of the day, there’s no right or wrong way to find a partner.

Only one thing remains clear: many singles are now more intentional when it comes to dating. So if you’re still waiting for the pandemic to end before going serious, there might be no point in waiting anymore. Now’s a good time to reflect on what you want in a partner and seek them out however you want to — as long as you stay safe.

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