ONLINE DATING: CONNECTING DURING A PANDEMIC
In the past year, more people than ever turned to online dating to connect with others. Messaging on the dating app Hinge increased 30 percent during the last year, according to Business Insider, and Tinder reported a record-breaking 3 billion swipes on March 29, 2020.
Online dating is a great way to connect, and there are lots of options for all kinds of people to meet others they really vibe with. Taking the time to find an online dating app that meets your needs can really pay off!
Choosing the App That’s Right for You
For instance, while some apps are geared towards meeting lots of people quickly and hooking up (Tinder), other apps tout how easy it is to meet your soulmate and form a serious relationship using their platform (Hinge). Additionally, some apps have made it easier for LGBTQ+ users to connect. Many apps offer options to specify your gender identity, pronouns and sexual orientation on your profile. The great thing about dating apps is that many platforms have been created for users to find people that they’ll connect with. Whether you use an app that matches you by sexual orientation, religion or similar interests, there’s a lot to explore.
One of the biggest questions you’ll confront when you’re swiping through whichever app you happen to use is this: What are you looking for? Being upfront about what you want on whatever app you’re using is a good way to attract people you would enjoy spending time with. Of course, in the era of the biggest global catastrophe of the 21st century so far, lots of people are looking for connection. And if you’re one of those people, then be clear about what you want, choose an app that can help you meet someone and while you’re at it, be careful.
There are some general rules to be aware of, like not giving out personal or sensitive information to someone you don’t know that well, keeping conversations in the app before giving out your phone number and reporting suspicious activity. Generally, if someone is begging to meet with you after like six seconds of talking, something might be up. Trust your gut if something seems off.
And when you are ready to meet, why not try out interesting alternatives to traditional in-person meetings? Zoom dates can be super fun! And the magic of them is that you get to leave whenever you want. Additionally, there are ways to meet up in-person that are COVID-safe, like opting for outdoor activities like picnics.
The Power of Connection
The point is, online dating gives you the power to control many different aspects of your dating life. And like Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
There can be a lot of pressure to find people and forge new and lasting bonds while you’re a young adult. What’s even more headache-inducing is the idea that we’re missing out on meaningful life experiences because of the pandemic. However, it’s important to recognize the power in smaller, casual connections and take the pressure off finding a relationship ASAP. Right now, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to connect to others in real life. Getting the chance to talk to those outside of your immediate circle can be stress-relieving, even if this interaction doesn’t lead to a relationship.
So get out there and make some quarantine connections. I’m sure you’ll be happy that you did!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maddy Hill-Glover (she/her), a student at the University of Rochester, is a very cool and funny left-handed genius from New Jersey. She enjoys playing with small animals, hiking, drawing and curating hyperpop playlists. She gives off major bestie vibes because she’s a Libra.