Many sociologists say that our lives will never be the same as they were before the Covid-19 pandemic. And it is worth admitting that they are right in this. But even despite such pessimistic forecasts, we’re seeing some positive trends in online dating.
When sociologists conducted surveys in 2020 to assess the prospects for online dating, the results were not very encouraging. More than half of those surveyed said that they did not plan to meet with online acquaintances offline, while 30% said they would wait until the end of the pandemic to meet in person, and not before. And 5% said they didn’t want to even try to make new acquaintances online until the pandemic was gone completely.
Now, two years later, the situation has indeed gradually returned to normal. And that wasn’t just due to the invention of the vaccine. People simply resigned themselves to the new reality and learned to live in it. And the need to build new social ties turned out to be stronger than fear for one’s health. So live dates are back again! And the changes in them are obvious.
How live dates changed during the pandemic
In short, the changes are really quite major. But for clarity, we decided to consider the five most significant and relevant trends. These are the ones we consider most important:
- Increasing the duration of dates
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the average offline date lasted 2-2.5 hours. However, recent surveys show that about 30% of people prefer longer dates — 3-3.5 hours or even more. This suggests that people have really missed live communication and want to spend more time with interesting people in real life.
- Dates on weekdays and in the afternoon or morning (non-alcoholic meet-ups)
Previously dates, as a rule, took place in the evenings and often on weekends, when you could safely order yourself a glass of wine or even something stronger. Now the trend has changed — more and more people prefer non-alcoholic dates, wanting to keep a sober mind and not make impulsive decisions. This has been reflected in the timing of dates. Many choose weekdays or weekend mornings to avoid the temptation to order alcohol. This is quite a positive tendency.
- Growth of the time gap before taking a date offline
Despite the fact that offline meetings are no longer as problematic as at the peak of the pandemic, people now usually do not rush things. Users of dating services, social networks or chat roulettes prefer to get to know the other person as much as possible when communicating online, so that they already know them well on the first date. And most importantly, to understand in advance whether this is really the person they were looking for and are ready to bind their fate with.
- More active time together
A leisurely, languid conversation in a restaurant with candlelight is, of course, lovely. But after the pandemic and quarantine, millions of people now prefer much more active and varied pastimes. Therefore, dates are also becoming more active — joint jogging and cycling, traveling to other cities and countries, rafting, hiking in the mountains. There are a lot of options. You can choose a great way to make a date exciting and unforgettable for both of you.
- Discussing more serious issues and heartfelt conversations
Usually on first dates it is not acceptable to raise serious global topics. Often conversations are more superficial and general. It’s only with time that they become deeper and more serious. But now we see that people have begun to touch on more important topics. They can talk about politics, society, religion, health, responsibilities and the like. This, in our opinion, is a pretty positive change. After all, empty conversations about nothing and everything at once are usually just a waste of your time.
Dating sites for a quick transition to offline
When the Covid-19 pandemic was gaining momentum, many dating services tried to keep users online as long as possible. Tinder, for example, added a video chat feature. Then others followed this example. The developers did everything possible so that their sites could at least partially replace real dates.
Now the situation has switched to the opposite. Many sites set themselves the opposite goal — to quickly transfer communication from online to offline. Let’s look at a few of these dating services.
- Happn — an app that uses your location to find other site members who are near you. Happn will alert you if any of them are nearby. For example, your potential soulmate may pass by your house on a bus every day, and you don’t even know about it. Happn will help you meet each other.
- JOVEE — a rather unusual dating app that encourages you to move from online to offline. The point is that when you meet an interesting person here and start chatting, the app gives you 96 hours to choose a time and place to meet in real life. If you do not have time, the connection will be cut off. Of course, this rule is easy to get round by simply sharing alternative contact methods with the other person. But the approach is still interesting.
- Thursday — a dating app that only works on Thursdays. On other days it is simply inactive. Thursday is designed to save you time and not make you sit on the app for hours every day.
- Clover — an application with extensive functionality where you can communicate in video chat, make online broadcasts, participate in online parties, search for people near you around the world, and much more. Clover helps you get to know other users faster and move on to the next stage of dating.
Separately, it’s worth mentioning videochat roulette (or chat roulette) as an alternative dating format. These are platforms that connect random users by video. You can chat, exchange contacts, arrange a real meeting and just have a good time with friendly conversation. Among chat roulettes we can recommend Chatroulette, ChatAlternative, Chathub and online resource CooMeet. The choice is quite large — you’re sure to find something for yourself.
It’s time to date face to face
Now is a great time to finally step out of your four walls and take a step towards the future. We have all lived with social distancing for far too long. And this sometimes has a very strong effect on our psycho-emotional state.
Try to gradually move from online to offline. Start with the apps and web services we covered above. They encourage you to set up a real meeting and motivate you to see the other user in person. Or at least communicate via video chat instead of the usual boring texting.
Of course, online dating and dating using chat roulette will not go away. After 2019, they got a new life, and people will not soon be able to abandon them or find a worthy alternative. So if live meetings still don’t suit you, chat roulettes can be a good solution. Good luck!