Ah, the world of online dating. Let’s all pause and take a deep breath.
Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, Badoo…it’s a never ending list of options!
If you ask your Pappou if he knows what ‘online dating is’, chances are he’ll laugh in your face.
Tales about his foray into the dating world would probably be more along the lines of, “I saw your yiayia washing clothes by the spring and she lifted her skirt and my, what beautiful ankles! I knew in that moment I was going to marry her!”.
But ask any young person today and they’ll tell you that they’ve had some experience with online dating.
Finding a date online seems to be as common as finding employment online and a somewhat similar yet seemingly more complex than that of hiring a new employee.
You sort through the endless candidates, when you finally get down to a small pool of ‘suitable candidates.’ You then have to verify that they are actually a real human being and not a catfisher!
Hence comes the period of endless texting, asking for ‘proof’ if they’re real- you know questions like, “What’s your insta?”, “Can we facetime?” and trying to discern whether they look the same as their pictures.
And only then, after all of the checks and balances are complete, comes… drumroll….the crescendo. Going on a real, physical first date.
You know the type where you are picked up, given a bunch of flowers, wine and dined with water views, having doors opened for you, with the hope that the night will end with a kiss on the cheek and the anticipated, yet cheesy line, “I’d like to see you again.”
It’s on this ‘tell -tale’ and ‘first impressions matter’ first date that people come charging in with gusto; ready to meet the love of their lives.
A lot is discovered on the first date. Is attraction there? Are we compatible? Is he as tall as his photos? (a classic with online dating, as many men often exxaggerate their height on dating profiles).
All humanly possible to discern when there’s no pandemic and you can freely move around!
Except now all of the restaurants are closed and you can’t legally socialise with nor travel with anyone who isn’t from the same household!
Cupid really has his work cut out for him at the moment.
Over the Easter long weekend, one hopeless romantic in Queensland, Australia was fined $1,334 for driving to a dinner date to meet a woman he had met on Tinder for a dinner date. The hapless romantic was driving 70 kilometres (yes you read right, 70 kilometres, clearly love knows no bounds in this instance) to meet his Tinder date when he was pulled over by police and issued with an infringement notice.
As the Queensland police department put it, “The dinner date proved costly with the man not only springing for the takeaway meal, but also for a fine.”
Enough to put anyone off dating for a while.
These days instead of ‘Netflix ‘n’ Chill’! it’s more realistically, ‘Quarantine ‘n’ Chill’ – a line that previously would result in an immediate block and delete. However, during Covid-19 you literally can’t do much else!
Finding ‘true love’ during this time of lockdown seems virtually impossible.
Singles in 2020 who have essentially earned the nickname ‘digital natives’, now find themselves unable to exercise the freedom of swiping left or right with the happy outcome of being able to schedule a romantic dinner date, a casual coffee date or even a gym workout!
So how are dating apps fairing in the midst of lockdown?
In order to survive Covid-19, dating apps seem to be adding more features to entice those stuck at home to interact more from the safety of their homes.
Bumble, for example, introduced an in-app ‘video call function’, seeing use of this function spiking at 93% between March 13 and March 27. The average call was nearly 30 minutes long.
Without the ability to go on a real, physical date, many believe they can never truly get to know someone.
If this proves to be the case maybe, just maybe, this pandemic will allow those singles wanting to find love a little break to rediscover themselves, find out what they truly want in life and in a partner, and when this is all over, a refreshed approach to finding a partner.
Hopefully COVID-19 might even bring to light the benefits of romance the old fashioned way and the exciting ways people used to meet a partner in the pre online-dating era.