While online dating has led many a person to become disillusioned with the whole dating industry, it can also be surprisingly effective in creating connections when situations aren’t necessarily favorable. Take the coronavirus pandemic for example!

With the current state of COVID-19, more and more singles are turning to online dating. While it may be frustrating to delay meeting up with matches, we’ve actually been given the unique opportunity to turn back time to the ways of old fashioned courting. 

While online dating is not without its hiccups–issues like ghosting, cat fishing or even being overwhelmed by choice can be a real downside.

However, there can be plenty of benefits to getting to know one another remotely. Let’s take a look at the other, more positive side of the online dating world.

We need to dive a bit deeper, especially now when it is easy to feel lonely, isolated, and frustrated during this time of social distancing.

It’s important to remember that human connection is still possible during social distancing, though it may be virtual for now.

Jackie Rapetti, VP of Brand and Content Marketing for Charmed

Dating apps are doing better

Dating apps across the board are experiencing something of a surge as more people are isolating at home. And this is despite the uncertainty surrounding the possibility of being able to meet in person.

“Our UK business is up 20% over the past two weeks,” Gillian McCallum, chief executive of Drawing Down the Moon, an agency specialising in “bespoke matchmaking,” told The Times of London.

The Association of British Introduction Agencies added: “Any time there’s a calamity, people start thinking about the fact they are single and don’t want to be.” The threatened lockdown appears to have prompted a last-minute rush to romance, with anxious singles eager “to do their introductions now”, added McCallum.

In times when people can no longer gather together and swap phones to share their dating app matches, Charmed allows a virtual way to share Hinge and Tinder matches with friends.

As frightening and terrible as coronavirus is, it does set the stage for what could also be shaped into a rom com plot arc perfectly.

“Boy and girl holed up in their homes to help save the vulnerable from this scary virus, boy and girl connect online, they chat, and chat some more, they curl up in bed at night with someone to talk to, wake up with a good morning message…soon they’re Skyping daily, showing each other their attempts at home cooked meals…and by the time they’re free to meet in person they’ve fallen for each other,” said dating and relationship coach Alexis Sclamberg.

This crazy time creates a novel opportunity for people to pursue connection the digital way. This doesn’t have to stop your dating efforts. this could be a perfect jump start.

More time for connection

One of the consequences of self-quarantining is that many of us will find themselves with more time on their hands. “Now, without commutes to the office or dinners out, time is plentiful,” said Sclamberg. To some, it may mean a pause on their dating efforts but it could actually be a perfect time to meet the right person.

Most of my clients think this is an excuse to hit pause on their typical, exhausting dating merry go round — but some extra time and the online dating format presents a perfect recipe for new connections and potential sparks.

Alexis Sclamberg

The most important thing to remember is that you will now have more time and leisure to dedicate to getting to know someone. While every day life always happens at a fast pace, it tends to affect the way we date and the expectations we bring to the table.

Now’s the time to get to know one another on a deeper level – we can’t get away with snarky, sassy messages in hopes of grabbing a quick drink.

Jackie Rapetti

With social distancing, people are craving connection and conversation more than ever, and singles have it at their fingertips. While online dating can have its downsides, Jeremy Nicholson M.S.W., Ph.D. states “[technology]-mediated communication allows for safe and convenient interaction.”

It’s important to remember that some people are able to open more easily without the constraint of physical proximity because they feel comfortable with having that distance. If you are one of those, it may be worth looking into online dating.

Truly get to know someone

Furthermore, online dating makes it easier for you to curate your matches based on common interest and preference. That way, you start in a better position and are sure that you at least have one thing in common.

This removes a lot of the pressure that can be attached to meeting someone for the first time in person. It can also ease people into being more comfortable to open up. This can be a wonderful opportunity to get to know a potential partner’s character, what they value, and if you could be a good match.

With the current global situation, it’s even more important to get to know someone properly.

“Challenging times tend to reveal a person’s true personality. Does their behavior indicate that they are caring, compassionate, and able to keep up a sense of humor? Learn if their life direction and goals match up with your own,” said psychologist and sex and dating expert Antonia Hall.

So you have connected…now what?

We all know how fleeting the connections made on online dating platforms can be. You can have an incredible conversation with someone only for them to ghost you the very next day. Alas, these are the risks associated with these platforms.

Yet, in the case that you do connect with someone, how do you keep the spark alive? It may be a challenge, especially since we are not in a position to meet in real life.

If you both feel invested in the connection, it’s worth being creative in order to nurture it. First, as Sclamberg recommends, it’s important to “make sure to see each others’ faces, regularly.”

This can be simply by sending them selfies or short videos, as away to update them on your day and keep the connection going.

I encourage clients to get creative. Connect as usual — chat a bit — and then plan Skype/Facetime dates until it’s safe and socially responsible to meet in person. Just because you’re not face to face in person, it doesn’t make the date any less real. 

Alexis Sclamberg

Chatting by phone and video conferencing can allow you to get to know people at a deeper level. “Video also helps to bridge the distance, ease self-isolation stress, and keep the spark going,” said Hall. Consider reading a book aloud to each other or playing a game remotely.

“Pull out the 36 questions to fall in love and take turns answering them!” Sclamberg suggests.

Use this age to your advantage

Many of us may prefer to meet someone in person. But this is real life and as we have learned, sometimes it gets in the way. We’re fortunate enough to have the technology to connect us no matter the distance.

While not all connections you make online will be fruitful, the same can be said of your real-life ones. This is why it is worth trying your chance and keeping your mind open. Remember that there is also more freedom associated with online dating, so you can take your time to get to know someone at your own pace and from the comfort of your home.

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