DATING DURING QUARANTINE OR ON FURLOUGH?

DATING DURING QUARANTINE OR ON FURLOUGH?
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By: English Berthoumieux 

Whether you take it seriously or just simply swipe right or left during some downtime like you’re playing a game if you’re single in 2020 the chances of you having a profile on a dating app is high. So what happens when a pandemic occurs and we’re asked to stay at home? Do dating app users take a break from apps and ghost previous matches or become more active users? After chatting with a girlfriend, Jennifer, I learned a lot of men were very active app users during the first week of self-distancing in New York. She specifically noted she was using Tinder and there were a lot of good options. 

I’m not a fan of dating apps but I have profiles on Bumble and Hinge which I barely use. Jennifer is an advocate for Tinder and experienced matching with a lot of attractive men during COVID-19. Her matches were even asking her on digital dates – she was having a great time! She specifically mentioned how she was hitting it off with a handsome guy originally from Germany, but when she learned he was not staying 6 feet apart from his friends he got the boot. I’m sure if Governor Cuomo knew, he would be very proud. 

Hearing about her digital dates and handsome foreign matches, I was convinced and decided I wanted to see these “good options” so I recreated a Tinder profile while simultaneously using Bumble and Hinge. I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence or COVID-19 but I had to agree with Jennifer. Tinder for the win! To be frank, this assessment was a superficial observation, but I could not argue differently, there were lots of “good options” on Tinder! 

I decided to hone my focus on Tinder because not only were my matches better looking than the other apps but they started reaching out to me quickly. One of the first messages came from someone who seemed like a great perspective. The total package on paper – very good looking, tall and advertised his great job. I was trying to be optimistic but then after our very short conversation on Tinder, he proceeded to invite himself over to my apartment. His suggestion was not a cute idea especially when we’re in the midst of a pandemic and our lovely Governor Cuomo has urged everyone in New York to stay at home. I immediately said no. I liked that he was forward and straight to the point, but his proposal flagged that we were not on the same page. He also made me realize, maybe I should not be on a dating app during this time. An astrologer once told me my Venus is in Capricorn which makes it challenging for me to date online and I believe this is true. I need in-person contact and since I cannot meet anyone in real life at the moment what’s the point for me?! That being said, I swiftly put the apps to rest. 

However, like Jennifer, there are women who are enjoying virtually dating and are thriving at it! My mom’s friend matched with a guy during quarantine and they’ve been speaking on the phone almost daily. She’s a very social lady in her early 50s (who doesn’t look a day over 30), single and looking to be in a relationship. For social singles being in quarantine can be hard so I was happy to learn she was having phone dates. Considering my mom said “She found a man during COVID-19.”, I was shocked when she later disclosed she does not know if she wants to pursue a meetup post-quarantine. The reason behind her uncertainty is his low income, which I completely empathize with her opinion and she should not be shamed for having it. I do disagree with how she’s handling it. She’s single and looking to be in a relationship so why waste both of their time having frequent phone dates if she already does not see it working out? And we can’t blame quarantine loneliness because this bad habit happens all of the time. 

Credit: The Telegraph

I had the pleasure of speaking with Ben Arogundade, author of ‘My Terrifying, Shocking, Humiliating, Amazing Adventures In Online Dating’ and he found that, according to research by London’s Queen Mary University, only 10% of people were meeting in real life before this current pandemic existed. If you are truly seeking a romantic companion Ben suggests leveraging quarantine to strategize your romantic life since there are fewer distractions it will be easier to make a connection. To add, since we’re practicing self-distancing this is the time to have phone conversations with our matches. Often, we only message or text our matches before the first date and Ben said that’s not the best approach. We should incorporate phone conversations before meetups to have a better understanding of our match because you cannot pick up on personality and tone via messages. Thus, this will ultimately help with the vetting process. Having a phone call it might eliminate wasting time by going on the first date. 

Ben’s Helpful Tips:
  1. Leverage this time to strategize your romantic life.
  2. Phone conversations help practice social distancing and give us a better understanding of your matches personality.
  3. Make your profile a clear and concise as possible with your hobbies, interests, and what you are looking for in a partner.

Dating during quarantine can be entertaining and successful, but I think to remain in a positive space we need to establish what we’re looking for before we swipe right on profiles. So, if you’re not on furlough like me, Ben suggests having a detailed profile. Make sure your profile includes clear happy pictures, list hobbies, and interest in addition to articulating what you are looking for in order to attract the partner you want. Lastly, for anyone looking to travel once quarantine is over, Tinder is allowing users to activate the Passport feature for free which gives users the opportunity to match with people around the world through April 30th. Until then, happy swiping!  

2 Comments

  1. Great article English. Like many other online connections, I was ghosted but I’m ok with that. I hope he’s ok and thriving wherever he is. In the meanwhile, I am 100% focused on my future with the hope that I come out of quarantine better than when I went in.

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