As social distancing restrictions in Australia begin to ease, single people across the country have one thing on their minds.
Whether you’ve been isolating with housemates, by yourself or God forbid, with your parents, this post-lockdown era brings with it new hope and opportunities.
But while we were hunkering down and looking for love with our lockdown essentials (Zoom dates, Tinder passport and our favourite romance novel), the face of modern dating might have changed right under our noses.
According to Tinder CEO Elie Seidman, the coronavirus has had a “dramatic shift” in the way people use the app.
Tinder recently recorded its busiest day since its creation in 2012, recording over three billion swipes on March 29.
Match Group, which owns a number of popular dating apps including Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid and Plenty of Fish, said that singles were increasingly turning to dating apps to find “solace, comradery, relationships and a sense of normalcy”.
In a letter to shareholders on May 5, the company announced a new video-chat feature and reported its products had seen exponential growth during the quarantine period.
The number of daily messages sent was 27 per cent higher in the month of April compared to the last week of February.
For singles under the age of 30, daily messages sent had increased by 35 per cent.
The biggest growth was seen in women under 30, whose total number of daily swipes increased by 37 per cent between late February and April.
So, what does this mean for love in the time of corona?
Taking things to the next level
Although the Australian government has allowed up to five guests in your home (essentially green-lighting the orgy you’ve been dreaming about since mid-March), many singles are still reluctant to get back in the saddle.
Dating and communication expert and certified coach Audrey Claire said the pandemic has given Aussie singles a reason to slow down.
“It forces people to slow down. I’ve heard of instances where people are having multiple virtual dates with the same person and they’re really enjoying taking the time to just have normal conversations with people to really get to know their character and their interests … without the pressure of having to meet them in person,” Ms Claire told The New Daily.
People aren’t rushing towards that physical intimacy, because they can’t.
“And then that first meeting in person, when and if that does happen, feels like it’s coming from a more informed place.
“It becomes a lot easier to detect what someone’s intentions are,” she said.
“If someone is just wanting something casual, they’re less likely to invest in a series of virtual dates. Even one virtual date might be a stretch if someone was really not motivated by getting to know you.” s
The dating coach, who founded My Wingwoman in 2017, encourages singles to put effort into their dating profiles and explore other options to get to know their matches before rushing off to meet.
“It’s a great time to be giving [online dating] a go. And if you do give it a go, make sure you put the time and energy into creating what I call a ‘best foot forward’ profile,” Ms Claire said.
“I think really embracing those other ways that are safe to upgrade from text without going straight to meeting in person – even though the restrictions are lifting – there are some really good ways to get to know someone better without committing to that first in person date.”