The dating landscape may have changed, but some unexpected positive changes have hit the online dating world and could be here to stay.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed almost all of our lives in ways we never could have previously fathomed. Still, if you’re fortunate enough to be a healthy single who still has an interest in finding your forever partner, I’m here to let you know that the dating landscape may be changing, but not all for the worse.
Digital dating (online sites & apps) in particular are seeing a significant rise in the numbers of people utilizing the space as well as innovations in some platforms that are transforming and shaping the future of this multi-billion-dollar dating industry. Also, the longer the self-isolation and quarantine orders continue it will likely cause considerable changes in the strategies and rules for digital dating in general.
Here are the top changes in the digital dating landscape and how it can positively affect your dating life.
- More singles engaging the platforms– Self-isolation and career displacement are both sending singles to one of the only places to interact with fellow singles. In March, Bumble, an online dating platform, according to the app Sensor Tower, there were 3.63 million users a month ago … it swelled to 3.88 mil in the final week of March, and now it’s stable at 3.67 million users and not surprisingly there was an even bigger increase in geographic areas where Covid-19 is most predominant. Tinder also, indicated that the volume of messages among its users. Weekly traffic was around 9.3 million users surged to 10.2 million since the pandemic. More singles traffic means more dating options for you and additional chances to meet that special someone.
- Longer, more meaningful conversations – Since so many singles are spending their time self-isolating, and not lost in the hustle and bustle of pre-pandemic everyday life, it means they have more idle time on their hands and no one to share it with. As a dating and relationship coach, my clients that are hitting up the digital dating space around the world are finding that their digital dating communications are longer and meaningful. A Bumble spokesman in an emailed statement, indicated recently that usage is up 21%, with an average video or voice call lasting around 15 minutes. It seems people are getting to know each other a little better by taking a little more time to connect and that is always a good thing,
- Less Ghosting, more honesty – Ghosting is one of those horrible online trends where you are communicating with someone you think you have a real connection with and then poof… they disappear on you like a ghost. It seems that in this period of self-isolation there’s not as big a need to rudely stop communicating with someone. I don’t have any actual stats to point to on this, but maybe it’s because people have a little more compassion for one another and themselves or they just are not as distracted by other things. Whatever the reason, I hope it continues.
- Video chats are on the rise – Video chatting has been around for a while in various forms on many sites, but it is now becoming a mainstay. Chief Executive Shar Dubey indicated Match Group began rolling out video chats on at least two if its sites, Plenty of Fish and Twoo. JWed, a Jewish dating app, was an early adopter of in-app video chat and the site Blindee allows for single introductions via three-minute video calls to “vibe-check the chemistry with a potential match.” Within weeks or months, I’m sure many more sites will follow suit and as a coach, I couldn’t be happier. Think about how many profile photo deceivers will be caught and potential disastrous dates avoided because someone got to see and talk to the potential date via a quick intro video. Used correctly these video chats could be every digital dater’s lifeline.
- Virtual meetups are here to stay: Video chat platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts and Houseparty are being integrated into singles events and social hours. Some of these are just for fun, like a recent wine party I did for my lady single clients, some are for learning new dating skills from a trusted source, and some are just virtual single’s mixers. Coffee Meets Bagel revealed its app is hosting virtual meetups for 10 to 15 members at a time, consisting of video calls moderated by a company rep. I also am currently working with two-speed dating companies who are planning to launch virtual speed dating events any day now.
- Online Dating will be safer (for the smart ones) – Some studies show that romance scams went up 40 percent over the past year, costing victims over $200 million in the U.S. alone. My guess is with all the vulnerable people online right now, that number will rise. Catfishing and other scams are always going to be around in some form, but many companies are working to create solutions like facial mapping for users to prove their identities. The tech is out there to protect us, it’s just a matter of the dating public making the choice they want to implement it.
Today’s dating landscape is a new frontier for sure, but for those singles with the right tools and the right mindset, there’s no question it’s still a great time to date. Your goal as a smart single is to make sure you stay positive and not get too discouraged by the new dating limitations. The pandemic and it’s stifling socialization rules will end one day soon, and when it does you want to be ready.
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