How COVID-19 redefined dating
Corona virus has upended the ways people meet and work, and dating is no stranger to it. New trends have transformed how people connect and sustain relationships.
By Preeti Parashar
What has changed
Bonding online amidst social distancing
A significant variation which has been noticed over the past five months is that of more individuals warming up to video calls and online chatting. Acknowledging this fact, Ms Tse shares, “During the circuit breaker, approximately 75% of our clients were happy to switch to video dates. Video conferencing apps and online dating platforms are great for building emotional connections because you can't escape the conversation. Deep conversations help you discover quite quickly, whether you like that person or not.”
This is different from the normal dating context, where many people dive headfirst into relationships driven by physical attraction, and not spend enough time getting to know one another in the initial weeks and months. “When the heat of the initial attraction dies off, suddenly the couples realise they aren't compatible. With video call dates, that is much less likely to happen,” adds Ms Tse.
The humane side came to fore
COVID-19 brought to fore a more humane aspect of population across the globe. While many individuals adapted virtual dating into their lives, there has been a shift in general attitude too. “People turned nicer, kinder, and are not taking things for granted like they used to. Facing a pandemic together definitely bonds people together, and makes one more reflective and benevolent. Those are very attractive traits!” opines Ms Tse.
Longer conversations, better connections
Where texting was considered as a bold step for approaching someone for a date till a few months ago, dating rules have been reformed by the youth today. Messaging freely, video calling, chatting on apps, are conjuring up the dating prospect. Ms Tse shares that though the main rules of the dating game haven't changed, but it's definitely slowed down the physical aspect of meeting new people. “Now, singles take longer time before making physical contact. They spend more time talking and getting to know each other,” says Ms Tse.
How to prepare for dating ahead
Manage expectations for a smooth transition
Approach the renewed process of distant-dating with an open mind, keeping expectations low. Till you meet in real life, enjoy the journey and build your bond for a smooth transition. Ms Tse explains, “The most important part about video dating/phone dating is to see how the eventual transition goes, and until that happens, it's best to see it as something social, and having fun all along!”
She adds, “Sometimes, a good chat doesn't mean that the date will necessarily go further. Given the low amount of commitment required to go on video dates (no cost, no travel, low effort), your date could be "dating" many other people at the same time.” Avoid expecting commitment right in the beginning, and give yourself and the other person time to take it further.
Make conscious effort to connect
Ms Tse feels that there was a huge amount of complacency in the dating market pre-covid. Everyone found it so easy to meet people simply by swiping on apps that they may not have really treasured the opportunities they had in real. “People now realise that life is uncertain. The lockdown has been tough on everyone especially singles. They got time to think and realise that they should put a bit more thought and effort into their relationships and dating habits. It’s not that life and love will just fall into place whenever they decide they're ready,” says she. Making genuine efforts to connect and converse deeper will really help take the relationship forward.
Keep the spark alive
“If you have met the right person, this should be easy. If you could handle talking on the phone and via face time for hours during lockdown, face to face interactions should be a piece of cake,” says Ms Tse. She recommends keeping dates interesting with new activities, such as pottery classes, a visit to universal studios, cooking classes, and other such activities. Sharing her observations, she chips in, “The most important thing about keeping the spark alive is to make sure that you stay interesting as a person -- read widely, be curious, and keep learning. Our main feedback about boring dates is when a person doesn't have many interests, opinions, or curiosity about the world in general.”
A positive outcome of the current crisis is reflected in the fact that it helped us to pause and consider. This holds true for dating patterns as well and hopefully you’ll come out with a better understanding of what kind of partner you’d want for life!