Online dating – the new space to find love
With internet dating seen as an “ice-breaker” prior to meeting in reality, more conversations are getting initiated on dating apps and singletons are swiping like never before to find their love interest.
By Preeti Parashar
Dating goes digital
The pandemic sped up the process of finding love online and ushered in quick digital transformation from texting to video calls. Gauging the situation, majority of dating agencies, started offering their services online. From consultation to matchmaking – everything has gone virtual.
Research shows that more than 40% of young users would like to continue with video calls (being considered the safest dating option today) besides meeting in person even when social distancing restrictions are eased further. With a significant rise in online dating globally, video calls have gained popularity as a preferred mode over the usual video chat services such as FaceTime.
Looking for love via the Internet is now much more widely accepted as a good way to start a new relationship. In fact, so many people have warmed up to the idea that Statista.com predicts online dating users to reach the 200,000 mark this year in Singapore. Millennials and Gen Z are very at ease using virtual platforms to meet like-minded people.
Michelle Goh, founder of dating agency CompleteMe, confirms that her agency also witnessed more individuals signing up for online sessions from April onwards. “We observed a growing number of singles getting comfortable dating online during the circuit breaker. The demand for online meetings has also increased,” says Ms Goh.
Value for money
The dating agencies have come up with very competitive packages/costs to their online offerings. Members get exciting deals to attend online events. Ms Goh elaborates, “For the unlimited online sessions, members pay a sum, typically $39.90 and they can join from a range of it. We have been using Zoom software to run our speed dating events and also other activities-based online sessions such as karaoke, multiplayer games and many more. For karaoke, participants are also required to use a mobile app to join.”
Commenting on the competitive pricing she adds, “It has always been there, be it pre-Covid or during Covid period. Competitive is healthy as participants will stand to benefit from the wide variety of events at viable prices.”
Dating has become a serious business! The revenue in the online dating segment is projected to reach SGD 2.7 million this year.
How does it work
In her experience, Ms Goh says that online dates mainly chat about their interests. They would pick someone who matches their idiosyncrasies and strikes a chord with them. Once couples have developed a bond, they venture out into hosting dinners, wine sessions, enjoying virtual tours, attending concerts, playing games such as Scrabble, practising yoga or dance and sometimes having regular video dates just to catch up on things. Online dating also helps expand your social circle as you get to meet diverse individuals.
Be aware of the reality
Assessing physical attributes or gauging body language becomes difficult when connecting online. “There’s a tall lady in our network who is looking for an equally tall – or even taller – gentleman. However, through online dating, you cannot gauge the other person’s height as they’re usually sitting down. She didn’t know how to ask the gentleman’s height as it was the first time they were communicating,” shares Ms Goh. When you eventually decide to meet face-to-face, you may sometimes find the person completely opposite to what they project to be online. Be careful not to let this impact you emotionally. So, it’s better not to have expectations prior to your meeting.
Online dating might not be the complete solution to finding your future partner, but it can certainly play a key role in getting new conversations started. It has come up as a new trend and is likely to carry over even after the pandemic ends, resulting in a shift in dating habits. So, be open to meeting new people online. Who knows, you might just click!