The coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown has made it impossible to date traditionally, at least for the time being. There's still one way to meet new people, though, and that's through online dating. So, what's the lowdown on social dating, and how do you find someone for a socially distanced date, anyway? Here's our take on the best online dating apps.
The Online Dating Trend
Even before the coronavirus lockdown, 30 per cent of US adults had already tried online dating. And, in the UK, around 32 per cent of relationships started online. Online dating is cool now. There's far less stigma attached to it than before, and it's a convenient way for busy millennials to find a hookup or long-term partner. But is there even any point in joining a dating app right now?
Social Distancing and Dating: Impossible?
Is it impossible to find love during the coronavirus pandemic? Not at all! In fact, it might even be easier to flirt and chat with potential matches during the pandemic. Since we're all concerned about the coronavirus, it's an easy icebreaker!
What's more, if you spend time chatting with someone online or over video, you can quickly suss out whether you're compatible without the need for an awkward first date. Let's face it, social distancing doesn't have many benefits, but this is definitely a plus point!
Top 5 Dating Apps
Ready to give pandemic online dating a try? Here's our pick of the top five apps to help you get started.
Arguably the most famous dating app, Tinder lets you match with people all over the world. Although, unsurprisingly, most people choose to find dates a little closer to home. The app presents you with profiles to view, and you simply swipe "left" for those you're not attracted to, and "right" for the ones you like. If you match, you can start messaging – and dating – right away!
With Bumble, one of the most popular dating apps, women are in control. If there's a connection, the woman has 24 hours to send her match a message, or the connection disappears forever – unless you match again, of course!
Bumble is perfect for socially distanced dating because it has unique video chat and voice call options. This means you can simulate that perfect first date experience from a safe distance apart.
Also known as the "app designed to be deleted," Hinge uses common interests to pair you with potential matches. Answer a few simple questions, and you're ready to go. This algorithm makes it all the more likely that you'll meet a compatible date without sifting through hundreds of profiles. It's the perfect app for singletons looking to find someone to connect with on a deeper level.
Another benefit is that you'll only receive messages from people you've matched with – say goodbye to dodgy, unsolicited messages!
Wouldn't it be great if you could connect with that cutie you see on the train every morning? Happn makes this...well, happen. The app shows you the profiles of members you recently "crossed paths" with, whether it's on foot, by train, or in the car.
If you have location concerns, don't worry. You can block certain members from seeing your specific location, and the app never shows your precise, real-time location. It only highlights members in your general radius.
How could we talk about dating apps without mentioning Match, the original online dating site? Just because it's older than the other apps on the list doesn't mean it's outdated – not by a long shot. The app lets you "wink" at people you find attractive, and there's even a "dating coach" designed to match you with compatible members.
What's more, the majority of the people on this app are looking for a serious relationship. So, if this is what you're searching for, you're not wasting your time.
Take Your Sanitiser on Your Next Date
Remember, dating during a pandemic is absolutely possible. And, as bars and restaurants look set to reopen across the UK in the next few weeks or month, you'll soon be able to meet your virtual dates in person again. This means it's more important than ever to keep your hands clean.
To help keep you both safe from the coronavirus, pop a bottle of Your Sanitiser in your bag – clean hands are still the most effective defence against the virus. Stock up on Your Sanitiser now and stay safe!