Chances are, whether you’re a singleton or you’re coupled up, you’ve had to get creative on the dating front since COVID-19 stopped by to ruin everyone’s 2020. From first dates via Zoom to ‘let’s be exclusive’ chats happening at lightning-speed, here’s how Coronavirus has transformed the dating world as we know it…
We’ve been dating virtually
While some of us were big fans of the online dating apps long before COVID hit, others were pretty much forced into it as lockdown came into force. Face-to-face flirting suddenly had a whole new filter, as we took 121s with potential baes to the likes of Zoom, FaceTime and Houseparty. Although virtual/online dating introduced a string of challenges – technical difficulties, a lack of physical intimacy, Catfishing etc. etc. – it also had its positives. For example, in real life, we could chat away on tinder for weeks on end, only to find out the person looked nothing like their profile pics in real life. For those who took things to the next level during lockdown and did the video call dating thing, it was a great chance to filter out the fakes and to build up their dating confidence at home.
We’ve been way less groomed
For some it was refreshing and freeing, for others nothing short of a nightmare. We’re talking about the closure of our beloved hair salons, barbers, nail bars,lash technicians – a whole world ofglam that disappeared right before our very eyes. As the lockdown weeks ticked by, the eyelash extensions fell out, the beards became more unkempt, and the roots came through thick and fast. So to say our dating life had a little less style than usual would be fair. Let’s talk about the wardrobe situation, too. Office wear was replaced by lounge wear. And even now, as restrictions have lifted, some of us still can’t get out of our hoodies and joggers.
Date night has looked very different
Not just for the singletons dating via apps and video, but for cohabiting couples, too. For the latter, date night has had a very different face in recent times. As our favourite restaurants, theatres and cocktail bars were forced to close, we had to get more inventive when it came to spending quality time together. Fancy dinners out were restricted to the household, and lots of us channelled our inner Gordons and Nigella’s, turning our hand to new recipes and cuisines. Once the budding chef vibe wore off, we turned to the takeaways, with many restaurants offering new collection and delivery services, allowing us to recreate a night at our local Italian or tapas in the comfort of our own homes. Some even turned to Pinterest for DIY inspo, and got busy creating their own outdoor cinemas or cosy al fresco bars in the garden.
We’ve been having more sex
Well, not everyone has (sorry online daters). But for cohabiting couples,there’s been way more action in the bedroom than usual. According to one study, 33% more action than pre-COVID, to be precise. Yep, as WFH commenced, the commute disappeared and we had more time at home than ever before, some of us found ourselves getting hot and heavy a lot more often than we normally would. For the 19% of live-in couples who reported having less sex than before, it seems to be largely down to frustrations from a lack of personal space, and more arguments as we started to drive each other mad on the daily.
Parents struggled with the lack of alone time
As everything closed and home schooling became a thing, life changed for parents in a huge way. In the beginning, lots of couples reported feeling happier, as more family time was on the cards and the parenting element became more equal than it had perhaps been before. Then it all became more stressful and, for some, all hell broke loose. Unlike most childless cohabiting couples, parents didn’t experience more time in the sack, nor did they have the chance to recreate date night at home. More people at home meant more cleaning, more arguments and, sadly, an increase in unhappiness for some.
We’ve moved faster than usual
Some of the lockdown love stories have been insane. We’ve heard of people finding love across rooftops and balconies,couples rekindling old flames as they Facetimed into the early hours, and others popping the question unexpectedly as distance made the heart grow fonder. You can’t deny it, COVID has made us look at love and dating – and everything else, for that matter – very differently, and we’re not into wasting time anymore. For instance, couples that were in the really early stages back in March quickly realised they were onto a good thing when they were kept apart, and catapulted into exclusivity way earlier than they might have otherwise. Others called it quits as the time apart brought real clarity.