Dating After Coronavirus – The New York Times
In recent months, singles have fielded dating advice from unusual sources. Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York suggested it’s wise to skip a kiss. Health officials across the country reminded us, “you are your safest sex partner.” And Anthony Fauci outlined a PG evening in which those looking for love “put a mask on and, you know, chat a bit.”
Despite this chaste advice, people are dating. One Saturday, I dined with a funny Brit. The following Thursday, I met a handsome cinematographer for a gym session. All of it happened, awkwardly, on Zoom.
The dating scene is booming — it has just gone virtual. The League’s video speed-dating feature saw attendance double in the first week of social distancing. Messaging on Hinge surged 30 percent. And since March, the number of OKCupid users who have been on a video date has quadrupled.
Being single in a pandemic prompts an extreme reaction to that status. Early research from the Kinsey Institute suggests that while everyone is lonelier now, single people are the loneliest. The psychotherapist Esther Perel explained to me this is because crisis is a “relationship accelerator.” Unhappy marriages lurch to divorce. Young lovers rush to cohabitate on a third date. And single people realize: I don’t want to die alone.
At least that’s what I realized.