Are People Actually Dating in a Pandemic? – Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

Are People Actually Dating in a Pandemic? – Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

Long gone are the days of aimlessly swiping through Tinder, exchanging a few messages, and grabbing a drink with a match that meets your taste, all within 24 hours.

For singles and couples separated by the pandemic, dating has taken on a new definition. It’s no longer going to movie theaters, sitting for hours at your favorite restaurants chatting, or just meeting up for a stroll around the lake. In place of those classic dates are now Zoom dates, more Zoom dates, and even more Zoom dates. And maybe hanging out in a park, talking loudly to each other from six feet apart.

Despite that, dating app usage has surged since COVID-19 began. According to a Bumble representative, between March 13 and May 1, there’s been a 16 percent increase in messages sent, and a 69 percent increase in video calls made within the app.

In a new world where there’s less to talk about, and even less to do, I was curious how online dating was going during COVID-19. I joined a few dating apps myself, stating in my bio that I was a journalist looking for sources for this story. It turns out that using dating apps for things other than dating is against community guidelines for almost every app. But, after asking how dating works during COVID-19 before an imminent ban, a message I received multiple times was simply, “It doesn’t.”

Zoom as a Dating App

Julia Shreve, 25, hasn’t found that to be the case. “I’ve been
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