What the Pandemic Has Done for Dating – The Atlantic

What the Pandemic Has Done for Dating – The Atlantic

In a year when sharing space and air with people is potentially dangerous, one would think that dating would be particularly dismal, perhaps even put on hold. Recent data suggest that’s not quite the case, however, and even point to some positive developments: Many single Americans have been more intentional about whom they date, are having deeper conversations, and are spending more quality time with new partners.

Most dating apps report increased usage since March, and noticeable changes in daters’ attitudes. Singles in America surveyed 5,000 Americans and found that 58 percent of people who use dating apps say they have shifted toward more intentional dating since the pandemic. Of those surveyed, 69 percent are being more honest with potential partners and 63 percent are spending more time getting to know them. The dating site OkCupid, where I am a scientific adviser, also noticed a 20 percent decline in users seeking a hookup. These numbers are optimistic news for people looking for a relationship, given that research finds that couples who spend time getting to know each other before having sex have happier relationships later on. Prioritizing emotional connection allows romantic relationships to ignite via a slow simmer, rather than to burn out quickly.

Jeffrey Hall, the director of the Relationships and Technology Lab at the University of Kansas, is not surprised by these promising trends. “When you take a single person who is not getting their social needs met by all
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