Love in the Time of Coronavirus: Dating in a Global Pandemic

They say that romance is dead in this world where your next soulmate is just one swipe away. Relationships have become easily accessible and easily disposable. However, we have entered a new era for dating and an opportunity for (dare we say it) the stuff that great romance novels are made of.

The Long Game

We live in a world where love, or at least companionship, is at our fingertips. Apps are even organised by location so you can find someone nearby as quickly as possible. Many app users prefer to skip the pleasantries and small talk altogether and jump straight into that first date. However, with government-enforced lockdown and social distancing practices in place, these physical meet-ups are not possible in the immediate future. Enter: The Long Game.

Romantic hopefuls everywhere are having to step up their creativity levels and question how to sustain a conversation for a month, in the hope of a date at the end of the Coronavirus journey. This is probably the closest our generation has come to old-fashioned courtships since the good old days of after-school MSN.

How to Date Whilst Social Distancing

Dating apps are encouraging first-dates via Skype or video-call in order to “date responsibly.” All major dating apps are reporting a dramatic increase in usage over recent weeks and an increase in the length of time matches are chatting online. This is particularly noticeable in countries with the harshest restrictions. In Italy and Spain, for example, the number of daily messages increased by up to 25% compared with previous weeks. The length of conversations also showed an increase of 10 – 30%.

People are seemingly becoming reliant on the comfort of another person without any physical interaction involved. With a range of “social events” now available online, a “date” can look like anything: from a virtual yoga class to live dance parties to virtual courses to pub quizzes, now is the time to woo and wow, with the now-accepted practice of social distancing very much widespread.

Long-Distance Relationships During COVID-19

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, so they say. Relationship experts have often praised the merits of distance in relationships and its role in keeping passion alive. With time apart from each other, it gives the couple time to miss each other and generate excitement for their eventual reunion. Some industries are particularly benefiting from couples looking for new ways to keep their relationship alive in the time apart, including sex toys, home coffee subscriptions, exercise equipment and a lot more. However, this could also be a testing time for many couples who have never had to experience long-distance love.

Coronababies and Covidivorces

If absence makes the heart grow fonder, what does lack of absence do? As lockdown becomes more strict, newer couples are having to choose whether they want to distance or cohabit. This is a big and premature step for many couples and will act as a test for future success. Married couples are also facing new challenges. Without going to work, going to the gym or meeting up with friends, couples who may have only spent some hours of quality time a week will now be together 24/7. Though there have been many jokes about the baby boom and a generation of ‘coronababies,’ the likelihood of this happening has received mixed reviews.

For those with children, there is the added pressure of entertaining and home-schooling without the respite of teachers, family members or babysitters. Special exceptions are being made in some countries for separated parents to still have access to their children however the guidelines are currently unclear. Couples already on the verge of separation are now forced to remain under the same roof. Whilst this may be a time of reconciliation and healing, lawyers predict that divorce rates following the Coronavirus quarantine are going to soar.

For more information about the Coronavirus and how it may affect you and your business, check out our COVID-19 resources.