Love and Quarantine: The Challenges and Successes of Online Dating during a Pandemic

Gone are the days of being asked out on a date in person, at least for now. Due to the pandemic, it seems millennials and Gen Z feel further inclined to search for love online. Usage of dating apps had significantly spiked since the end of March when stay-at-home orders began to go into effect. In places like New York City, usage of the app Bumble increased by over 23% (cnbc.com). To gain perspective on this change on a smaller scale, I asked a few friends active on dating apps for their input. I asked them about the challenges and successes of using dating apps and if they had met anyone they can see themselves with for the long term. Here are their responses.

“Some challenges I have faced with online dating during quarantine is making plans with the guys I match with. Places are open, but the guys and I agree that we aren’t ready to dine in at a restaurant just yet. It’s hard to know where the virus is. But outdoor seating, curbside pickup, and living by lots of beaches provide for other opportunities for a fun first date. Successes that I’ve seen with online dating include that I’ve been able to chat with a lot of decent guys through an app that provides a faster and safer way of meeting people. It was a bit different at first because I’m used to meeting guys in person. I’m making decisions of who I swipe right on solely off of appearance and minimal detail. But I honestly could see apps like Tinder/Bumble as part of the new normal as far as dating goes for young adults. Also, no, I haven’t met any of the guys in person yet, so it’s hard to tell right now. I do have a date coming up though with a guy I’ve been talking to through the app for several weeks now, and we seem to have a lot in common, so I guess we’ll see where that leads.” Cassidy - MSU ‘23. 

“The biggest struggle is that no one is really on there seriously because people are just lonely and are looking for any new interaction to make the time pass by. Most people aren’t serious about it, and it’s hard to see anything real come from anything. There’s no one I could see myself with long term, it’s hard to find that on tinder anyway, and the current situation makes it about 100 times worse.” Matt - MTU ‘23. 

“It seems people are more likely to interact with you because of the boredom, but less likely to meet with you because of the fear of Covid. I think the people using tinder during quarantine are using more as entertainment than a tool for a long term relationship.” Nate - MSU ‘23.

“I’d have to say the biggest challenge would be coming up with new date ideas. Hikes & sunset drives are always good, but it’s nice to go out and have options to create new memories together while the relationship is still fresh. As far as meeting someone I can see myself with long term, there’s some potential for sure.” Grace - Athletic Trainer.

Overall, it seems that although the usage of dating apps has increased, most people are looking for casual relationships or someone to flirt with rather than searching for love. Dating apps have helped fight the boredom of quarantine. They have helped people make fun connections and talk to people they otherwise wouldn’t have met. Guess it’s time to update my Tinder profile.