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Dating and coronavirus: How COVID-19 has changed relationships

Dating and coronavirus: How COVID-19 has changed relationships

The dating game has never been the same

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Dating in the 21st century is like nothing like it was before. Gone are the dating etiquette rules your parents followed and how dating might have been in high school. These days, navigating dating apps is the key to finding love. But with COVID-19 impacting everyday lives — down to the way people travel and eat — it was only a matter of time until it affected the dating world.

Virtual dating is the new dating

Virtual dating is the new dating

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Gone are the days of meeting in person for a cup of coffee or a quick bite. If you’re in the court hooping for love, virtual dating is the new norm.

A new dating app encourages both cleanliness and love

A new dating app encourages both cleanliness and love

Photo Courtesy Quarantine Together

Using dating apps to find a love connection is just a part of the 21st-century dating model. Apps easily pair users across the globe to greet, meet and, if all goes well, give dating a shot. But with places for gatherings closed and social distancing encouraged at a national level, meeting people out from a dating app might seem obsolete. That’s where Quarantine Together comes in. The new dating app encourages people to wash their hands and, once you confirm that you have, matches you with a date every evening at 6 p.m. A private text link is sent before users are given the option to share a video chat.

Love is Quarantine connects users with others from around the world

Love is Quarantine connects users with others from around the world

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Love is Quarantine, much as the name sounds, is a new dating app for those practicing social distancing who want to meet their loves anonymously. Similar to the popular Netflix show “Love is Blind,” contestants are put in virtual “pods” where they can communicate through text, but not know how the other looks. If the duo decides the love is mutual, their faces are revealed and they are allowed to connect via video.

Tinder is making its Passport feature free so users around the world can connect

Tinder is making its Passport feature free so users around the world can connect

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Tinder — a popular dating app — is rolling out one of its premium features for free. The Passport feature will give users anywhere around the world where the app is available the opportunity to connect while self-quarantining. While connecting with someone 1,000 miles away might have been nonsensical to some just a month ago, it’s now a way to relieve loneliness and make sure even your farthest neighbors are OK. You won't be able to use an actual passport to take an island vacation, but Tinder can take you there.

Hinge is creating fun backdrops to spice up Zoom dates

Hinge is creating fun backdrops to spice up Zoom dates

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Hinge — a dating app with the slogan “Designed to be deleted” — is also exploring new ways for its users to find real connections, even when apart. The dating site connected with Zoom, a remote conferencing service, to create fun backdrops to spice up those virtual dates. Now you don’t have to be in your living room when meeting with your love-to-be. An enchanting forest, a beautiful beach or a fancy restaurant are all on the table thanks to the backdrops.

Bumble is promoting fun, virtual date ideas

Bumble is promoting fun, virtual date ideas

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Hitting the streets for a fun date night with a new beau is out of the picture as states nationwide enforce social distancing, so Bumble — a dating app — is upping its virtual game. Bumble is encouraging users to tap into their imagination and make a virtual date more than a quick hello. Virtual game night, dance-offs and cooking competitions are only some of the inventive ideas the app suggests to establish a new love connection.

Hinge users are using FaceTime to connect

Hinge users are using FaceTime to connect

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In a recent online survey, Hinge asked its users how they are connecting with their love interests. More than 57% said they were using FaceTime to engage, a new norm that has replaced in-person meetings.

Ship launches DFH

Ship launches DFH

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These days, the only place where you can have a fun date night and stay safe and healthy is your home. So Ship, a dating app where friends set you up, has launched #DFH, or date from home, a new feature that uses fun backdrops to give your date the perfect setting. If you plan to grab dinner, there are chic restaurants and pizza backdrops that can be used on your zoom call. And if cleaning your home was the last thing on your mind before your date, there are images of organized, nicely designed living spaces you can use as a backdrop as well.

OkZoomer redefines dating

OkZoomer redefines dating

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OkZoomer is a new dating app that tells its users that everyone can find love, even 6 feet apart. Created for college students by college students, the new dating app connects university students who no longer have the chance to meet on their beautiful campuses.

Dating apps are rolling out new live features

Dating apps are rolling out new live features

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Dating apps are starting to alter their features to best accommodate users who can no longer meet face to face. One of the latest apps to join this trend is Plenty of Fish. With its new feature, “LIVE!,” users can easily navigate through the app and record themselves live while searching for potential matches.

There are already virtual dating shows

And a virtual dating reality series might be the new ‘Bachelor’

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Popular shows like “The Bachelor” might have ceased production, but that hasn’t stopped individuals from creating virtual dating shows we never knew we would need. “Pandemic Love” is an online dating show that finds its hosts and contestants via Google Docs. The contestants that are chosen then engage in video dates that can be viewed by others around the world. 

Sports lovers missing the game now have a place to connect

Sports lovers missing the game now have a place to connect

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Sporting activities have either been canceled or postponed indefinitely, but lovers of the game no longer need a field to connect. DraftMate is, according to the company, the first sports fan dating app. Lovers of football and basketball can “draft” their love pick and communicate virtually with chat and video features. 

Video games keep ‘I love you’s’ flowing

Video games keep ‘I love you’s’ flowing

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Social distancing encourages individuals to remain 6 feet apart from one another, so couples are taking real-life interactions and recreating them virtually with video games. Using games with messaging systems, such as Animal Crossing, couples are meeting and continuing the bonding experience. Animal lover or not, this is one new trendy way to stay connected. 

Virtual tour dates are the new craze

Virtual tour dates are the new craze

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Museums, aquariums and famous landmarks alike have all shut their doors to eliminate the risk of large gatherings, meaning popular date hotspots are now off the table. But these world-class destinations are one step ahead of the tide thanks to a unique online feature: virtual tours. Now, you and your partner can tour places like the Taj Mahal, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, National Gallery of Art and The Louvre all from the comfort of your couch.

Livestream concert dates are the only way to catch your favorite act together

Livestream concert dates are the only way to catch your favorite act together

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Just as famous landmarks have officially closed for business, so have venues that would normally host live acts. But just because you can’t hear some of the top hits live in concert doesn’t mean you have to completely forgo the experience. According to the Chicago Tribune, musicians of all fame levels are live-streaming their performances for all to enjoy.

Kissing is a new taboo

Kissing is a new taboo

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Although social distancing has already prevented some couples from sharing the same space, those in close proximity exhibiting symptoms are also being told to keep their distance. In fact, the New York Department of Health is even warning against sharing a smooch. According to new guidelines, if your partner is not feeling well, kissing should be avoided. And kissing anyone who is not part of your immediate circle is highly discouraged. Luckily, there are other fun ways to guarantee your partner feels constantly loved and make your relationship last.

Dinner dates take on a whole new meaning

Dinner dates take on a whole new meaning

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Asking a date out for dinner when your favorite restaurant is closed and you have to stay 6 feet apart is difficult. But it hasn’t stopped people like Jeremy Cohen from having a successful date night. In a video Cohen posted, he can be seen having dinner outdoors on his balcony while his date sits on the roof of her respective building and the two shout their small talk.

Old-fashioned courtships are on the rise

Old-fashioned courtships are on the rise

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Some see new regulations set in place with the spread of COVID-19 as a halt to dating. Others see it as the perfect step we needed to return to the way our parents and grandparents were romantically courted. Dating apps once encouraged people to chat and meet, but with social distancing in place, people now have to spend more time getting to know one another and communicating before having the chance to go beyond that stage of the relationship.

Chatting is on the rise

Chatting is on the rise

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Coffee Meets Bagel, a dating app, recently conducted a study among its users and found that, instead of quickly going from matching to meeting in person, 39% of users planned to text their matches more, 29% planned to call, and 28% wanted to video chat more. Communication within the app is on the rise.

Some people predict a potential baby boom

Some people predict a potential baby boom

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With individuals stuck primarily indoors, a potential baby boom might be brewing. According to the Chicago Tribune, some couples are feeling closer than ever — both emotionally and physically — because of the current state of the world. Prepare for a few new Helen's, Arthur's and other baby names in the world.

Others see divorce on the horizon

Others see divorce on the horizon

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While some are feeling closer to their partners, others are realizing that living in tight quarters is leading to the demise of their once-thriving relationship. According to the Chicago Tribune, some couples are seeing divorce on the horizon.

Looking good for that first date has taken on a new meaning

Looking good for that first date has taken on a new meaning

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Once you had to wonder what perfect outfit you should don for your new date. Now you have to wonder which angle will make you look best on screen.

Mullets, but make it fashion

Mullets, but make it fashion

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Mullets — a short-lived popular hairstyle — were business in the front and party in the back. Now individuals are taking a similar approach while dating virtually, but with their fashion. While participating in virtual dinner dates, people are defining their own fashion rules by wearing fashionable tops but opting for a pair of sweatpants or pajama pants below.

Childless couples are the new elite

Childless couples are the new elite

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Life changes when you have kids, and couples cooped up in their homes with their children might find themselves with the short end of the stick daily. Childless couples, meanwhile, are finding new joys — like baking — while being quarantined with one another.

Soulja Boy had it right all along

Soulja Boy had it right all along

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American rapper Soulja Boy’s hit song “Kiss Me Thru the Phone” might have been a popular jam back in 2008, but now the song is more relevant than ever since it’s the only way some people can share a kiss with their partner.

Ghosts of relationships past are making a comeback

Ghosts of relationships past are making a comeback

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No, we're not talking about the ghouls who lurk in the halls of haunted places. Ghosting, or ending a relationship by unexpectedly and abruptly withdrawing from communication, is popular in today’s dating world — especially when love is only one swipe away. But people are beginning to find that their former “ghosters” are reemerging in their lives in this time of crisis.

Pickup lines are taking a turn for the even worse

Pickup lines are taking a turn for the even worse

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Pickup lines were never all that great. New social distancing pickup lines might be even worse.

It’s redefined what we look for in a partner

It’s redefined what we look for in a partner

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Dating requirements are changing. Before, we searched for a person we could see ourselves marrying. Now since we're spending more time at home, we search for someone we could imagine ourselves quarantined with.

Swiping has reached new heights

Swiping has reached new heights

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With more time on their hands, some dating app users are finding that a good way to occupy time is to swipe, or match, with other users all day long.

Rules and regulations are determining who’s best suited for a relationship

Rules and regulations are determining who’s best suited for a relationship

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There are certain criteria that we all use to determine who could potentially be a perfect match. Height, one’s occupation and common interests are just a few examples. But now, some users are using a different metric to determine whether someone is a perfect fit: their ability to follow rules. After witnessing their potential partner’s unwillingness to social distance, some daters are using the rule breaking as a cue to exit the relationship. Being thoughtless about your health and other's is now one of the worst dating etiquette mistakes you can make

People with plans to enter the dating world are feeling discouraged

People with plans to enter the dating world are feeling discouraged

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While some are seeing this time as the perfect opportunity to connect with a potential love virtually, others are feeling discouraged about making the dating leap and cultivating important relationships in such strange times. 

Loneliness is increasing

Loneliness is increasing

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The whole social distancing thing has some daters feeling increased loneliness in the time of the pandemic. If you're feeling lonely, consider fostering a pet.

More inventive ways to see someone outdoors

More inventive ways to see someone outdoors

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Traveling outdoors to socialize with a potential partner is largely discouraged, so some Twitter users are finding inventive and fun ways to meet their partner and share a laugh. 

Lovers are less concerned about their partners’ wandering eye

Lovers are less concerned about their partners’ wandering eye

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Some individuals are finding that fears about their potential or current lover being unfaithful are also at ease. With public gathering places closed and social distancing encouraged, there are fewer places to potentially find someone new face to face.

Everyone’s in a long-distance relationship

Everyone’s in a long-distance relationship

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Long-distance relationships were once for people states or countries apart. But with some individuals choosing to social distance in their respective homes away from their partners, a larger portion of people are in a long-distance relationship. Living apart has helped some couples decide if their relationships will stand the test of time

People are interested in reaching out to ex-partners

People are interested in reaching out to ex-partners

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Communicating with an ex was once a dating no-no and a potential toxic trait, but with some individuals feeling lonely because of the rapid spread of COVID-19, the former taboo is now becoming a common occurrence.

Romantic gifts include flowers … and toilet paper

Romantic gifts include flowers … and toilet paper

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Flowers have always been a romantic gift to show someone you were thinking of them. Now a new ally has joined the flower forces: toilet paper. Find out what your flower of choice symbolizes before you pair it with your favorite toilet paper brand. 

And hand sanitizer too

And hand sanitizer too

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Nothing says “I love you” during these trying times like a bottle of hand sanitizer paired with a few rolls of toilet paper.

Couples are having to make decisions about moving in together quicker and earlier than before

Couples are having to make decisions about moving in together quicker and earlier than before

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Choosing to move in with your partner is a big step that takes time and financial planning. But with states encouraging individuals to self-isolate, couples are finding the decision to quarantine with their partner coming earlier than before. For some couples, this is the first time they will be living with their partner and, oftentimes, their partner’s family.

Surprise proposals are lacking an audience

Surprise proposals are lacking an audience

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Similar to weddings, surprise proposals that would have once included loved ones from different states are now having to be reimagined. According to the Chicago Tribune, after one man’s plan to propose to his future wife amongst family and friends was canceled due to the virus, he made up for it by proposing to her in front of one of the most beautiful photo spots in Illinois: the lakefront. Family and friends joined later with recorded videos congratulating the happy couple.

Weddings are being conducted virtually

Weddings are being conducted virtually

Photo Courtesy Jill Pammler

Wedding planning stresses have never quite been like this. For those still proceeding with their vows, ceremonies are often held via FaceTime in backyards and homes. According to the Chicago Tribune, one Chicago couple held their ceremony over Zoom so family from places like New York, Nevada and Florida could all witness the “I do’s.” 

And so are wedding anniversaries

And so are wedding anniversaries

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Much like weddings, wedding anniversary celebrations are also taking a hit. One young man’s grandparents donned their best clothes and celebrated their 61st anniversary via Zoom with loved ones and truly showed how life gets better with age.

Some brides and grooms have no choice but to cancel weddings

Some brides and grooms have no choice but to cancel weddings

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Traveling as COVID-19 affects communities nationwide has been highly discouraged. And engaged couples expecting family and friends to catch a flight to partake in their special day have had to deal with flight cancellations and venue closures because of the virus. According to the Hartford Courant, future spouses are scrambling to postpone wedding dates and counting their losses. Wedding season has never quite looked this way before. For anyone who has had events, vacations, birthdays and more held off though, there are still ways to celebrate at home.

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