Dating during quarantine: how looking for love has gone virtual

Coronavirus

(WTNH) — Single and ready to mingle? Well, not so fast. In the age of social-distancing, those looking for love are dating differently.

Social distancing has put a halt to going out, but not to dating. So what do you do if you’re looking for love? We found singles who are getting creative with putting themselves out there while staying in

“The one thing I’ve learned is that you really have to work at it,” said Dan Petriw, who has recently shifted to video chat dates. “Like before, when we went places and we did stuff, it kind of masked conversation – like if we went to dinner and a movie, I’m still with that person but there are distractions.” 

Since moving his dates to a digital setting, he’s found it changes how you get to know someone.

“Now there’s no distractions at all. You have to actually talk to the person that you’re interested in, so it kind of weeds out pretty quick if there’s any kind of connection or chemistry there at all,” he said.

Dates are changing and dating apps are changing, too. They’re telling their users, keep your meetups virtual. The League reports it’s seen a 41% jump in their video chat feature. Apps like Coffee Meets Bagel offers Digital Date ideas and advice on their Instagram.

Some see the challenge as an opportunity to get creative — Happy hours, game nights, all over FaceTime.

A couple of Yale computer science students even came up with a new app to fit the changing times. ‘OK Zoomer‘ advertises “it’s love for everyone…at least six feet apart” and focuses your searches not on your current location, but where you will be when you get out of quarantine. The creators say you must be enrolled as a student in a university or college to join.

“Everyone can get so creative,” said Gina Salvatore. She’s added personal touches to her virtual meetups, like making e-invites. “There are so many ways to connect with someone.” One of her favorite ways to connect is watching a show together, virtually.

“We’ve been able to connect over that and talk about something that’s lighthearted to get our minds of everything that’s going on,” she said.

The most important thing to remember: even as dates move to virtual, you still have to be safe, and that includes not giving out personal information to someone you don’t know very well. 

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