Stay-at-home mandates due to the coronavirus are shifting American routines, workflows and now dating. With 25% of all Americans being asked to remain indoors, and businesses closed in cities across the country, singles can’t go out to bars and restaurants to meet people. As a result, dating apps are seeing a serious spike in usage during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Taziro.com, a dating platform favored by urban millennials and Gen Z singles, saw a significant increase in messages sent in cities under shelter-in-place mandates. From March 12–22, Taziro recorded a 21% increase in sent messages in Seattle, a 23% increase in New York City and a 26% increase in San Francisco.
The dates have been better than the ones in real life because we’re having to communicate more.
Paola, a 28-year-old woman quarantining on Long Island, has been on one virtual date in March and already has five more lined up for the upcoming week. “I’ll continue to do this even when this is all over,” she says of FaceTime-enabled “screenings” of her online matches.
Offices that integrate technologies like Slack and Zoom while working from home may very well continue doing so once the global pandemic subsides. Similarly, dating habits formed during quarantine could shift business strategy for all online platforms, not just those already in the romancing space.
For now, dating platforms are focused on promoting health awareness and promoting connectivity in a time of isolation.
Daniela, a 26-year-old woman quarantining in Michigan, says she’s been on six virtual dates. When compared to her face-to-face dates, these online meetups are about equal in frequency but differ in quality.
“The dates have been better than the ones in real life because we’re having to communicate more,” she says. But she’ll probably go back to in-person dating. “I would rather see them face-to-face right away. The more you delay meeting, the more likely it doesn’t happen at all.”