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coronavirus online dating

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If you’re in your thirties you probably remember being in your early twenties and believing online dating was mostly for divorced individuals and anyone over the age of 45. A decade ago, twenty-somethings met in person — at bars, on college campuses, jobs. In fact, if you had one friend in her twenties, a decade ago, who was online dating, you might have found that odd.

Now, twenty-somethings are leading the charge in online dating. In fact, a lot has changed in the online dating world, as proven by our chat with Dana Balch over at Tinder. She gave us some interesting insight on how things are evolving in the world of finding love on an app.

coronavirus online dating

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More than half are very young

How young? Tinder states that over half of their members are Gen Z, meaning ages 18 to 25. With that in mind, it’s especially important that users know how to stay safe when online dating. It’s important for app users of any age, of course, but 18-year-olds are so fresh to the online dating game, and can easily be targets for predators. So if you’re young and new to the apps, follow these tips to stay safe.

coronavirus online dating

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Black online dating trends

Black Americans are actually one of the most active groups on online dating sites and apps, with over 30 percent having reported using these outlets at some point. Research was done on the willingness of Black individuals on dating sites to date interracially. The research found that those most likely to state they were willing to date interracially were young males who tend to smoke and either possibly or definitely want children.

coronavirus online dating

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Interracial dating preferences online

Extensive research has been done on the beliefs about interracial and intraracial dating among dating app users. Black users who graduate from college are more likely to marry someone of a different race than those who do not graduate from college. The research also found that Black users are ten times more likely to initiate communication with white users than the other way around. Roughly 45 percent of Black women surveyed said they’re prefer to date someone of their own race, but 39 percent of all users state they are strongly in favor of interracial marriages.

coronavirus online dating

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Everyone is online dating more, now

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, much of dating had to move online, as preferred IRL locations to meet singles have shut down. Research has found that 22 percent of dating app users say they’re using apps “much more” during the pandemic and a surprising 31 percent say they are using it at least “somewhat more” during the pandemic.

coronavirus online dating

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The busiest day on Tinder

Tinder reported that April 5th was one of their biggest usage days in history. On that day, users sent an average of 56 percent more messages than they did at the start of the lockdown. Swipe volume is also up considerably among Gen Z members, having increased by 38 percent at its height during lockdown. Gen Z members also sent an average of 63 percent more messages than users 26 and up during the height of the lockdown.

coronavirus online dating

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This is where people like to “meet”

Tinder stated that meeting in the virtual world of Animal Crossing has become quite popular. In the early days of quarantine, there were five times as many mentions of Animal Crossing in user bios, with Gen Z mentioning it twice as much as Millennials. In Animal Crossing, users can agree to have their avatars meet up with other avatars at designated times and places in the virtual world and “be together.” There is even a Reddit thread discussing whether or not Animal Crossing should just add dating as an element to their game.

coronavirus online dating

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Toilet paper as an attribute

At the start of the pandemic, Tinder states that users started writing about how much toilet paper and hand sanitizer they had in their profiles. A quick Google search of a one “Nate Hoffeditz” will show you how one man’s profile photos with quarantine essentials went viral. Interesting that women won’t date men who post photos with cats, but they will date men with photos of canned beans.

coronavirus online dating

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Masked politics

By April, Tinder says that users started listing their point of view on mask-wearing in their profiles, or would even include jokes about mask-wearing in their profiles like “Got these tan lines from my mask.” It seems today, stating your mask beliefs is similar to stating your political beliefs. Individuals are getting into physical altercations about it. One expert writes about the psychological components behind mask conflicts here.

coronavirus online dating

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Long-distance love during COVID-19

Tinder released one new feature called Passport at a rather interesting time in history. This feature allows users to drop a pin on a map, anywhere in the world, and chat with Tinder users in the area. Once the shutdown is over, this feature could be instrumental for those looking for long-distance love. As of now, those already in long-distance relationships are suffering during this pandemic, as they struggle to get to each other during travel bans and other restrictions. There are even Facebook groups dedicated to these couples.

coronavirus online dating

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More virtual dates

More couples are going on Virtual dates now, since they cannot meet up in person, and perhaps still aren’t comfortable with socially distanced first dates. The NYC governmental health department actually put out guidelines on how to have safe sex during Coronavirus, encouraging those who “usually meet sex partners online or make a living by having sex” to move their interactions to virtual platforms.

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