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online dating behavior

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In the spirit of it being Women’s History Month, can we talk about the fact that it’s been kind of nice, as women, during the pandemic to be subjected to a little less harassment (at least in person)? I’ve personally been hit on less at the grocery store since I started wearing a mask and since we’ve been directed to stay six feet away from each other. When I meet a friend for a socially distanced hangout in a park, it’s very rare that random men approach us and ask if they can sit with us – the way they would in bars pre-pandemic, all of the time. A lot of women have been wanting some space from strange men, in general, for a long time, and the pandemic has gifted us that. It’s actually given us a natural way to control interactions with men in a lot of ways, including in dating.

Most dating has moved online now. And even if men want to get laid, they tend to want to avoid coronavirus more (just a little more, but still). That means less pressure to meet up IRL quickly – pressure women got from men often before the pandemic. If you aren’t together physically, there’s just one thing to do: talk. Individuals who meet online are forced to create more substantial bonds. Meeting up after a few DMs and one phone call to have sex and throw some hormones at the situation to confuse everyone…that’s not really a safe option. Perhaps it’s all made women feel a bit more comfortable with online dating — in more bold when participating in it. Some of the research OkCupid shared with us makes it appear that way at least. Here are ways the pandemic has empowered women when it comes to online dating.

online dating behavior

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We’re online dating more

First and foremost, we’re hitting the dating apps much harder. You may have already known that, but the trend actually jumped early in the pandemic. As early as April of 2020, the apps saw a 12 percent increase in new registrations from women, strangely accompanied by a three percent decrease for men. It sheds an interesting light on how the two genders define dating “success.” When the chance for in-person meetups essentially evaporated, women flocked to the dating apps – finally ready to chat online. And when the chance of an IRL hookup went away for men…they moved away from the apps.

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