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Navigating the dating scene and trying to find love amidst the pandemic has proved to be an intimidating and challenging task for many. Since dating in real life became limited due to quarantine restrictions, things have changed and the popularity of online dating has understandably soared. With that in mind, well-known dating app Hinge released data on what they refer to as the “dating clock,” and explained why now more than ever people have been thinking about when they’ll find “the one.” According to them, daters are bringing the best versions of themselves to the dating scene right now despite all the complications the pandemic has caused.

Logan Ury, Hinge’s Director of Relationship Science, said that the dating clock can be defined as “an internal timepiece that starts ticking the moment you feel ready to find a long-term partner.” Basically, the expert explained that one can think of it as “that voice in your head asking ‘Am I ever going to find someone?'”

As she explained in a post made on the dating app’s Medium account, one’s dating clock usually starts ticking loudly when they “reach a certain age, milestone, or scroll on Instagram and feel like all [their] friends have found a partner.” Albeit generally relatable, Ury’s post highlighted that along this past year the phenomenon has become even more widespread. According to her, since “months of quarantining alone [and] with few chances to meet up safely in person, people who used to feel carefree about their love lives now worry they’re running out of time. Dating clocks around the world are ticking loudly at the same time. And that’s great news for daters.”

Statistically speaking, the data Ury and her partners at the Hinge Lab collected during the past year all support her claim that despite being in a pandemic right now (or slowly coming out of one depending on your outlook) it’s a great time to find a romantic connection. Down below, see some of their data regarding the dating clocks of Hinge users in 2020 that the team shared with Madame Noire.

“45% of Hinge users reported developing new healthy dating habits during the pandemic”

“Since March (2020), more than two-thirds of Hinge users are thinking more about who they’re really looking for

“Half of Hinge users said they’ve stopped chasing after people who aren’t interested in them”

“For singles who were more hesitant to date at the beginning of the pandemic, we’re starting to see them turn their matches and conversations into dates. In fact, the U.S. saw a 9% increase in dates (digital and in-person) in June (2020).”

Essentially, the Hinge Lab’s data confirms that now is genuinely a great time to be in the dating pool (or hop back in) because if you’re hoping to make a long-term connection, your chances are looking pretty good. Since people have had the time to think about what they’re really looking for in terms of the type of connections they’re seeking on dating apps, the chances of having your time wasted with someone who’ll string you along or might have different intentions than you have lessened. Also, hearing that almost half of the app’s users who participated in the study say they’ve gained “new healthy dating habits” is another thing that shows many daters have been doing the work in order to put the best versions of themselves into the dating pool. As per the last point listed in the data, fewer and fewer people have been afraid of putting themselves out there in the dating world — whether digitally or in real life — and that makes the scope of potential daters bigger and full of more possibility which is more good news.

If you’re still wary about jumping into the dating game — especially if it might involve online dating or dating apps — don’t fret. Optimistically, the Hinge Lab also found that out of their survey “2 out of 3 (66%) Hinge users want to change the way they date once it is safe to meet in person again.” That being said, if you’re waiting for in-person dating and connection seeking to regain some normalcy, have faith that all the good dating habits people have acquired during the pandemic will stick since they’re changes people clearly want for themselves and in their love lives.

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