All You Need to Know About Making the Most of Dating From Home

Morgan Mandriota
Online dating during coronavirus
If you’re single during the novel coronavirus pandemic, then you’re well aware that the dating struggle is realer than ever right now.

Maybe a seemingly promising relationship came to a dead halt because you and your new partner didn’t feel comfortable hanging out due to the risk of exposure. Perhaps you needed to move in with family in the suburbs away from your home and usual dating scene, or you’ve been dying to hook up with someone but haven’t been able to find anyone who’s DTF. No matter how your dating journey has been affected by the virus, there’s one thing we can all agree upon: The dating world is currently completely different than we’ve ever seen it before.

Below, let’s showcase some of the new challenges and changes that we’re experiencing during this pandemic, along with a few tips on how to approach relationships, maintain engaging conversations with matches, and other things to keep in mind while dating in the COVID-19 era.

Pandemic Dating Challenges and Changes 

Although we may not be able to meet one another face-to-face until further notice, that doesn’t eliminate our basic need for connection. We’re social creatures, so it’s still important for us to find ways to connect with others that don’t involve meeting in person. Rather than grabbing drinks at a local bar or going out to dinner with someone you just matched with, as you typically would in pre-COVID-19 times, the process of getting to know somebody new has officially gone (temporarily) virtual. 

Video dating: People are relying on video chatting apps like Zoom and FaceTime for digital happy hours and first dates. They’re also having virtual dinner and movie dates, where they each cook and eat their own meals or watch the same movie at the same time, while physically apart yet still together. 

Digital hookups: Yep, you guessed it – hookup habits are changing, too. Most singles are resorting to sexting and having FaceTime sex to cater to their sexual needs until they’re able to safely hook up with people from the apps again. 

Slower timelines: Without the ability to hang out in real life due to social distancing orders, singles are basically being forced to slow things down compared to before. Folks are now messaging matches for longer periods of time and progressing new relationships at a much slower pace than they’re used to, which could be a good or a bad thing depending on a person’s outlook and intentions.

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New COVID-19 Inspired Dating App Features

Because our lifestyles have recently become so different, online dating companies are adapting accordingly. This means that the best online dating apps and sites have added new features and are offering helpful services that enable users to find whoever and whatever they’re looking for from the comfort (or cabin fever) of their own home. 

  • Bumble’s video chatting and audio call features have been around for a while but are thriving more now than ever before. 
  • Plenty of Fish launched a livestream feature where users can host their own interactive video hangout with viewers. 
  • Tinder unlocked their Passport feature to all users, which allows anyone with or without a paid membership to potentially meet singles in any other part of the world. 
  • Other online dating apps like Grindr are publishing tips, tricks, and guides on their website all about how to survive and thrive while using dating apps during this quarantine. 

Dating App Tips For The Quarantine Era

If you’re spending your spare time at home searching for someone to connect with on any dating app right now, here are four tips on how to improve your experience.

1. Don’t dwell on the negatives

Although it may be tempting to rant about your current struggles as a means to relate to others, this will likely do more harm than good. We could all use a little more positivity, so try not to focus on stressful, upsetting, or negative topics when messaging matches. There are a million other pleasant things to talk about. Be positive, and chat about how you’re making use of this extra downtime or literally anything else you’d normally talk about with someone you just met instead. 

2. Be kind

Everyone is currently going through a rough time with work, family matters, or their mental or physical health. That’s why most people are kicking off conversations with new matches with a “hey, how are you holding up during this crazy time?” first message. You should always be considerate, of course, but showing your caring, more emotional side will go a long way when connecting with anyone right now – in the digital world and in real life.

3. Keep an open mind

Life is significantly different than it was just a few months ago. Dating is no exception to that rule. Amidst this transition, it’s important to keep an open mind and go with the flow. This will help you navigate these inevitable changes easier than fighting to get things back to the way they were. Let everything unfold as it will, and you’ll have much better luck playing the dating game than you would if you’d held your regular standards and expectations.

4. Practice safety and health precautions

Patience is a virtue, especially during this pandemic. Remember that this is all temporary and things will go back to normal soon, but it’s wise and necessary to follow social distancing and other recommended safety and health precautions until then. It’s better to be safe than sorry so you don’t compromise the wellbeing of yourself, your loved ones, or the general public.

Will any of these new From Home-inspired changes to the dating world stick around after this pandemic? Nobody knows. In the meantime, you can take advantage of these dating tips and free app perks to stay connected with others from afar. And if you enjoy them so much, maybe you’ll continue using them to help you find your perfect match once this isolation period is over. Whatever comes of this quarantine when it comes to navigating new relationships, we hope that you prioritize your safety, health, and happiness now and long after the pandemic ends.

Morgan Mandriota
Morgan Mandriota is a freelance sex and wellness writer with bylines at Betches, Health.com, and BuzzFeed. Her insight has been quoted in Cosmopolitan, Tinder, The New York Times, and more. When Morgan isn't writing about orgasms, dating struggles, or CBD, she loves traveling, eating tacos, and training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.