Lockdown has been challenging, no more so than for single people (especially if they’re living alone). The dating app Bumble has found that dating habits have changed during lockdown, with a shift towards ‘slow dating’ and users getting to know their matches on a deeper and more personal level.
Over half (55%) of users are seeking more meaningful relationships online after experiencing loneliness during lockdown, with 43% of users believe they will spend more time chatting with people, compared to before. Dare I say it, but hookup culture might be dead…
Noun: The act of pressing fast forward on dating and going straight to the serious relationship stage, due to the challenging experience of being a single person during lockdown.
Six months ago I wouldn’t have believed you if you told me I’d spend hours a week virtually dating, and then distancing dating someone. For me, I’m not rushing the dating process or settling – I don’t think that’s ever a smart idea, *especially* in a pandemic. But, what the craziness of 2020 has changed for me is my priorities; spending so much time with just my thoughts has led me to closely examine what I want from a partner, and realise that if the right person comes along, I’m far more open to a long-term relationship than I’d previously thought. I’m no longer ‘too busy’ with work and friends to date, in fact, maybe I never was?
And, I’m not alone. If anything, my Corona-Cuff has been very tame…
Speaking to a friend of mine, *Daniel, he felt the same: “Before Miss Rona paid us all a visit and locked down our lives I always said, ‘I am too busy to have a boyfriend, when will I even have the time to see them more than once a week?’ But with the world in lockdown, I finally had time to take a look at my life and realised that whilst that might have been true, it was equally an excuse to prevent myself from getting hurt.”
“I met a boy early in February and after a burst of ‘activity’ we both inevitably resorted to the, ‘I am too busy this week,’ texts. But as lockdown hit and we both faced ourselves and what we wanted from life; we became inseparable – at least via the power of FaceTime. Living alone, as I do, you really start to consider how much a true teammate would add to your life – so after months of speaking every single day and the odd ‘rule-break,’ we came out of lockdown ready to date one another properly.”
So what did Daniel learn? “With the intensity of this time and the number of messages combined, the relationship has been in acceleration, moving much faster than it would otherwise. Of course, in your mind you slightly think, ‘thank god, if we go back into lockdown, I will have someone with me now, sex on tap, etc,’ but it’s more than that. This time has taught me that being the sassy independent person can be great but ultimately finding someone who adds to your life and happiness is the greatest gift of all. Did Corona lead me to cuff my boyfriend? Yes, but only because it made me realise what is truly important in life.”
No, you’re crying.
Daniel has had a cuff-gone-right love story, but not everyone has had the same experience. *Rebecca, a 32-year-old from London, cuffed out of loneliness, not love: “I started talking to a guy on Hinge just before lockdown and quite literally locked him down for quarantine. It has totally enhanced my lockdown experience having someone to talk to every day and we even went on a post-quarantine holiday together, but I know he’s not The One. I was just desperate to lock someone down since I couldn’t date IRL – but things are already starting to go south as we adjust to ‘normal’ again. But, I don’t want to call things off because I’m so scared I won’t find anyone before the next lockdown.”
Looking forward, it’ll be interesting to see how all these Corona-Cuffs turn out (mine included). Has the pandemic brought people together that otherwise may not have given each other a chance? Has millennial dating changed forever? Or will all the ghosters and f*ckboys simply show their true colours when a vaccine is (hopefully) found?