When the UK entered lockdown on March 23, the last thing on my mind was how it would affect our dating lives. Three months on, people are starting to get impatient. Some have split from partners, many are eager to start dating again, and the emphasis on finding someone who you can self-isolate with has increased.
Lockdown has changed the way we meet people, the way we date, and has put many relationships to the test. Daters say that lockdown has made them reconsider the type of person they want to be with and think about having a family in the not to distant future. Video calls are kept many of us sane when it comes to staying in contact with loved ones. And those in relationships have either had to stay away from their loved one for a prolonged period of time or spend every single day with them inside their home.
Here are some of the ways dating has changed during lockdown and some tips for finding love in lockdown.
People are turning to dating apps in record numbers. Using a dating app is convenient, cost free and offers the chance to get to know someone before meeting them in person. Hinge has been helping our lockdown love life and have recently rolled out ‘Date From Home,’ a feature that lets users launch a video chat if both people agree to the call. However, Bumble was well ahead of its rivals, offering in-app video calls last year.
Other dating apps and websites include Tinder, Grindr (LGBTQ+), Her (LGBTQ+), OKCupid, Match.com, and eharmony, and matchmehappy.co.uk.
Socially distanced date ideas
Lockdown has meant that we have had to get creative when it comes to dating safely. Guidelines suggest keeping a 2 meter distance from people outside of your household. Here are some ideas for planning a socially distanced date with someone you met on a free dating site:
- Romantic walk in the park
- Outdoor movie (download your favourite film onto your phone/tablet/laptop or be really fancy with a projector)
- Picnic, BBQ, or campfire (make sure to bring extra snacks)
- Virtual book club for two
- Romantic video meal
Relationships in lockdown
Couples have been forced to make the choice to move in together or spend lockdown apart. I moved in with my partner at the start of lockdown and it’s only made us stronger. But for many it’s been a challenge, and that’s no surprise. According to a new report from Relate and eHarmony, 36% of couples agree that two months in isolation feels equivalent to two years of commitment.
To keep your relationship strong and healthy during stressful events it’s important to keep the conversation flowing. Talk about how you’re feeling, equally ask your partner how they’re feeling and support each other. Be considerate, don’t make assumptions and be there for each other.
Working from home can offer an additional strain on your relationship. Make sure to set up separate work spaces, leave your work to that space and find a way to switch off from work at the end of the day.
Our experiences in lockdown may actually change our approach to dating for the better. With 66% saying that they value deeper connections more now that they did pre-lockdown, 71% saying that they would be happy to go on a virtual date post-lockdown and 33% saying that they would now consider a long-distance relationship.