Believe it or not, quarantine has turned the tables on online dating. For the better.
The Coronavirus pandemic, which has forced the world to explore newer ways to conduct business, have regular office meetings while self-isolating, and even organize long-distance parties with friends and family, has made its impact felt on the world of dating as well. Online dating, in fact, has taken on a whole new meaning with people across the world craving for meaningful connection, according to an OkCupid study.
The international dating service, that matches single millennials based on their shared values and belief systems, after comparing and analysing various data points, has found that singles stuck at home are utilising this time to meet new people online, enjoy virtual dates, and develop emotional connections. And to this end, women appear to have taken a bold step.
Instead of shying away from romance, waiting for the pandemic to get over or even for men to break the ice and begin the conversation, single women across the world are taking charge and making the first move.
“Globally, there’s been a 30 percent overall increase in messages sent on OkCupid each day since March 11. Women, in particular, are sending more messages, sending 40 percent more intro messages than they did previously,” OkCupid study says.
Women are also expanding their circle as they seek love via the digital route. “Women have also been more likely to expand their preferred location to “anywhere” so they can connect across borders. And those who do have five percent more conversations than those who don’t,” the study reveals.
Interestingly, these trends resonate with Indians who are looking for romance online as well. As virtual dating picks up steam closer home, women are resorting to various popular forms of virtual dates, including messaging and texting, video-chatting, old-fashioned phone call and so on.
In fact, 42 percent women seem to prefer messaging and texting, while 13 percent women opted for video-chatting, and 21 percent women appear to be relying on good, old-fashioned phone calls.
Whatever the mode is, online dating is becoming popular amid the pandemic-induced lockdown, ushering in a new era of “slow dating.” In fact, 85 percent of the 70,000 users who answered the question on OkCupid say that it’s important to develop an emotional connection before a physical one.
Says, Melissa Hobley, CMO, OkCupid, “We’re seeing spikes in engagement and messaging among our millennial daters on OkCupid across the world. Especially in India we are seeing a 26 percent increase in conversations and a solid 12 percent increase in matches proving that love, like always, will find a way.”
“On OkCupid, daters have always been more than a photo and there’s no time like the present to form deep and meaningful connections built on mutual understanding. There’s been a strong desire among our daters to still connect during this time…just virtually now, instead of in-person. And there are some really creative digital date ideas out there — from coffee or wine dates, to movie and workout dates,” she adds.
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)