Courting in Quarantine


You’ve worked from home for months. You leave your house only to buy groceries, and you’ve done more Zoom meetings than you’ve ever wanted to. This is life in quarantine. While some regions are easing restrictions, the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak may be here for the foreseeable future.

For single people sick of putting their lives on hold, online dating is a great resource for meeting people. In 2020, there are more online options than ever.

A 2019 survey from the Pew Research Center found that 30 percent of American adults have used an online dating site or app. For adults ages 18 to 29, 48 percent reported using a dating app, and 38 percent of 30 to 49-year-olds reported the same.

Those numbers likely increased during the quarantine. According to an April 5 article in MarketWatch, “Online dating amid coronavirus: Longer conversations and a ‘pivot’ to video dates” Bumble, and Match Group Inc., the company that owns Tinder, Hinge, and Match.com, saw an increase in the number of messages exchanged on the apps. They also saw a larger interest in tools that let users hold video calls.

The Online Dating Association, a UK-based group of online dating providers, urged people to take advantage of services that offer video chat or live streaming during quarantine or to look for services that offer a broader discussion or video rooms for groups of users. Apps including Hinge, Match, and Bumble, among many others, offer video options. Many organizations also offer online speed dating events using video features.

Ready to move beyond messaging? Try a virtual date. You can cook a meal together, try out painting while you drink cocktails, or explore a museum virtually. Consider the British Museum in London, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, or the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which are all offering virtual tours.

Are you gamers? If you enjoy video games or playing games online, considering carving out time to play online together. Couples who prefer old school games can try playing charades or Pictionary on a video call.

If you are comfortable meeting in person, wear a mask and take a walk around your neighborhood and order take-out. This is a great opportunity to try a new type of cuisine together or introduce your date to your favorite restaurant.

When dating online, prioritize safety. The Online Dating Association urges people not to give out any personal information quickly, including phone numbers, not to send money to anyone you meet online, and to chat with people through the dating app until you are comfortable with them.

While it may seem like the world has stopped, it definitely hasn’t! There are plenty of opportunities for you to date online while staying safe in quarantine.