Digital dating transitions to courting from home

Digital dating transitions to courting from home

With bars and restaurants still not open for fun and revelry, many local singles are taking a new approach to a dating scene that had long since gone virtual.

By all accounts, dating apps have seen a surge of activity this spring. But instead of just swiping left or right to meet up, would-be couples seem to be going back to the courting days. Craving human interaction, they’ve created a surge in the messaging part of the apps, according to a TIME magazine article.

Since the middle of March, Bumble, a dating app requiring the girl to make the first move and start the conversation once matched, has seen a major increase in messages. Features once left under-utilized, such as in-app calls and video chats, are now busy. According to TIME, Bumble saw a 23 percent increase in messages in New York City, the hardest-hit city in the U.S.

Closer to home, a 33-year-old woman from Chepachet decided to dive into Bumble during this time after taking a break from the app following a long-term relationship.

“So when this all started to happen I was bored and on Bumble,” she said. “I randomly messaged a guy I matched with, joking about starting a courtship. He was the only person I messaged. He wrote back and we had a ‘virtual date,’ watching a movie together and texting throughout.”

She said that they talked every day while FaceTiming a few times each week. They got to know each other over a five-week span and started to debate about actually meeting each other. Going the safe route, they decided to meet and have had a few dates but put a lot of thought into it before doing it.

“It was really interesting getting to know someone for so long before actually meeting up,” she said.

There are more than 2,000 dating apps in the U.S. On Hinge, there are prompts to answer in one’s profile and some of those prompts now have to do with the coronavirus. One example of a prompt is, “A life goal of mine …” The response? “Get out of self-quarantine … if the coronavirus doesn’t take you out, can I?”

With social distancing, singles have had to come up with creative ways to flirt. In an Instagram video, a guy from Brooklyn saw a girl dancing on her roof and was intrigued. He decided to use his drone to talk to her. He wrote down his number and flew the drone over to her. It went well, he said, as he soon received a text.

As for existing couples, some are trying to come up with new things to do while being quarantined together while others at this point joke that they might want to kill each other.

“My wife tells me I blink too loud now,” a 33-year-old man from Millville, Mass., said.

He and his wife have three children, one a baby, so dates are very difficult.

The website offers date boxes, delivering a date night at home. The boxes can be themed and customized, a nice pairing with takeout from a local restaurant for a decent at-home date.