The pandemic may have changed dating forever

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A national survey commissioned by online dating platform Bumble and conducted by YouGov, an international market research and data analysis company, found that 72% of single Indians surveyed believe it is possible to fall in love from someone online they’ve never met in person.

Before the pandemic, romance and dating often involved a hearty dinner and a movie, a few drinks in a crowded bar, with sweet stolen kisses between conversations. However, with the pandemic, these intimate experiences have been replaced by social distancing, masks and gloves, and paranoia of catching the deadly disease.

As a result, many have found solace in virtual dating, the survey results imply, indicating that 45% of Indian singles surveyed believe virtual dating is the new “normal” for dating in India.

“The whole concept of dating has changed. By swiping left and right you meet new people now. You don’t meet new people at the bar and neither are you organized by your friends like back then, ”says Rayees Backer, wedding photographer. He says online dating had slowly become the norm even before the pandemic.

Saurabh KV, joined online dating apps last year. “I had never really tried dating apps before. But since there was no other way to meet new people, I decided to give online dating a try. having an offline appointment was not an option at all, ”he says.

Counseling psychologist and psychotherapist Kala Balasubramanian found this to be general thought throughout society, especially among the Millennial population. “We are social beings, so it was extremely natural for more and more people to venture out and try online dating. Especially now when everything is online anyway, ”she adds.

However, she advises people to be careful dating online at this time. “Stuck at home, hungry for love and affection, it’s easy to fall in love with the first person who could show you love and affection.” But it is not healthy. Right now, when there is so much uncertainty around us, it’s important to think about what you want and make it clear to the other person, ”she adds.

Virtual meetings a success

Bumble also revealed that 39% of singles surveyed tried a video date as their first date in 2021, and liked it because it felt safer than meeting someone in person for the first time.

“Personally, I have really enjoyed dating and meeting new people online over the past couple of months. Virtual dates allow you to give yourself your full attention, there is no loud music. or whatever else to distract you. You get to know yourself better, ”explains Rose G, an employee of the company.

The pressure of having to meet in person made it easier for her to initiate conversations with people, she says. “The fact that I haven’t had to meet any of my matches yet gave me a boost of confidence to be more vulnerable and get to know the other person better, in a more meaningful way,” she adds.

Whatever the pandemic, a video date before an offline date would be a good idea because it can help people, especially women, feel more secure when agreeing to meet in person, Backer believes.

Kala adds that while virtual dates are convenient, they can often give a one-sided view of a person.

“When you’re only talking to someone on a video call, it’s hard to gauge what kind of person they really are. In real life, you learn a lot more about a person by seeing how they interact with their environment, ”she says.

But she believes that efforts can be made to get a more complete view of a person, even through a video call. “Make the most of the video calling option by setting up double dates or group video calls with friends. Seeing how someone is with their friends can help you understand the person better, ”she adds.

Nidhi K thinks it is important to show off and experience online dating before passing judgment. “I’m an old school romantic and dreaded online dating a lot, but found my partner there when I was stuck. Dating apps just speed up what was already around us and make it easier, ”she says.

Disadvantages of Online Dating

Afifa Kauser, a psychologist, noticed that a common problem she saw a lot deal with on dating apps was the ghosting issue. Ghost refers to the act of letting go of a personal relationship with someone, suddenly, without any explanation.

“When dating online, there is no clear understanding of the degree of responsibility expected and needed. This often leads to ghosts with no ulterior motive, ”she says.

While the Bumble survey indicated there was a decline in negative dating behaviors such as ghosting and cat fishing, this was not the case in Bengaluru.

“Catfishers are one of the app’s biggest problems, the pandemic hasn’t changed that,” Backer explains. A “catfish” is someone pretending to be someone else online, with fake photos and a fake character. He believes that apart from cat fishing, online dating also gives its users an increased choice of options, which can often have a negative impact.

Afifa agrees: “One of the downsides of modern dating is the possibility that more and more people will develop attachment disorder.”

“Too many options, less responsibility, increased traumatic experiences can lead to various complex internal issues, which can affect future relationships,” she says.

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