As if dating wasn’t hard enough, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has further pushed us into a state where socializing has become the most challenging task. To avoid contracting the virus, most people have stopped visiting places that attract a significant gathering. This means that no one could go to dinner dates at restaurants or take their crush out for a movie.
The hopes of numerous singles were crushed, and it seemed like most of them would have to settle for a life of celibacy and solitude. That is, until the concept of virtual dating came into existence. Yes! There is an alternative. Although it’s not the ideal way to meet the love of your life, more and more people are choosing to go on dates via video calls, voice calls, etc.
Dating.com has reported that there’s an 82% spike in online dating and hookup sites globally. Some people have even said that this might change the dating world forever. However, the question arises, is virtual dating just the latest fad, or is it here to stay? Because if and when this pandemic subsides, things will surely go back to the way they were, or will they? To begin with, let’s understand what virtual dating is.
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What Is Virtual Dating?
There isn’t a right way to explain the virtual dating meaning. Essentially, virtual dating refers to meeting and talking to your date online. This usually happens through a dating app. Assume that you swiped right on a person, and they matched with you. If everything goes well, you can plan a date; however, you go on a date via video call.
For instance, let’s say you and your potential partner plan on a dinner date. Then, both of you order or make dinner for yourselves and get to know each other on a video call while finishing your food. Nowadays, there are even virtual date questions on dating apps that you can answer to find someone comfortable with Facetime dating.
How Did Virtual Dating Gain Popularity?
Of course, the biggest reason why this trend took off is COVID-19. However, we were already getting used to video calls in other aspects of our lives. Whether it was checking up on friends and family through Skype or attending business meetings through Zoom, the road was already set up for us.
The lockdown really played a massive hand in pushing this concept even further. When everyone started working from home, it normalized socializing with colleagues through a screen. This gave single people some confidence to try a virtual dating app, and they realized that it’s not as bad as they thought it would be.
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Virtual Dating: Perfect For Introverts And Young People
Since introverts and shy people were already invested in the digital and virtual world, they started getting comfortable with the idea early on as well. For them, it was definitely better than meeting a stranger face-to-face for the first time. Facetime dating gave them the option of checking and getting to know the person first before taking things forward.
Moreover, for many introverts and socially anxious people, going on dates in a crowded setting is already an overwhelming experience. This seemed like the perfect setup for them to express themselves freely. Lockdowns also left many singles with a lot of free time. A lot of young people were unemployed because of the crisis, and it left them completely bored. Since they had nothing better to do, virtual dating it was! Some used it as a way to cure their loneliness as well.
1. People started to take it slow
Before the coronavirus took over the world, US couples were already choosing to get married later in life, more than ever before. People started spending more time on the ‘courtship’ stage. This is actually a good thing as it’s better to know a person properly before you take your relationship to the next level.
Facetime dating works now because people match with each other on a dating app and then talk online. Then, they meet each other through the video call. If everything goes well, they meet in real life. It’s almost like how people used to court each other in the old days, with patience and respect. A lot of people were getting tired of the whole hook-up culture and promiscuity. It completely strips a person of their mystery, some believe.
However, you get to slowly build up a relationship with virtual dating and know your partner beforehand. On the other hand, slowing down has encouraged some to talk about their feelings and priorities earlier on in the courting stage. This has made it easier for people to know and understand each other’s true intentions and make better dating choices.
2. An opportunity to date globally
With virtual dating, distance is not an issue. If you have a decent internet connection, you could live in New York and date somebody from London. Some people really dove into this experience during the pandemic. It wasn’t uncommon to see relationships forming amongst people living on the opposite sides of the world.
Of course, this was never ‘uncommon’ as the internet is filled with stories of people who met online, fell in love, and lived happily ever after. However, Facetime dating made it normal for anyone to do so. Dating apps and sites like Tinder really capitalized on and ran with this idea. It actually has a feature where you can precisely match with people from all across the globe, without any additional fee!
Not only is it a great way to find love but you also get to learn about new cultures and how people live in different parts of the world. You can only gain so much information about countries and cities that you find interesting. When you start dating someone from a different culture, you actually get an intimate look into how things work in other nations.
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3. Missing connection
Now, not everything is fine with the rise of virtual dating. Not everyone is looking to build a long-term or a long-distance relationship. People who were happy being single or chose to only participate in a strictly physical relationship before the pandemic are having a tough time being alone. Social distancing or staying home is making a lot of people miss engaging in human touch and normal social interactions of daily life.
Especially for extroverts, the need for a real and physical relationship has certainly heightened as of now. It’s straightforward for them to feel lonely, romantically in particular. There have been reports that depression is on the rise ever since the pandemic first hit. Many people have reported that the lack of human touch and warmth has made them want a partner even more.
It’s not like Facetime dating is working out for everyone as well. There are a good number of people who’ve said that virtual dating has got them nowhere. Maybe it’s the way they’re conditioned; but, some people need to actually feel their partner or date’s presence around them to have a good time.
4. Some interests wane over time
Many love stories have bloomed during the pandemic because of numerous virtual dating apps. But, there are also people whose relationships deteriorated because of this trend. Some don’t know what to talk about on a virtual date or run out of virtual dating ideas. Others don’t know how to ask for a Facetime date.
All of this leads to people losing interest and ghosting each other. As of now, there aren’t any experts who could give out practical virtual dating tips. As a result, a lot of people feel highly lost in this new world.
So, is virtual dating here to stay? We think, yes. Ever since the webcam has come into existence, people have been Facetime dating long before the pandemic. We might see a fall in its popularity, but that happens with any fad. The moment this pandemic subsides, some people will go back to regular dating while some will stick to this trend. We hope that this article provided you with a better insight into the matter. If you have any questions regarding this article or topic, feel free to comment down below.