You may have heard that the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns that followed affected people in relationships – to the tune of a 10% decrease in relationship satisfaction overall. However, single people have love lives too, and COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate when it comes to wreaking havoc on our attempts at romance.
For the past six months, we’ve been surveyed single people from around the world, trying to find out the impact that the lockdowns caused by the worldwide pandemic had on their love lives. The results may surprise you. (For example, some brave people decided that lockdown was the time to start looking for a partner, even if they weren’t looking for one before.)
Think lockdown meant an end to dating? Think again.
38.2% of single people weren’t deterred from trying to find a new partner during their country’s lockdowns, choosing instead to keep romance (or at least just dirty talking) alive by using apps like tinder, grindr and bumble to meet new people online.38.2% of singles decided to continue to date during the pandemic. Click To Tweet
And 42.1% of single people weren’t looking for a new partner before the lockdown anyway, (Happy and single – we love to see it!) meaning just 19.7% of people were actually put off dating thanks to the coronavirus lockdowns (but more about that later).
Some people found lockdown was the right time to start looking for a partner
Interestingly enough, 44.7% of single people who were looking for love actually started their search for The One after lockdown. This might seem crazy, but it makes a lot of sense when you think about it.44.7% of single people actually started their search for The One after the lockdown began. Click To Tweet
Faced with months of solitude – and a bit more time on our hands – spending the time to get to know someone suddenly seemed a lot more attractive to those busy singletons out there.
Here’s a few reasons we were given for starting to date during lockdown:
“I realised that it would have been really nice to have someone close to me during these crazy times.”
“I’m talking to people to get to know them and then I can meet them after the pandemic.”
“I just had more time during the pandemic to consider my relationship status, and I’ve been more lonely.”
“Whilst in lockdown it forces people to talk more without meeting someone and feeling pressure to have sex – it seems like the best time to start looking for a new relationship. I don’t think guys are normally that interested in the conversations and getting to know a girl and who they are as a person.” (Hey, some people aren’t about hookup culture – they’ll get no judgement from us.)
19.7% of single people gave up looking for a new romantic partner during the lockdown
While some people saw the coronavirus lockdowns as the perfect time to find a new partner and begin courting, almost 1 in 5 single people gave up looking for a partner as the lockdowns set in.19.7% of single people gave up looking for a new romantic partner during the lockdown. Click To Tweet
This isn’t really surprising, the prospect of talking to someone for months before being able to have your first date – let alone kiss – is daunting. There are no socially distant hookups, guys. Besides, what if you get along swimmingly over the phone or via messenger, but when face-to-face there’s no spark? That’s just wasted time that could have been spent staring out the window.
Our respondents backed this up, saying:
“Dates are important, I would sooner gauge compatibility with someone in person rather than a digital alternative.”
“Penpal syndrome kills the vibe, and you can only be penpals under lockdown, so there’s no point.”
“There doesn’t seem any point at the moment. Things are very uncertain so looking for something long term seems pointless.”
“I would much rather gauge compatibility with someone in person. I’m happy making friends and introducing myself to people, but going any further feels reckless without assessing how well I can get on with someone face to face.”
What’s more, our much-celebrated key workers were essentially banned from dating. As one key worker said:
“I can’t risk putting other people or myself at risk”.
Speed dating is over – at least for now
Back in April 2020 when lockdowns were new, Tinder set its record for the number of swipes in a single day. (If you’re wondering, that’s over 3,000,000,000 swipes in 24 hours.) This record was met with a 10-20% increase in conversation time too, perhaps speaking to just how lonely and bored single people were feeling in lockdown.
Although tinder experienced a boom in swipes over lockdown, use of dating apps like Bumble, Grindr and Tinder was down 8.33% overall. However, that’s nothing compared to the 33% decrease in people using dating websites such as match.com or eharmony, the 25% decrease in people using social media to find dating partners, and the whopping but unsurprising 100% complete wipeout experienced by live dating events like speed dating.
Our guess is that no one fancied yelling speed dating questions over 2 metres at a socially distanced speed dating event, or setting up an illegal speed dating super-spreader event for that matter.