Love in the time of Corona - The Best Dating Apps when  Social Distancing

Just because you can’t meet for coffee doesn’t mean romance is dead!

Trying to date right now isn’t exactly easy. Due to the precautions placed upon cities to stop the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, many of us are stuck inside with no clear idea as to when everyday life will resume. 

In no time at all we’ll resort to courtship and writing love letters. Okay, so maybe it won’t become a Jane Austen novel, but it still doesn’t mean your dating life has to come to an end.

The inability to meet up face-to-face just means people will be spending more time in deep conversation and engaging with dating apps in new ways. Many dating apps already have built in features which make it easy to connect with others online and apps such as Wandure are developing new ways to plan dates between users. 

The app HER, an app for lesbian, queer, bisexual and women and non-binary people, has seen a huge growth in their in sharing posts and creating discussion threads. Sunday March 15 was the highest day of the year for “likes” - they even saw a 15% increase in conversations.

So where can you turn to for love in the time of COVID-19?

Wandure

So, here’s how Wandure works: You give us your date, budget and availability and we plan and book the date for you. No need to worry about when to ask your match to chat, or what to do on your date. You get to avoid the indecision and enjoy the ride.

A blonde woman sitting in front of her bed on her computer, smiling.

So what you’re probably wondering is, if Wandure usually plans the date for you, how is this going to work for people under quarantine?  Worry not, we’ve got a plan!

We've created COVID-19 digital dates which are live video-chat dates. So self-isolaters doing their part for society can date from their living room between Netflix binging, work from home-ing, and snacking. The process is the same, but the date consists of Wandure led trivia or games followed by time for the match to chat alone! It makes for a mindful, fun, and cosy date.

Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel is based around conversation prompts like "I am..." and "I like..." They’re “sparking hearts” and encouraging people to share their authentic selves. 

When you match with people, you're given icebreakers which help facilitate conversation. 

In a statement released by CMB they revealed that, “So far, 81% of Coffee Meets Bagel daters have reported they’re practicing social distancing, 19% are self-quarantining, and 78% are putting a pause on in-person dates.” 

So what do they suggest? 

To put it simply, this is a time for daters to get to know each other. There’s no reason to play it cool because, “it’s not a race to match, go out for coffee, or quickly decide if the relationship is worth pursuing. There’s time to be more intentional about matching and go deeper with one person at a time.”

Hily

Hily is an acronym for “Hey, I like you” and the app works by identifying the users who have the highest matching probability. They analyze a number of factors including profile, in-app activity, likes and dislikes. 

In order to help users find love (while keeping them safe during the coronavirus outbreak) Hily is making its Compatibility Check feature free. As of March 20, users can benefit from unlimited compatibility checks. 

A ma sitting in font of a large window smiling while looking at his cell-phone.

The personality quiz for the Compatibility Check feature was created by clinical psychologist Dr. Joseph Cilona (also the expert psychologist on the A&E Network series Married At First Sight.) The 40 questions asks users about personality traits, lifestyle, communication style and a few other personal preferences (such as sex, religion and values). Users can even check their compatibility with another person before matching with them. 

Match

At Match, they believe in love. Their mission is pretty simple: “help singles find the kind of relationship they're looking for” and they’re not too bad at it. Their matching algorithm gives single men and women only the highest quality matches that meet their standards. 

It first launched online in 1995 and is now available in 24 countries and territories and hosts websites in 15 different languages. 

The app offers users multiple ways to communicate, including Snapchat-style stories.

You can select your interests and hobbies, which gives you a few options for conversation starters. See something you have in common? Respond to their story, or shoot them a message. Since you have to pay for Match to be able to actually message someone, there’s a much higher chance of finding a relationship and less chance of finding people who only want to hook up. 

OKCupid

If you’re looking for an app that values thought provoking conversations you’ll probably enjoy OKCupid. On OKCupid you’re not just a photo, “you have stories to tell, passions to share, and things to talk about that are more interesting than the weather.” 

You can choose the type of relationship you're looking for and the app encourages you to write in-depth responses to prompts and questions. You might find yourself in some deep ethical or political conversations (which sounds pretty welcome when you consider how often we’re given updates on COVID-19.) Expect, “thousands of questions—on everything from climate change to cilantro—that match you on what matters.”

The League

Woman on her phone with a latte in front of her

The League is a great dating app for anyone worried that the person behind the photo isn’t genuine. The League lets their users know that being picky about who they date isn’t only acceptable - but encouraged. They let you set ultra specific preferences and believe, “that smart (but finite) daily recommendations are better for busy people than an unlimited buffet of options.” 

The app launched in 2015, as an exclusive, members-only dating app which approves users based on data from their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. Basically, they do the social media stalking for you. 

So what exactly makes this app ideal while practising social isolation? The app just announced a new video dating feature and a two-week free trial. If you type in "#isoDate" the app will provide the user with Member status for two weeks. The offer is valid while social distancing is being encouraged.

Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish is doing something similar to the League in order to keep singles dating during social isolation. The app has partnered up with “The Meet Group”, a live-streaming service provider, to implement its new feature called LIVE!

They want users to “date from a distance” by also introducing NextDate, which imitates speed dating with a series of 90-second chats with other users. 

 "We have found again and again that live-streaming provides powerful feelings of connection and entertainment," said Geoff Cook, Chief Executive Officer of The Meet Group in a press release from Plenty of Fish.  "In these difficult times, we are pleased to partner with Plenty of Fish to help people feel more connected." 

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