The pandemic has changed the way we work, socialise and date, so the modern-day romance, inspired by the pandemic, begins or ends with a swipe right or left.
Developing a connection with someone can be awkward under normal circumstances but it becomes even more difficult from two metres away.
Alexander Perendes, a 20-year-old from Hertfordshire, downloaded a couple of dating apps during the first lockdown out of boredom and caught the love bug when he met his now girlfriend Ellie.
“It was love at first swipe”
He said: “All I was doing during the first lockdown was working on the front line and I wasn’t really socialising with anyone who wasn’t in my bubble. I downloaded Bumble on a whim and to my surprise I matched with Ellie.”
Jokingly he declared: “It was love at first swipe!” He went on to describe how technology played a huge part in developing their initial attraction into a deeper connection.
He said: “We spoke every day for two months and FaceTimed every day. Our first date was over Zoom which was daunting, but I knew we got along so well so it wouldn’t be awkward.”
Alexander and Ellie’s romance became official on their first socially distanced walk after months of communicating virtually.
Kate Mendez, a representative from the Bumble press office, explained how Bumble has adapted in order to make dating easier and safer as we enter a new normal way to date.
“users are getting to know their matches on a deeper and more personal level”
Kate mendez, Press representative for bumble
Bumble was one of the first apps to launch voice and video chat in 2019. The initial reason for introducing this feature was so that people could easily make voice or video calls directly through the app, rather than sharing personal information like a phone number or email address.
Kate explained that the ability to interact virtually with others through the app has helped build more meaningful connections.
She said: “During lockdown, Bumble has found that dating habits have changed and there has been a shift towards ‘slow dating’, with users getting to know their matches on a deeper and more personal level.
“This shift has seen people creating virtual connections, with an increase of 42% for in-app video calls.”
Bumble also introduced new Covid-19 features in May 2020 to help the Bumble community navigate virtual dating and enable people to communicate how they would like to date: virtually only or socially distanced or with masks.
Kate said that the new feature “allows people to search for people who are dating in the same way as they are to avoid the need for any awkward conversations around how people feel comfortable dating”.