In the middle of a pandemic, is it worth it to develop a relationship on a dating app?
Dating is already hard in itself. Add a pandemic on top of it and you might as well call it Mission: Impossible.While the hopeless romantic in me continues to draft a story titled Love in the Time of Corona, my logical side reminds me of the pandemic reality.
Humans are social creatures.
We like to entertain ourselves with activities such as brunch, coffee dates, shopping with friends or going on a sunny vacation with family. How then, can we possibly live without meeting and dating new people for a year or more?
Knowing this, I’m intrigued to know how the pandemic has changed the nature of dating.
In a dating app, you can talk to someone for a period of time before actually meeting them. During that time, you can get to know some of the person’s interests, maintain contact and build a level of trust. Before you even see each other in person, you can have a pretty good idea of your compatibility.
But can you develop a genuine connection, same as when you could meet in person, when all of the weight of the relationship rests on virtual communication?
Some say that this past year has changed online dating for the better.
With so many of us staying at home and having more time on our hands, we can put more effort into getting to know each other. Without the frantic pace of pre-pandemic life, with few free moments between rushing to get to work or attending in-person events, perhaps we can now give online dating adequate time.
Whether the success stories out there are accurate or not, I believe that there is great risk to not meeting people, whether in person or online, for an extended period of time. During a pandemic, if the only way to meet new people is through online apps — I’ll take it.
Lack of touch can drive a person into loneliness. This fact is especially of concern during a pandemic, when we are required to physically distance and miss out on hugs with close friends and intimacy with our closer friends.
To combat the loneliness problem, the power of technology comes in. With a multitude of ways to stay in touch, from texting to FaceTime calls, and a plethora of activities like virtual movie dates or game nights, there are so many ways to connect and develop a bond.
Of course, online dating is not for everyone. It may be the case that someone is cozying up to you simply to pass the time and that the second this whole pandemic-shizzle is over they’ll become the infamous ghost that haunts you.
Dating apps can bridge gaps between people who otherwise wouldn’t have crossed paths. Even if it’s a temporary thing, getting to know someone and having them there as a listening ear, as a constant, can create an impact and make this whole time of isolation much more manageable. Isn’t that what dating is all about anyway? Getting to know people and seeing if they’re the right match for you or not?
As for myself, while I appreciate how dating apps have provided a source of comfort for some during this pandemic, they don’t fulfill me completely. I still need to see someone physically, so I look forward to the day when I can safely do so. I date to marry and I have an underlying feeling that my King or Queen is not a “swipe right” away.
This op-ed was written by a University of Saskatchewan undergraduate student and reflects the views and opinions of the writer. If you would like to write a reply, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Kristine Jones A. Del Socorro is a second-year undergraduate student studying biomedical sciences and is the Culture Editor at The Sheaf Publishing Society.
Kristine Jones A. Del Socorro | Culture Editor
Graphic: Kristine Jones A. Del Socorro | Culture Editor