RELATIONSHIP EXPERTS & MATCHMAKERS AVAILABLE TO DISCUSS COVID-COUPLES, ONLINE DATING & REAL ROMANCE IN THE CORONA-ERA
If you’re single and dating, you’re no doubt facing special challenges during this horrid pandemic. But as a biological anthropologist who has spent some 40 years studying romantic love around the world and the brain circuitry of this ancient and universal human passion, I’ve come to recognize that in some ways, coronavirus has given you a gift.
For the last 15 years, I’ve also been the chief science adviser to Match.com, the dating site, where I’ve had the opportunity to collect and analyze data on singles across America. And the data here, too, suggest that this pandemic is actually changing the courtship process is some positive ways.
Foremost, coronavirus has slowed things down. This pandemic has forced singles to return to more traditional wooing: getting to know someone before the kissing starts. I’m hopeful that these rediscovered and emerging modes of dating will give singles additional time to select a truly appropriate mate as well as enable romance and attachment to develop slowly — even flourish long term. Let’s look at some of the ways in which coronavirus has changed the dating game, and how those changes might provide some lasting benefits.
Video Chats Are In
During the second weekend of April, Match asked members several questions about how they’ve changed their courtship habits since the world shut down. An astonishing 6,004 men and women replied. And they are doing something new: video chatting. Before Covid-19, only 6 percent of these singles were using video chatting to court. Now, 69 percent are open to video chatting with a potential partner, and a third already have an individual with whom they’d like to talk — via video.
And there are some real advantages to seeing these potential partners on FaceTime, Zoom or some other internet platform. We are walking billboards of who we are. Your haircut (or lack of haircut during these pandemic times); your tattoo; your preppy shirt; your revealing blouse: all these and many more visible traits signal your background, education and interests. Indeed, specific brain regions respond almost instantly to assess two things about a likely mate: their personality and their physical appeal. We do this within seconds of seeing him or her.
Sex and Money Are Out
This pandemic has solved, if temporarily, two of the most challenging aspects of contemporary dating: sex and money.
When singles meet in person, they’re obliged to navigate this nether world: Should I kiss him or her? What if they invite me back to their pad?
Before this virus hit, some 34 percent of American singles had engaged in sex before an “official” first date. That’s over — at least for now. You might have some sexy banter during a video chat but real sex is off the table.
Money is off the table, too. On an in-person date, singles must negotiate who pays: Should we meet in a cheap cafe or an expensive bar? Must I offer to split the bill? In the age of corona, these money negotiations are history.
Article by Helen Fisher, New York Times