It seems the COVID-19 pandemic is changing more than the way we live. It is also impacting how and who we choose to love.
Dallas-based Match.com has released its 10th annual Singles in America Survey, and it shows how the lives of singles have changed this year.
“Today’s singles want to know who you are, where you’re headed financially, and what you expect from a possible partnership. And with the rise of video dating — a new stage in the courtship process — singles are saving time, money, and kissing fewer frogs,” said Dr. Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and chief scientific adviser to Match.
In 2020, singles want a relationship instead of casual dating. They want more meaningful conversations and more honesty and transparency during a date.
They also want to know a partner’s political views, and they want that information as soon as possible. Close to half of the singles surveyed want to know a partner’s political views by the second date. And 28% want to know before they make the decision to get serious. The study found that 76% of singles believe it is important for a potential partner to share the same political beliefs.
As might be expected, video dating has grown in popularity during the pandemic. Thirty-eight percent of video daters have broken the ice with an online drink together. Thirty-two percent have shared a meal via Zoom or another online video chat option. These online dates are used to help singles decide if they want to meet someone in person.
Singles are changing the qualities they look for in a potential partner, too. They are being more honest about themselves and focusing less on looks and more on transparency and meaningful conversations.
Dr. Viviana Coles, a Houston marriage and family therapist and relationship counselor on the reality show “Married at First Sight,” said the chaos of 2020 is not keeping singles from finding love.
“Singles, and couples, are realizing how important it is to really be able to ‘do life together’ with a partner. Merely co-existing with a partner just isn’t cutting it anymore,” Coles said on Tuesday.
The pandemic has meant the end of relationships for many, but new love pops up, too.
“My advice to these budding ‘quarantine couples’ is to continue to find creative and novel ways to enjoy doing life together, but always respect the need to have alone time without guilt,” said Coles.
In a nod to the social changes that have occurred over the last few months, more singles, 24%, are open to dating someone of a different ethnicity or race.
As for dates in person, 36% say they will be more selective about who they will choose to go on an in-person date with during the pandemic, and 23% of singles say they will be more selective about where an in-person date happens.
Wearing a mask? Bringing sanitizer? Singles said they will be asking their date about social distancing (16% of men vs. 25% women). And 20% of them are being more cautious about who they are kissing and touching.
When it comes to getting some action, 45% of singles said they had sex with someone outside of their quarantine home. Forty-one percent of those who had sex during the pandemic had it with someone they were already in lockdown with, and about one in four had sex with a nonromantic roommate.
Fisher said the pandemic has inspired “slow love,” which is dating with less pressure and less worry of where to meet, how much money to spend, and whether or not it will lead to sex. Fisher said this dating trend will continue after the pandemic and that slow love can lead to long-term partnerships.