Here's What Dating Looks Like in the Age of Coronavirus

In the absence of physical contact, COVID-19 is enabling new forms of connection. Enter the virtual date, and the virtual hook-up.
April 6, 2020, 4:51pm

Coronavirus isn’t stopping people from dating — it’s just changing how they do it.

On March 29, there were more swipes on Tinder than any day in the app’s history: 3 billion. Since mid-March, messages on Tinder and Bumble are also up. And conversations are lasting longer, maybe because swipers have basically zero chance of meeting in person.

“It’s not like I was busy on Saturday night,” joked Amina, who works in New York in the advertising business and recently decided to try a virtual speed-dating event. “It's so different from dating in real life, because you've literally no physical connection,” she said. “So you have to try a little bit harder.”

Meanwhile the virtual realm can also be a place to feed your sexual appetite. Some people are livening up their lockdowns with virtual hookups and interactive sex parties. (We got invited to one on a live streaming site, but technical problems got in the way.)

The pandemic is shifting IRL relationships, too. Calvin Kasulke recently spoke to us about his article for Vice.com about queer people finding love during isolation — with their roommates. “A shocking amount of people live with people that they have secretly been in love with for a very long time.”

Could it be that this crisis will actually bring us closer, faster?

Amina thinks so: “Everyone's like, ‘How are you feeling about this right now? Is everything OK with you?’ It makes us feel like the human race has come a little bit closer, which whilst it's sad, it's actually like it's you get into a bit of a deeper conversation more quickly.”

Cover: VICE TV.