Lately, things have felt anything but certain. With the constantly evolving situation surrounding coronavirus, it’s easy to get swept up in the worry. We decided to check in with CMB Daters to see how they’re feeling about COVID-19, as well as how it’s impacting their dating lives.
So far, 81% of CMB daters have reported they’re practicing social distancing, 19% are self-quarantining, and 78% are putting a pause on in-person dates.
Doing our part by practicing social distancing and staying home when we’d rather be out with friends and family can make us feel pretty alone. But, we also have the chance to strengthen our relationships as we continue to lean on and support one another.
The importance of staying connected
For singles, the sudden change in day-to-day life can feel discouraging for their dating prospects. And we’d guess that even those well-versed in the practice of staying home are balking at the idea of being in the house for 14 days. Really, there are only so many puzzles you can do.
That’s why making and maintaining connections is more important now than ever. It reminds us that we’re not alone in this. Even a simple phone call can get you out of your head and begin to soothe fears. So while we may be physically apart, we can still find a host of creative ways to connect with one another.
Advice to daters on going virtual
Some daters may need to press pause on going on IRL dates, but that’s OK. Longer conversations and virtual dates are the new norm. When surveyed, many CMB daters reported they’re open to connecting in different ways in the meantime: Instead of quickly going from matching to meeting in person, 39% plan to text their matches more, 29% plan to call, and 28% want to video chat more.
That’s right, we’re going to make like it’s 2008 and talk on the phone until it gets physically hot to the touch. Now all we need to do is bring back AIM, and we’ll really be virtually connecting, right? But in all seriousness, we’re all a little scared and on our toes as news rolls in each day. Being forced to change routines is uncomfortable. But this new normal could actually be a silver-lining for online dating.
Not only are we forced to reevaluate how we approach dating, but also removing the ability to meet in person shortly after matching is encouraging us to slow down. And really, this slow dating approach could be a faster way to get that genuine connection we’re searching for:
💜 Daters have more time to simply get to know each other.
💜 No reason to play it cool; it’s not a race to match, go out for coffee, or quickly decide if the relationship is worth pursuing.
💜 There’s time to be more intentional about matching and go deeper with one person at a time.
What we’re doing to support CMB’ers
As daters begin to shift their dating habits, we’re backing them up to make it easier to create meaningful virtual connections.
Rolling Chat Extensions
While Coffee Meets Bagel normally has a seven-day chat expiration, we decided that it doesn’t quite make sense now that many in-person dates are getting a rain check. To support the CMB Community’s desire to talk for longer, all chats with active conversations – conversations in which both people have said something within the past three days – can stay open indefinitely.
Editor’s Note: We introduced chat extension to help daters stay connected during COVID-19. But as of July 2021, we’re reintroducing the original seven-day chat expiration. That way, daters can avoid dead-end chats and get back to meeting face-to-face, whether that’s in person or virtual.
CMB Community Virtual Meetups
To create a supportive space for face-to-face socialization, we’re also organizing CMB Community Virtual Meetups. Select CMB Daters are given the opportunity to sign up to join a video chat with around seven fellow CMB members. Members can submit topics, but recently the subject of how COVID-19 is affecting our dating lives has been popular.
Digital Dating Inspiration
We’re also offering inspiration for connecting and dating virtually, like out-of-the-box date ideas, on our Instagram feed. Here’s a quick peek at what we’ve been up to.
Where do we go from here?
This uncertain and sometimes scary new world doesn’t haven’t to mean the end of online dating. Humans are usually pretty good at coming together in times of need. So even though we might all have to spend some time physically apart, we’ve been inspired by the creative ways people continue to virtually connect. And for as long as we can, we’ll strive to do our part in contributing.