Has the pandemic changed the dating game?
As we move towards 2022, we can relate to being on the cusp of two deadlines – one where social distancing was imperative and the other where socialization has returned to normal. With the rise of the post-pandemic world, a lot has changed; not like Thanos’ post-snap world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but things have changed. But has it changed the dating game?
Seize the moment
Aili Seghetti, a dating coach from Mumbai, believes the lockdown has made people more adventurous. “Ever since the thought of uncertainty and death crept in, it has prompted people to be adventurous and seize the moment. I get a lot of girls who are open to dating, which was not the case before, “she adds. Samarpita Samaddar, India Communications Manager, Bumble shares:” The time spent in blockages allowed people to focus on what they are really looking for while dating, giving them a renewed sense of clarity and confidence to take control of their love life when they meet new people. ” Samaddar also shares statistics and adds: “74% of single Indian respondents believe there is a decrease in negative dating behaviors such as ghosting, breadcrumbs, cat fishing, among others.
The lockdown also gave individuals plenty of time to introspect. “Post-pandemic people are more vocal about being bi-curious now. I get a lot of inquiries about this, ”Seghetti says, adding,“ Plus, sex toy sales have grown a lot since the lockdown left people with few options. In a city like Pune where the majority of its population is made up of students, the lockdown has brought about crucial changes. “Due to the lockdown, the students had to relocate to their hometowns, which led to the couples having a long-distance relationship. I have several friends who have gone for an open relationship arrangement, something they would never even have thought of committing to. Plus, trios and swing are very popular these days, ”says Kabir Khurana, RJ in Pune.
While for other couples, the post-pandemic world has introduced them to the concept of staycation. Jyoti Pandey, a public relations professional, harnessed herself just before the lockdown. “We had to explore other options. Since it was also dangerous to party with random strangers in a club, we started to staycations often. Most of the time it’s me and my husband or a group of friends who go for the weekend. And now we’re hooked on it because it’s safer and more comfortable, ”Pandey shares.
For singles, the post-pandemic dating world can be a bit intimidating. “We now depend on dating apps,” explains Dr Rutuj Mali, who often commutes between Mumbai and Pune. “Previously, you could go out and meet women organically, however, in my experience; confidence took a hit. We were so comfortable behind the screens that now I’m afraid to say ‘hello’ to a random girl, ”he adds. Dating coach Pratik Jain says, “Those who were socially anxious are more anxious now. However, the bigger question is: has the pandemic changed the world? I do not think so. It may have made a few minute changes, but nothing drastic. Awareness is simply not limited to oneself. Daters are more aware in terms of understanding toxic relationships and aware of the virus. According to a study by Bumble, 38% of daters polled would not go on a date or have sex with someone who has not received the COVID vaccine.