A few months ago, I’d completely sworn off dating apps. I’ve been using them for years and felt like I’d gotten nowhere… I was over it. I mean, let’s face it; Most of us treat dating apps like a game, no matter how “serious” we are. Enough was enough, I’d decided I was sick of all the f*ckboys and ready for something real. If I was going to date anyone, I was determined to meet him in real life.

Then one day I woke up and everything had changed: Shit hit the fan, Coronavirus was rampant, and we were all stuck at home.

I’ll be honest; I was intrigued by the challenge of virtual dating and frankly, I was bored. I didn’t have a real human that I was actually interested in, so I figured… what harm would a bit of swiping do? 

It’s been an interesting experiment:

+Pro: You’re in the comfort and safety of your own home… without them.

-Con: FaceTime/Zoom dates can be kind of awkward at first, especially if you don’t really have any way to break the ice. You’re just sitting there… staring at each other…

+Pro: We’re all bored AF and craving literally ANY human interaction, so the apps are way more active than usual.

Con: We don’t really have a choice BUT to use dating apps… so much for meeting people IRL.

Con: Since we’re bored AF and starving for attention, it’s more difficult to figure out if we actually enjoy interacting with this other human or if we’re just happy to have someone to talk to.

+Pro: There’s literally zero pressure to be physical on the first date because you literally can’t even kiss (and if the guy is trying to get you to have phone sex, at least you know beforehand that he’s a douche bag).

Con: If you actually DO want to be physical, phone sex isn’t nearly as fun as the real thing. Plus, it’s really tough to gauge chemistry over the phone.

+Pro: We don’t have to waste time freaking out about how we look: We don’t even have to get THAT dolled up… I mean, we’re sitting in our living room for Heaven’s sake… it’s not a club!

Con: It’s almost impossible to know if he’s lying about his height.

+Pro: “I’m busy” is an even lamer response than usual because most of us really aren’t. Even if we’re still working, we’re WAY more dialed into our devices than ever before because they’re literally our lifeline to the outside world. If you’re not getting a response, it’s not because they’re “busy.” They saw your message, they just don’t want to respond.

+Pro: It’s even easier to weed out at least some of the disrespectful douchebags. If they aren’t cool with a Zoom or FaceTime date, they’re probably here for the wrong reasons.

Con: What’s going to happen post-quarantine? Will we actually want to hang out with our pen pal once the world returns to at least some level of normalcy?

Is virtual dating as effective as the real thing?

Not shockingly, it probably isn’t but I guess we won’t know for sure until this whole lockdown thing dies down.

Honestly, I think there are a lot of solid pro’s to virtual dating. I might legit start screening my matches via FaceTime before commiting to real-life drinks even after all of this is over, just to save time and energy. It definitely takes a lot of the pressure off of meeting someone new.

I think the biggest thing for me is just that I don’t really know how seriously any of us can take dating right now, when our only option is virtual. We’re missing out on so many nuances of human interaction when we can’t actually be together IRL (duh). Not to mention that with everything going on, I think many of us (myself included) have reevaluated what we’re even looking for because we simply don’t know what to expect.

It’s like when you go on vacation and hit it off with someone: You try to stay in touch once vacation’s over and you’re both home, but even if you live close enough to each other to maintain a proper relationship, things look a little bit different once you get back into your normal routine.

Only time will tell…

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