Finding Love From A Safe, Social Distance
Since March, multiple dating apps have reported significant increases in use. Cooper Boice is the owner of the dating app Mutual, which is targeted to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Boice said, “basically before quarantine and then during quarantine, the number of swipes in the app doubled. There were 15% more people signing up every day and the number of matches happening every day was like 23%.”
Tinder has also reported a similar increase, but Tinder user Michael Dryer said the increase doesn’t mean people are having more success in finding relationships.
“That's one of the big things I've noticed that you know, you can go and you can match with people. But that seems to be where it starts and stops with didn't seem like a good time to actually get to make relationships with people,” said Dryer.
Despite this, Dryer has successfully used the app to meet people in Utah, where he will soon be moving. He said he used Tinder’s passport feature, which was made available free to all users in March and April. He’s excited to connect in-person with the people he has met on the app.
Another pandemic dating change Mutual owner Cooper Boice has noticed is dates moving online.
"People are doing a lot more video dates and Skype and FaceTime dates, which I don't think was really a thing I heard of that," Boyce said. "And it seems like people have seen a lot of positives in that because it just, you know, kind of helps people like further relationships quicker than if they had just texted back and forth for weeks.”
Although many businesses are reopening, Boice hasn’t seen a decrease in app usage. He believes stay-at-home efforts made people more open to trying online dating and imagines it will be part of the “new normal” moving forward.