The coronavirus pandemic may have brought the nation to a halt, but it hasn’t stopped online daters from looking for love during the lockdown.
“The fact that we are all experiencing this together has actually brought a component of vulnerability and courtship back. Now, you actually have to get to know that person a little more, you have to ask those deeper questions,” said Michelle G., a matchmaker and relationship coach who helps people across the country, like Ali Craig, find love connections. She recently met her match.
“We talked for two hours and Michelle was like that was supposed to just be a 30-minute conversation and I was like, ‘Well it kind of ended up being a two hour conversation,” she laughed.
Michelle says that’s just one of the perks of dating during the pandemic; potential matches are now forced to communicate better and get more creative when it comes to courting one another.
“Maybe doing like a virtual cooking class together; you share the same recipe. Maybe the gentleman or the lady, whoever wants to make the first move, can order Uber eats and send it over and then both can have the same meal, enjoy a glass of wine, enjoy glass of champagne, and maybe watch a movie together,” Michelle said.
She says some people are even opting for in-person dates, as long as they stick to social distancing guidelines. That’s what Ali did.
“We walked around the park for our first date, that was kind of our first real meeting and we went to the grocery store because that was the only thing you could really do on a date. But it was actually really useful on so many levels because you didn’t have to worry about. ‘what kind of fun things were you going to do,’ you got into what are people really looking like when they are stressed or under pressure really quickly.”
As for online dating apps like Bumble and Hinge, they’re reporting an increase in users. So how do you get your online profile to stand out? Michelle says three simple tips to follow:
First, update your bio or add new pictures every few days as this will keep you higher up in the search engine. Second, be honest and have a positive outlook. The energy you put out is likely what you’ll attract and finally, give them an ice breaker to work with.
“End your profile with a question. Give that person who’s looking at your profile something to start a conversation. Some people are really shy and we just don’t know how to approach someone online but if you give them a question at the end of your profile, it gives them something to start the conversation with,” Michelle said.
Michelle says one thing you shouldn’t do right now? Reach out to your ex. She’s seen a growing trend in the number of people backsliding, reaching out because they’re feeling lonely or in need of familiarity and comfort. She says her advice is simple. “Don’t do it. They’re an ex for a reason.”