Are you single and looking? If you were hoping for a new love connection at the start of the year, the pandemic might have flipped your plans upside down. Even daters who say they avoid long-distance relationships like the plague…well, ended up having to cope with the barrier of sheltering in place and social distancing due to the pandemic.
In short, COVID-19 halted our love lives. Or did it? To find this out, the team at Sitejabber analyzed thousands of online dating reviews and published a study on the current state of online dating. Here are a few of their top findings you should know.
1. Online dating takes it to the next level
At the onset of the pandemic, online dating activity took a downturn. However, the drop in the number of online daters was short-lived, and by July 2020, people flocked to online dating. Not only were previous users hopping on dating platforms, but new users too. Sitejabber found a 27% overall increase in online dating reports compared to pre-pandemic 2019.
Another interesting stat occurs late into the year – online dating surged in September, when dating reports spiked by 118% compared to the beginning of 2020. Despite social distancing orders and sheltering in place, the loneliness of the pandemic sure motivated many singles!
2. International dating takes a break
Those looking for love internationally put their plans on hold last year. Reports of dating out of the country decreased by 21%. Perhaps travel bans and quarantine had something to do with it?
3. Sliding in the DM’s
Are you the type to text first?
If you’ve ever used a dating app, you know that most platforms allow you to match with potential connections by liking different profiles. Typically, you can only text each other once you’ve matched. And during the pandemic, women are taking the initiative.
According to Sitejabber and AI dating platform Hily, women are 5x more likely to text first. That’s an increase from 7% before the pandemic, to 40% now!
4.The loneliest states
If you live in California, you likely know someone who found their partner online (or maybe it’s you!). California is the number one state in the U.S. to report online dating. And even though international dating dropped during the pandemic, Californians actually ramped it up, reporting dating internationally 77% more.
While most of the U.S.’s online daters live in California, other states saw significant surges of online dating during COVID-19. Reports of online dating skyrocketed by 167% in the state of Washington, followed by Massachusetts, Arizona, Georgia and New Jersey. For these states, the pandemic contributed to a new culture of online dating.
5. Finding love in a hopeless place
How is the modern dater feeling during these unprecedented times? Unfortunately, negative online dating experiences increased by 12%. States like Massachusetts, Georgia, Nevada, Missouri and Michigan reported the highest frequency of negative experiences.
Despite all that, several states made the best of it. Many satisfied daters live in Washington, Illinois, Arizona, New York and New Jersey, sharing the highest frequency of positive online experiences.
How do you feel about dating during the pandemic? If you want to learn more about the latest dating trends, things to watch out for and how scammers are targeting online daters, check out the full study on Sitejabber.