What Happened With Dating In 2020
What a year it’s been for dating. From socially distanced dates and quarantine bubbles to virtual Zoom dates, finding love in 2020 has been an adventure to say the least.
If you’ve found the energy to date this year, we salute you! As the world adjusts to a new ongoing normal, we take a look back at how dating has changed in 2020.
1. Hookup culture was cancelled
The luxury of accepting a spontaneous date or meeting the love of your life (or for the night) at a club were pre - Corona activities most of us took for granted. In a time where meeting someone you’ve never met in person can become a threat to your health, dating has taken a more serious approach this past year.
We have now moved towards a patient approach where the “getting to know each other” phase has been prolonged. However, where factors such as distance may have been a deciding factor on whether you were a swipe yes or swipe no, daters are becoming more lenient in their search for love.
“Hook up culture is over,” says CEO and founder of Wingman App, Tina Wilson. “People are choosing quality over quantity. Most people have been obsessed about meeting someone in their zip code but that’s something not important when you’re looking for quality over convenience.”
While hookup culture may not be what it used to be, daters are showing restraint in an effort to stay safe.
2. The growth of online dating
2020 was the year for online dating. For some, it was their first time dating online and for others, it was a re-introduction.
“Online dating is up by 300%, there’s never been a better time to be online,” says Wilson.
With current circumstances preventing us to date in person, it seems the only option for daters out there was to go online. With several dating apps and websites available, there’s no shortage of options in the virtual space. It’s safe to say online dating is one industry that’ll stay standing in 2021.
3. Video dating became popular
While video dating isn’t relatively new, it certainly gained momentum in 2020. As we all isolated at home, naturally the next best option for when you want to see who you’ve been chatting to, was a video date. Thanks to video calling services such as Zoom and Skype, it allowed daters to still enjoy dating even if it was via a screen. Dating apps like Hinge and Wingman also introduced video features to help users stay connected.
“Virtual dating is more than just a Zoom call,” says Wilson. “You can stream into live comedy clubs, join trivia nights, you can even go on international virtual tour dates of the Eiffel Tower.”
Video dating has been a crucial “in between” step from messaging and meeting in person. By verifying your date via a video call, you can choose whether to proceed further or call it quits if you’re not feeling it without risking your health. Apart from the minor awkward pauses and the odd Wi-Fi buffering issues, we can see video dating becoming a mainstay in 2021.
Check out our tips on how to make the most of out of virtual dating.
4. Socially distanced dates
As we went in and out of Lockdown, most conventional date places were off limits with outdoor spaces being the most favoured within social distancing guidelines. A survey by Wingman found, “A walk in the park” is the most favored activity for a first date in real life.
“Before you meet in person, you need to check with them if you are both on the same page when it comes to what the date will look like,” says Wilson. “Make sure you’re both comfortable and it doesn’t turn into an awkward mess.”
City strolls and picnics were also among the most popular socially distanced dating activities.
5. The name Karen decreasing in popularity in dating
It’s been quite a year for daters named Karen too. In recent years, the name Karen has taken on a different meaning thanks to social media where the name is commonly used to describe women displaying aggressive racist or prejudice behaviour.
Wingman found women named Karen received a third fewer responses this year and a 45 per cent drop in engagement.
“The trends we observe in online dating typically reflect what’s happening in the real world,” says Wilson.
While a minority of these “Karens” exist, the majority of daters with the name Karen have been negatively affected by the association. Friends have even resorted to defending them as “not a real Karen”.
6. Commitment becomes more important
2020 has put many things into perspective for all of us. While previously, we could move from one match to another, these days, we are more conscious about our potential partner and if our ideals really fit.
“One of our favourite dating terms this year was Coronesty, where people don’t have time to waste and are becoming more honest about their dating intentions,” says Wilson. “People are feeling pressure to lock down especially during cuffing season and during these uncertain times but it’s far more important to get a quality match.”
On the other hand, for those confident in their relationship, daters weren’t afraid to accelerate towards the “Living Together” phase. Thanks to quarantine restrictions and not being able to visit other households, couples have resorted to prematurely moving in together which for some have worked out well and for others not.
The stress of the Pandemic can be overwhelming for daters but the important thing to realise is that you don’t need to rush. Be self-aware and don’t let loneliness guide your heart and mind.
“Don’t exhaust yourself – It may feel like you need to always keep an eye out for your next match but you can always take the pressure off by outsourcing it to your friend (via Wingman).”
Our favourite trending dating terms of 2020
Zombieing – Exes or people who’ve ghosted you but have risen from the dead and got back in contact.
Zumping – Being dumped over a Zoom call. At least it’s face to face. Kinda.
Expedating – Couples who quickly got into a relationship or moved in because of quarantine.
Coronesty – Being truthful about your dating intentions head on, nothing like a worldwide pandemic to put into perspective of knowing what you really want.
Sign up now with your wingman by downloading the Wingman app in the App store and Google Play store. Available in the US and UK for IOS and Android devices.
Photo: @digitalshape via Twenty20
Photo credit: Photo by @alexandrahraskova
Photo credit: @9_fingers_via Twenty20