Like many others, I found myself single during the most unprecedented times the world has ever seen. For some reason whilst I have never lamented on being single and don’t associate my self-worth with being in a relationship, being single during COVID times made me feel lonelier than I expected.

Being a Type A, whenever I come across what I consider a problem, I immediately start searching for a solution. The ‘solution’ in this case would be to find myself someone to date or talk to someone who is stuck at home in similar circumstances.

The obvious choices when I embarked on my endeavour were dating apps, even in pre-COVID times the number of people on such apps have grown substantially in recent years. 

With this popularity comes a saturation of the market with a lot of different dating apps, all claiming to help you find ‘true love’. Plus, with it being impossible to meet people and the feeling of growing isolation thanks to the pandemic, dating apps have thrived and there has been an increase in their usage. 

For instance, new subscribers rose by 15% for the dating app Match globally. Tinder also saw an increase in its downloads by 2.2 million around the world.

I, myself became one of these users and experienced an array of emotions whilst being on these apps. The first and foremost was dealing with the indecisiveness of which app to use, what photos to upload, which guys to match with and once matched, how to start the conversation. 

I experienced the struggle of trying to connect with someone through just texting, deal with rejection and insecurities as well as people lying on the apps.

For instance, I started speaking to a guy who I was getting along with well until I found out a week later that he was moving to a different city by the end of that week and in-spite of our earlier conversation, was not looking for something serious. 

To be fair, on the flip side I had a good time too. Once I was able to get over the initial awkwardness, it was easy to relate to people by just remembering that they would be having the same thoughts and emotions I was. 

I met some really nice guys who I was able to establish a quick friendship with and honestly, it felt nice to just talk to someone new and vent on how weird life is at the moment.

Overall, there will always be pros and cons to online dating. Some people say it’s even preferable to face-to-face dating with benefits such as no confusion over splitting of the bill, the option of escape by just the click of a button, no concerns over safety, time saved getting dressed up, avoiding the end of the date awkwardness; there are multiple reasons to love virtual dating. 

However, for myself I felt the effort didn’t really match up to the rewards. Online dating requires perseverance to keep going and not regret the missed connections. 

It needs you to push through the boredom of having the same conversation over and over that in the end, started to feel to me like an interview, hoping that this one conversation would be the one worth pursuing. Hoping that what the other person says is what they mean.

I don’t criticise nor discourage people who use online dating tools, maybe you might get lucky and find the one on such an app.

Call me old-fashioned, but I would still like to meet someone in person and go from there.

Photo by Markus Winkler

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