Dating During COVID-19 Times Just Got Easier, Courtesy of These New App Features
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The coronavirus has cancelled just about everything. From your spring getaway with the guys to your personal training sessions, things are pretty much at a social distanced standstill. Even the act of putting on normal clothes has slowly become a forgotten art.
But what’s one thing it didn’t cancel? Online dating. Sure, you may not be able to grab drinks or dinner with someone IRL, but all your go-to apps have been adding new features that make it easier to keep dating while you’re social distancing.
RELATED: A Guide to Dating and Finding Love During COVID-19 Times
While this pandemic has probably affected your life in a myriad of ways, there’s no reason why it has to press pause on your love life. As you continue to swipe (because there’s really not much else to do, here are a few dating apps that have added brand new features to assist you in finding love without ever leaving home.
With it being insanely difficult to get a vibe check from behind a phone screen, that’s where Bumble’s in-app video chat and voice call features come in. Truth be told, these are not new features to Bumble, but they’ve become increasingly popular these days for obvious reasons.
“With a video chat, it adds that extra dimension in getting to know someone while hearing your date’s voice and seeing their smile,” says online dating expert Julie Spira. “While texting and messaging are important to create a flow and to build continuity, going on a video date is the next best thing to being there. When you ramp up your dating game with a video chat, you’re letting your date know that you’re investing more towards the relationship.”
Keep in mind that women get the option to call or video chat immediately after matching with you. Men, on the other hand, have to wait for their match to make the first move. After you receive that icebreaker message, you’ll see a video icon and a phone icon in the top right-hand corner of the conversation screen. The best part? You won’t even have to exchange phone numbers to meet face-to-face or hear each other’s voices.
Thinking about reaching out to an ex during quarantine? Not sure how to set up an awesome date over video chat? No matter what dating conundrum you’re dealing with, Match may be able to help you figure it out. The company’s new Dating while Distancing hotline is staffed by a team of experts who are down to advise you on any of your dating-related questions and concerns, or to just provide an ear for listening. The hotline is totally free to use, available Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. CST.
Whether you’re curious how daters in other countries are faring, or you just want to learn how to say “hey” in another language, Tinder Passport is here to save the day. The feature, which is typically only reserved for paid Tinder Plus and Gold subscribers, is now free for all users through April 30. Just drop a pin anywhere in the world to start swiping through all your prospects. After that, you can begin chatting with others at the destination of your choice.
To change your location using Passport, just tap your profile icon, open “settings” and scroll down and tap “location.” While you can only virtually date in one city at a time, you can change your location as many times as you wish. Who knows? You could very well spark up an international romance without ever leaving home.
Plenty of Fish
Another unique way to vet your matches is by using the new LIVE! Feature on Plenty of Fish, allowing you to record and watch livestreams from quarantine, a la Instagram Live. It’s currently available in more than 80 percent of the U.S. (mainly areas that are most impacted by the coronavirus), and will be rolled out across the globe by the end of April.
Just tap the “LIVE!” icon within the app to get started. From there, you can see who’s viewing your stream, search for other streams nearby, leave flirty comments on the ones that make an impression, and eventually move your convo to a private message.
When live-streaming, you can also choose to play NextDate, a game that emulates speed dating by allowing streamers to share 90 seconds of live video chatting with potential matches. If you hit it off with any of your virtual dates, you can choose to transition the convo to one-on-one video.
“With the NextDate feature and other video speed dating apps — which will rise in popularity now — if someone shows up in the queue who isn’t your type, you won’t have to invest extra time chatting if you’re not feeling it,” adds Spira.
This app prides itself on being picky for you. Not only does it personalize prospects to your liking, but it only shows you people who you actually have a shot with. Best of all, The League has a slew of features that will come in handy while you’re isolating, like the 10-second video trailer you can add to your profile to show off your personality (and win over potential matches, of course). You can also arrange one-on-one video dates with any of your matches via the messages tab.
League Live, a live speed dating session, also offers another awesome shortcut for testing out the chemistry. After you’re matched with three users in your area that fit your preferences, you’ll go on a 3-minute video date with each to see if the sparks fly.
According to The League, people who match through video date are 3.5x more likely to exchange digits and meet offline, and the match rate for League Live is 3x the rate of the rest of the app.
With the odds definitely in your favor, what are you waiting for? Change out of those sweats you’ve been wearing for three days in a row, run a little pomade through your hair and get ready to make a killer first impression right from your couch.
Once you start feeling a connection with a match on your app of choice, Spira advises putting some thought into your virtual dates with them. Her favorite ideas include using the Netflix Party Chrome Extension, which allows you and your date to stream the same show or a movie simultaneously from your homes, as well as posting your comments and reactions.
Spira also suggests scheduling a virtual happy hour over video chat where both of you can bring your “quarantini” of the day. If that goes well, graduate to a dinner date where you cook the same meal from your own kitchens or talk about your day over a delivery meal.
“Whether you use Zoom or FaceTime, at the end of your virtual date, you should make plans to schedule another video date to keep the spark alive,” she adds.
Who said you can’t find love from the comfort of your own couch?
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