Looking for Love During Covid-19

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Whether you’re looking for love, wanting to chat to new people, or just sick and tired of being single during this lockdown period, then online dating could be the thing for you! As an online dating alumni myself, I have compiled these top tips for online dating whilst we’re still on lockdown …

  1. The best apps for meeting other students or young people are usually the free ones – Apps that require monthly subscriptions are a lot more hard-work, and often for people interested in much more serious relationships and marriage. If you want to meet other students or people your own age, the best apps to use are Tinder, Hinge and Plenty of Fish. Personally, I hate Bumble, however I do have quite a few friends who have met their partners via that app too.
  2. Upload honest, bright, and clear photos of yourself – Choose a variety of photos that show your face and also you doing your hobbies and interests. Avoid uploading too many pouty selfies (maximum 2), as a lot of people don’t really like them and they don’t show what you really look like when you’re laughing and smiling. Also, avoid uploading too many group photos where it isn’t clear which person you are – there’s nothing worse than swiping yes to somebody because you think they’re their friend!
  3. Make an interesting bio – In three sentences sum up your interests and likes, but also don’t give so much away that there is no small talk for them to pop up about. Most importantly, don’t lie in your bio. If you’re not six foot, then don’t write “six foot”. In fact, don’t even worry about mentioning your height at all. Your bio should be summing up your personality and interests, not your physical measurements.
  4. Be wary – Catfish has 8 seasons on MTV for a reason. Not everyone is who they say they are, so if you can, try to find them on other social media sites to check they’re real. If something feels wrong about them, then it probably is.
  5. Don’t be afraid to make the first move – There are a lot of misconceptions that the boy has to pop up first (this is not true!). Boys love it when girls pop up first and start conversation, because it shows you have a genuine interest in them and also the self-confidence to pop up first.
  6. Be selective – Don’t feel like you have to like everyone back who likes you. The swipe culture makes it so easy for us to swipe yes to people who we think will like us back, but don’t feel obliged to do this! Go for people who you are interested in and think you can have good conversation with. Also, if it’s not working out, don’t feel guilty about un-matching them and moving on.
  7. Set boundaries (with yourself) – Don’t put pressure on yourself to reply at the speed of light, be funny all the time, and have endless amounts of banter. If it’s fragile, let it break. The right person won’t unmatch you for accidentally (on purpose) turning your notifications off for an afternoon.
  8. Don’t overshare too soon – Start with light-hearted, friendly conversations until you feel really comfortable with the person to share more about your life with them. Usually I would say don’t speak too much on the app before meeting IRL, so you can get to know each other on the first date. However, with Covid-19 affecting our ability to do this, maybe schedule a Zoom or a FaceTime call to have your first date within 3 days of messaging on the app.
  9. Don’t do anything you are not comfortable with doing – If the person you are speaking too is making you feel uncomfortable, end the interaction. Be particularly wary of people who ask for nudes and explicit videos or photos of you, and remember you don’t have to do anything you do not want to do.
  10. If their conversation starter is just a fire emoji, un-match. Bye hun xo
  11. Be kind to yourself – Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out. You aren’t going to click with every single person you speak to, and as they say “you have to kiss plenty of frogs before you’ll meet your Prince”. Dating apps are a great way to meet people, but you also have to learn to filter through a lot of the people you just know aren’t for you. It takes time to do this – so don’t obsessively spend hours a day on the app, maybe save it for when you’re in a good mood and feeling confident. If things don’t work out, there are always plenty more fish in the sea (literally if you are using the Plenty of Fish app!).
  12. Enjoy it – there is no assurance that you’ll meet your future life-long partner or soulmate during this lockdown period. Online dating is just like doing work experience before you get the real job, and eventually you will meet the right person to be with and, after all the searching and practising, things will fall into place.
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Caroline Cartmill

Treasurer | 20-21 Lifestyle Editor | 20-21 Social Editor | 19-20

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