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Love at first Zoom as Covid changes the way singletons meet their perfect match

A first date is usually an occasion to dress to impress. However, it might soon be more normal to drop the high heels in favour of slippers, as singletons increasingly look to vet potential partners on Zoom before meeting.

Although this year’s Valentine’s Day is a far more restriction-free affair than it was last year, research has suggested that the pandemic has had a lasting impact on dating

Preliminary video dates are an important “gut-check stage of the dating journey”, explained Logan Ury, the head of the relationship science department of Hinge, the dating app.

There can be multiple benefits to getting introduced over a video call, Ms Ury told Bloomberg News. 

“Do you like the sound of their voice? Do you feel attracted to them? Can you banter? We’ve seen a huge rise in the popularity of video dating since the beginning of the pandemic.”

During the pandemic, seven in 10 Hinge users were interested in video dating and almost two-thirds wanted to continue using it after restrictions were lifted.

A good way to check if someone is normal

A third of Hinge users reported that they would consider starting a relationship with someone who they have had only video calls with and have never met in person.

Last year, Jungle, an app which allows people to meet for double dates, surveyed users and found that about a tenth of them prefer to video call or send voice messages to potential partners before meeting.

Christian Mitchell, the app’s co-founder, said that singles liked having a way to check that their potential date is “normal” before meeting in real life

He told The Telegraph: “Video calling is a good way to make sure that that person is normal. [I might be] concerned that the person could come across well in their profile, but they might be odd in real life.”

Other apps reported similar findings from their users. Bumble, the app where women make the first move, reported last year that more than a third of users said that virtual dates are now a normal part of dating. A third also said that sending voice messages before meeting was now more common.

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