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Covid-19 Changes the Online Dating Game: It’s Time to Get ‘Heart Smart’

Part 1 of the Love in Lockdown series, by Dr Jordan Alexander, founder of Love Assist.

You may be wondering, should I start now?

Let’s look at some stats:

  • In 2017, Stanford reported 40% of Americans met their partners online, with numbers expected to reach 70% by 2040
  • A Chicago study claims couples that met online are ‘happier’, and by 2037, more babies will be born to parents who met online than offline (research by E-Harmony and Imperial College Business School)
  • The World Economic Forum reported surges in online dating around the world since Covid-19, and conversations are up 26% in India and the UK since lockdown
  • “There have been over 50 million intro messages sent across the world on OkCupid over the past month among daters connecting for the first time,” said CEO Ariel Charyton
  • Matches are up 12% and numbers across the board are rising fast. 

Even Shakespeare’s “the course of true love never did run smooth” couldn’t possibly predict the impact of coronavirus on love. Humans are comfortable getting intimate and personal online. It’s big business, valued up to $10 billion globally, and people use it because it is easy and gets results. 

Coronavirus could be the excuse some have been waiting for to find a match: 

If not during a global pandemic, then when?

Covid-19’s not the only thing in the air…

Distancing doesn’t mean disconnecting. Love in lockdown is growing as daters discover distancing comes with a silver lining:

  • a growing and captive audience for connections 
  • more time to get to know each other better, and
  • less pressure for people with first date anxiety – the living room dating venue is relaxed – and if the date goes pear-shaped, they can just end the call.
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In this Love in Lockdown series, the focus in to get people HEART SMART by tackling the top three reasons most muck up meeting their match:

  1. They’re not ‘relationship ready’ – pandemic or not
  2. The online profile, pics and presence are pitiful – aka need work
  3. They are concerned and confused about the new world of virtual dating.

Get Heart Smart – Part 1:

Today we focus on being ‘relationship ready’ with three top tips to get you heart smart:

  1. Complete a quiz about your relationship goals and why you might go online
  2. Reflect on your history and experiences looking at your Love Line, and 
  3. Reimagine your beliefs about love and relationships.

#1: Are you Relationship Ready?

Knowing WHY you want to be online is a key starting point. Are you just bored of being in lockdown and want someone to talk to? Or are you really looking for a genuine commitment? Either is fine – no judgment – but being clear with yourself and others is important – now is not the time to toy with emotions. Be compassionate and honest and you’ll receive the same. 

How do you find out if you are ready for love? Take the Love Assist Relationship Ready Quiz, a small but important step that will help you see if you’re unsure, really ready, ready to stay single or too ready. Your results will provide points to ponder so you can clarify WHY you want to go online (or if you’re online now – help understand what you’re really looking for).

#2: Lessons from your Love Line 

Despite airlines being grounded, and our travel curtailed, our emotional baggage still circles the carousel, being dragged onto dates with new people. Now is a great time to ‘jettyson’ some of that – let’s not blame Covid-19 for just plain poor choices.

I spoke about my Love Line Tool with Ben Harvey, founder of Authentic Education. You can listen to the Podcast interview here. If you want to get heart smart and make better dating choices, listen to this short audio. It will raise awareness of the old problems and patterns we repeat in relationship after relationship. Bathe the past in a tub of hand sanitizer. Let’s clear any lingering love virus and start heart smart on our next love adventure.

#3: Reimagining your beliefs about love and relationships

What are YOUR love beliefs and how do they influence your approach to relationships? Are you one who believes in soulmates – the perfect match is out there for everyone…Or do you believe that relationships never last? 

We each have different starting points when it comes to love beliefs. I love using the Matryoshka doll to think about influences from family, culture, nation, and society. Without being aware of how we acquire and inherit different beliefs, you – at the center of the doll – miss how these beliefs influence your life. 

Let’s consider how our family influenced our love beliefs. What was happening when you were young. Not to blame or cast aspersions – But to understand how early influences shaped how we view and behave in relationships NOW.

Were you in a safe and secure household with loving role models around you? Or perhaps it tumultuous with alcoholism? And what of your culture? Is your clan more of a Big Fat Greek Wedding with many public displays of affection…or more of a stiff upper lip?

People say, “you’ve married your mother” or “…your father” because our brains get wired to find what’s familiar and ‘makes sense’ based on our earlier experiences. Family, culture, national identity all influence our expectations for future relationships. With ‘social distancing’ use this time apart to get heart smart. Reflect on your beliefs and reimagine which ones serve you well and jettison the rest.

  • If you’re considering ‘love in lockdown’ but haven’t gone online – what’s stopping you? 
  • Do you have a story about your online love life in the time of Covid-19? Share your stories by sending a voice memo or written message to [email protected]

In part two in this series, we get Heart Smart with personal profiles, pictures, and how slow dating is bringing back romance, as Love in Lockdown continues. 

Dr Jordan Alexander is Founder of Love Assist: A heart-centred business helping genuine love seekers find authentic connections.