It used to be your height, your job, or your ‘fondness for nights out and also nights in’ that was important on your dating profile. Now, apparently, it’s your COVID-19 status.
Believe it or not, there has been an uptick in people sharing their status on their profiles. With wider access to coronavirus tests now available, you can see why.
A 2019 Stanford study showed couples are more likely to get together after meeting online than through any other option. During a pandemic and global lockdown, online dating is your only option.
What better way to stand out from the crowd than to show you’re ‘safe’ to meet?
Or is it? Let’s have a look at how coronavirus has changed dating, and check out the pros and cons of sharing your status on your profile.
Dating in the COVID-19 era
Some online daters have at least made an attempt at engaging with coronavirus. When the pandemic first hit the UK, the content of some profiles changed.
Instead of boasting about cars or jobs, daters showed off their hand sanitiser and loo roll. Some people even updated their photos to funny selfies “on their travels” around their houses.
These daters got it right. They showed a bit of personality and poked fun at the situation.
Other daters got it horribly wrong. Some of them advertised wanting to find someone to self isolate with. You can only assume they meant on a temporary basis, because what kind of person lets a total stranger move in with them?
In the early days of lockdown, the ‘Netflix and chill’ crew were still out in full force. Guys would insist they were “healthy” and still up for meeting up. Considering everything was shut and there was nowhere to go on a date, you can guess what they had in mind.
As most people observed the lockdown, these casual scrollers started to fall away. People actually responded to matches and messages. It was a great leveller to filter out those who only want a quick hook-up versus those who want a genuine relationship.
Enter Virtual Dating
With meeting up out of the question, the apps started to offer video calling options. At least this means you don’t have to add someone on WhatsApp to chat to them.
Bumble already had a video/voice call from 2019, and Hinge added its ‘Date From Home’ feature in March. With this feature, users could alert the app that they were ready to video call the person. If their match said the same, they could move things to Zoom.
Hinge announced they’d seen a 30% increase of messages in March, and 70% of its members were open to virtual dating.
Tinder finally announced they’d join the virtual dating party at the start of May.
Plenty of Fish even introduced a livestream mode, similar to those on Facebook and Instagram. Like the look of the host? Drop them a message!
This gives you a perfect opportunity to use behavioural profiling to screen potential matches in advance. Why waste a couple of hours meeting someone for a walk in a park? Watch their livestream for ten minutes and see the truth about your would-be lothario.
Unfortunately, the haphazard easing of lockdown means a lot of the casual daters are back. They’re scoping out “what’s available” (when surely they mean ‘who’, not ‘what’), ready for going out again.
And this is where the COVID status on the dating profile comes in.
Should You Tell People Your COVID-19 Status on a Dating Profile?
We would venture to say you shouldn’t share your status. First, few people truly understand the science yet. You may have had coronavirus, but no one knows if you could catch it again. Or you may be able to spread it, even if you remain asymptomatic. This makes sharing your COVID-19 status unreliable at best.
At worst, it’s irresponsible. Whether you’ve had the virus or not isn’t really anyone else’s business. It also shows a lack of respect for restrictions, and an inability to be patient. That kind of eagerness to meet up now looks desperate and needy.
After all, if that person insisting they’re COVID-free wanted a real relationship? They’d be willing to wait a few more weeks.
It shows a willingness to spread the virus further, prolonging the lockdown restrictions. Just because they didn’t have the virus at the point they were tested doesn’t mean they haven’t caught it since then.
Let’s address what we’re all thinking. If they’re willing to spread coronavirus, what other diseases are they willing to spread?
So What Should You Do Instead?
Avoid the temptation to score more matches by listing your own COVID-19 status. Take any listed statuses with a pinch of salt. If online daters are willing to lie about their height or their marital status, why would they be truthful about coronavirus?
We recommend getting into video calling instead. If a conversation is going well by text, suggest a video chat. You can keep it casual at first, and go for a virtual coffee.
If it goes well, future dates can be more elaborate. Consider themed dates, where you play particular music or order takeout from the same place. Or choose a recipe and cook it ‘together’ in your own homes. Some people are even meeting up inside Nintendo’s Animal Crossing!
Virtual dating is a safe way to scope out a guy before you actually meet him. It’s not the same as meeting in person, but if the sparks don’t fly? It’s easier to end a video chat than to leave a restaurant. This is also a good thing to bear in mind even when life returns to ‘normal’.
If he doesn’t want to chat on video and keeps insisting you meet up? Run, my dear. Video calls are a great way to see if he’s trying to manipulate you. Even if that just means seeing if he’ll go on video.
Video Lets You See the Person – and the Truth
Virtual dating is also a good opportunity to do some behavioural profiling. Watch what his body language says. It’ll tell you what he really thinks, not what he wants you to hear.
A really simple trick is to watch his eyes. Does he blink less when you’re talking? Great, it’s a good sign he’s interested. Is he telling you he’s interested but he’s blinking a lot and looking at other things? That’s a complete red flag.
That’s just one of many techniques you’ll learn inside our Love with Behavioural Profiling program. We want you to feel safe and secure when you’re dating. Being able to read a person in six minutes or less is a great way to achieve that.
It’s backed by military-grade research and will equip you with the skills you need to find the perfect match. And with the laser-focused communication skills you’ll learn, you’ll even be a whizz at maintaining your next relationship.
Check out the program and then hop over to our Facebook group and tell us your experiences of online dating under COVID-19!