Dating online interests rise during pandemic

By Kayla Mish, Staff Writer

As social events and classes have mostly moved online due to the COVID-19 precautionary practices, students are struggling to meet potential partners. Unlike in the past where students could go out to bars or join clubs to meet new people, students are relying on other measures to find a date.

Courtney Steele, senior in Engineering, said that she has found that she wanted to date and meet new people now more than ever but was struggling at first to meet people. 

“There’s nowhere to meet anyone new, and you’re not going to join a bunch of new clubs right now because it’s already hard enough just doing classes. The hardest part is having nowhere to go,” Steele said.

She said that she has relied on meeting people through friends of friends.

Others have found that the pandemic changed their dating style, making them realize they are looking for stability over casual dating.

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Cassidy Marcuo, freshman in LAS, said her perspective on dating has changed since the start of the pandemic.

“I am less willing to meet someone very casually and want to hang out with them or go on dates. It’s kind of like after the first date, I’m either like ‘yeah, that went really well’ or ‘it’s not worth it’,” Marcuo said.

She elaborated on how her dating experience wasn’t really what she expected in college.

“I rely a lot more on dating apps than I would’ve thought going to college, just because in my mind the ideal way to meet someone would be at a coffee shop or at a bar, but I’ve definitely relied more on Tinder and Bumble to meet people,” Marcuo said.

She also mentioned how she has kept COVID precautions in mind.

“I think there is a lot bigger or a barrier to get over before you want to trust someone and let them in your bubble,” Marcuo said.

On the other hand, Caroline Wheeler, senior in Media, has been lucky in finding her partner in the pandemic through Tinder. She said she doesn’t think online dating is all that bad due to the benefits of someone crafting their own dating bio.

“It allows you to see people how they portray themselves, instead of just your impression of them on the street. People’s profiles say a lot, like just what they write or the pictures that they choose,” Wheeler said. “It’s not just how they look but what they choose to go on their profile says a lot about them.”

She also said she isn’t that surprised that dating apps have become one of the most popular ways to meet people. She said that the pandemic may have caused people to realize they are lonely and want to connect online more.

“I feel like there probably was a big spike out of like boredom or because like people are looking for that kind of connection,” Wheeler said.

With limited options for meeting up and COVID-19 safety measures in place, students have no been finding many opportunities to meet people safely.

John Kroen, sophomore in LAS, said that he has had to get a lot more creative in the way he decides to go on dates.

He has done things like meet people outdoors in public spaces and go to restaurants that are having indoor and outdoor seating.

Not only has it changed the dating world for singles, but for those in relationships, the start of the pandemic presented difficulty.

Ksenia Polyarskaya, junior in FAA, has been in a relationship since her freshman year of college and when they first went home at the start of the pandemic, they didn’t see each other for months.

Before the pandemic, their typical date nights included going to museums or indoor dining. Since these activities are no longer options, when they did start to see each other, they went on long walks with their masks on and talked a lot over video.

Matthew Carroll, junior in LAS, said he usually relies on meeting people in his classes or going out, but now he has had very few opportunities to do that.

“Dating has become harder in the pandemic; your options are really only close friends or people you meet online,” Carroll said.

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