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Is slow dating among millennials the silver lining of COVID-19?

<br>”The year 2020 has been nothing like I expected when celebrating it on January 1. Dining tables do double duty as office desks, weekend plans are now Zoom calls with family and friends, and going out has become a stroll to the kitchen pantry. To me, this has been a time to reflect on my goals and dreams and make space for them,” Hobley told IANSlife over email.

On the work front, Hobley reflects that for singles across the world, one of those resolutions in the year has been to find love and millennials in India have proved that love will never be locked down. What used to be a casual coffee date or romantic dinner date night or long drive is now long hours of chatting, video calls, and FaceTime, leading to meaningful conversations that spark an emotional connection – all from the safety of our comfortable homes.

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“There are millions of millennials across the globe quarantining at home alone or with their families, friends and roommates. This practice of social distancing has set in a void leading to a strong impulse and a real desire to fill it by meeting new and interesting people. Millennials are looking forward to forming new bonds with their kind of people and online dating gives them one such exciting avenue with the safety of social distance,” Hobley shared.

This urge, needless to say, has led to a massive spike in the user base for dating apps globally.

On OkCupid, 91 per cent Indian users are still looking to date virtually resulting in a 26 per cent increase in conversations on the app. According to the app's CMO, it is going to be interesting to hear “how we met” stories of millennials who matched with their partners and built strong connections through virtual dating.

This change in pace has brought back the best parts of courtship. By slowing down dating, millennials are discovering love through long, meaningful moments apart.

“Users on OkCupid are taking more time reading profiles to connect with people on the same wavelength, discussing the important things – values, beliefs and quirks (and the odd Hogwarts's House, which if you ask me is super important!) with time on their hands, millennials are getting to know each other and forging emotional connections.

“The fact that geography, visas and expensive air tickets, are not a barrier anymore for singletons, it is helping them interact with people across the globe and engage in diverse conversations with the most diverse set of people. To the surprise of dating apps, this trend of meeting people in different countries and geographical locations is proving to be a massive hit where more and more millennials are using the feature to learn more about different cultures and diversity,” Hobley notes.

With virtual dating in vogue, millennials are leaving no stones unturned and are being super creative. They are not letting the pandemic come in the way of finding innovative ways of spending time with a partner of their choice virtually.

However, in all this excitement, the official suggests a few things to steer away from. “Stay inside and do not make plans to meet offline in a rush. This is important for everyone's safety and health.” With “getting swept away while staying put”, dating might never be the same again, she signs off.

(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS<br>sj/tb/

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