Why the apps are getting more serious.
By pretty much all accounts, it’s bound to be a horny summer. Widespread vaccination access in the U.S. has finally made it easier for singles to escape their pods in search of a new lover—but some singles (recent or otherwise) are looking for something a little more long-term.
As Mashable reported in November 2020, dating apps started to notice different behavior during the pandemic. Pretty much every app saw an increase in engagement, as quarantined singles no longer had many opportunities for in-person meet-cutes. Fewer people seemed to be looking for hookups, and more seemed intent on finding their person. They spent more time getting to know people virtually before meeting in person, and they followed through on their plans: Hinge even reported a decrease in ghosting. If everyone around you seemed to be shacking up fast, you weren’t alone. COVID dating, for many, meant getting serious at the outset.
Of course, this data is focused on user data from last summer and early fall, so a few factors should be taken into consideration. The pandemic made virtual dating more of a thing than it had ever before, and safety precautions pretty much ruled out casual hookups. An actual relationship was more COVID-safe than an endless stream of first dates—and even though vaccinated people now basically have the OK from the CDC to get it on, plenty of singles will likely be spending their summer in search of love and not just satisfaction of lust.
It’s not just idealism or romanticism—there’s data, too. A study published in April by the Kinsey Institute found that 52 percent of singles are actively looking for a committed relationship next, and 64 percent said they’re less interested in having more than one partner at a time. An article published by Glamour UK in March 2021 shared Hinge’s finding that one in three single people now feel “more urgency” to find a partner.
For those who are vaccinated, public health concerns are now less of a factor in their dating, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t experience some change of mind throughout the pandemic, whether they attempted COVID-dating or not. Now, even with the free reigns to date as they please, they may crave the consistency, stability, and intimacy of a committed relationship—and they’re looking for love with new vigor.
So, if your hot vax summer is more about finding your perfect match and less about hot hookups (though those certainly a part of the search), never fear. Your person out there might just feel the same way.