TEMPLE, Texas — The last twelve months have been tough, especially for single people. In this week's Your Best Life, 6 News Anchor Leslie Draffin spoke with a representative from Bumble, a popular dating app, about how COVID-19 has changed the way we connect and ways we can safely date while social distancing.
"COVID and this concept of quarantining and getting to know one another virtually has seriously changed the way that everyone's dating and connecting and getting to know one another," said Priti Joshi is the VP of Marketing Strategy and Operations for Bumble.
The popular dating app is headquartered in Austin. Joshi has seen two trends emerge when it comes to connections during the quarantine.
"The first is around virtual dating. No surprises there, but really this idea that getting to know somebody through kind of virtual technology is just as effective if not more effective than getting to meet IRL," Joshi said.
The second, according to Joshi, is a trend she called “slow dating.”
"Basically what we're seeing our daters do is be more deliberate, more kind of tempered in the way that they're getting to know one another and being a little bit slower in taking things into a more IRL [in real life] sense. And they're spending time building the foundation and building their relationship with one another before they decide to meet up in person," she said.
For those who haven't used Bumble, it's an app where you can find a date, find a friend or connect with other business owners. In date mode, women make the first move in heterosexual relationships.
"Our daters have a very real sense of optimism as they are heading into this year and even, especially now between this period you know kind of right now, up until Valentine's Day, where a lot of our daters are saying that they feel pretty optimistic that this is their year to find their match," Joshi said.
Throughout this pandemic, many users have turned to Bumble BFF to find friends because connection has been so hard.
Joshi said, "A lot of our users are really looking for platonic relationships, they're looking for somebody that they can, you know, cook a meal, with somebody that they can talk about the latest book that they're reading, they can take a potentially virtual fitness workout class with and so we're seeing that our users are definitely using BFF, in addition to our other modes like date mode, to find those connections and kind of fill that need for human connection in a time when a lot of us don't have access to that."
On Bumble you can now filter matches based on COVID-19 safety. You can let people know you're only looking for virtual meetups or that you'd be okay meeting in person while masking up or social-distancing. But Joshi also offered some interesting COVID-19 safe date ideas she's used herself and seen Bumble users practice.
"They will select their favorite restaurant that they, you know, frequent often, or they'll select their favorite happy hour spot and they will have food or cocktail kits delivered to each location and then both will join into a virtual date and will either eat that dinner cook that dinner, make that cocktail and really engage in an activity while they're also getting to know one another. Go to the other person's house and would call them and they would talk on the phone and they would see one another through the window," Joshi said.
So how do you make your profile stand out? Joshi said to first upload a variety of photos. Second, be authentic. Third, let people know where you'll travel when COVID-19 is over.
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