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Virtual vs real: Study reveals how Indians date in the ‘new normal’

The study mentions that 38 per cent of Indian millennials said they have been able to get to know their matches better through virtual dating.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: October 11, 2020 8:16:35 pm
Online dating app OkCupid recently gathered insights on how the current times have changed the way millennials have been dating in the current months. (Photo: Getty)

COVID-19 has eclipsed a lot many experiences for us — going out on dates happens to be one of them. Despite the country witnessing various stages of unlocks, people continue to stay at home, which means that not only has our work moved online, but our romance has as well. With online dating witnessing a boom, a study done by online dating app OkCupid shows how the current times have changed the way individuals interact with each other.

The data was gathered from approximately 15,000 respondents over the last few months. A staple insight from the study has been that 2020 is the year when romance was reignited (romance in courtship), with 85 per cent of users believing that before one moves to having a physical touch, it is important to establish an emotional connect. This has resulted in many millennials opting for virtual dating, which allows their emotions to thrive.

READ| Virtually yours: Looking for the perfect quarantine date

Virtual dating has resulted in investing in more emotional connections than physical ones. (Photo: Getty)

“While the pandemic has changed the way we live, matters of the heart still find a way. What makes it exciting is that it has given people time to kick-back, relax and connect in a more meaningful way. They are taking this time to make a conscious decision to keep the conversation rolling only with someone whom they are actually interested in to take it forward,” Dr Rachna Khanna Singh, in-house relationship expert with OkCupid said.

READ| Being young in times of lockdown: Online classes, virtual dates and more

When the pandemic was still unfolding in the first half of 2020, at least 74 per cent of single Indians on the app was set to go out on dates and meet in-person. But, with the intensity increasing, now 91 per cent of users want to date virtually. This allows them to invest emotionally, because this is where one cannot compromise. Dr Singh added: “I truly believe that there’s no time like the present to dial it back and reignite slow-dating.”

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While virtual dating can seem boring, because there’s only so much you can do on phone, the study suggests otherwise. Thirty-eight per cent of Indian millennials said they have been able to get to know their matches better through virtual dating! And while 32 per cent feel there is less pressure, 30 per cent are just glad they can wear pajamas on a date!

READ| Dating in the millennial era: Love vs hookups

Additionally, virtually dating brings back the old-school romance, with 38 per cent of women confessing that they would still like to take things slow and interact virtually even in a post-pandemic world, as against 25 per cent men who said the same. Last but not the least, the study also mentions that until there is a preventative cure or a reliable vaccine, majority of the men — 48 per cent — and 58 per cent of women will continue to hold safety as a prime responsibility, which means not considering travelling at all.

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