Covid 19 Will Change Gay Dating

Gay Dating

5 Ways COVID-19 Quarantine Will Change Gay Dating

Mason Glenn

Written by: Mason Glenn

Mason Glenn

Mason Glenn has had a long career in the matchmaking industry and has spent his time helping high-caliber clientele in Los Angeles select eligible matches. He specializes in working with gay men.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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We are now forever changed

as humans when it comes to what we have experienced thus far in this COVID- 19 era. No matter what our political affiliation, we can all agree that this forced pause has allowed us to reevaluate our everyday lives in different ways.

It stands to reason that gay dating has also been affected, and you may see some changes that will either scare or excite you. Let me raise five ways that the quarantine may have altered your dating outlook.

1. People Will Be More Creative When Planning First Dates

Now that grabbing a casual drink after work has stopped being an easy option, I think a lot of individuals will invest more time on first dates. The question “Are you comfortable with [insert activity]?” will now be more of a norm when setting up a place for a first meeting.

Coming out of quarantine, most gay men will crave a need for safe physical interactions away from a digital platform. I read that human connection not only increases the quality, but also the longevity of life.

Photo of two men on a date

Right now, it’s all about outdoor activities, and I see that continuing.

Before the quarantine, the thought of taking a long hike with someone may have smacked of too much commitment. I think that a lot of people today would think that, even if the hiking date was a bit of a dud, at least you were outdoors and doing something active for the day.

The pandemic has taken convenience away from us for the time being, making engaging with people more difficult. That means that people are coming up with more clever ways of meeting, whether it’s via web conference or standing six feet apart on the front porch to chat.

2. Dating Apps are Becoming More of a Necessity

I have been studying dating app behavior during quarantine, and it’s been interesting to see the changes. A few major dating apps reported experiencing an increase in messaging around 20% or more. Additionally, 37% of American singles surveyed said they have reached out to an ex during this time (Facebook was the top method of reaching out). Of those individuals who reached out to an ex, 50% said they reignited with their old flame. I can vouch that I personally heard this from four of my close friends.

In my humble opinion, familiarity outweighs an old standard. The bottom line is that people are craving a sense of community outside of their family members and best friends.

A lot of dating apps have offered free membership access ,introduced features that expand ways to geographically connect with others, and lifted certain filtering preferences. For one dating app, there was an 84% increase in voice calls and video chats compared to calling activity two weeks earlier during quarantine.

This is the future, folks, and it is here to stay. We normally don’t ever pick up the phone anymore, but maybe you’ll leave a video message instead to get a more accurate energy read on your potential date.

3. Dates Will Be Less About Drinking and Partying and More About Hiking, Dinner Parties, and Digital Meetups

I can only speak for myself when I say that being in quarantine has taught me to be more still. Balancing my timing and schedule was a huge stress on my emotional well-being before the COVID-19 pandemic. I think a lot of gay men will see the distinct power in being more in solitude and doing fewer things.

For me, the point of going out with a group of close friends is a comfortable, communal thing. I love sharing food, giving hugs, and picking out a cool new bar to mosey to after our meal.

Photo of man thinking

Since nightlife activities have been limited due to the quarantine, singles will focus on more calm, quiet activities to do together.

Unfortunately, our mindset has completely shifted. We may be worried about getting a required reservation, using the bathroom during dinner, being tensely greeted by our fully masked and gloved waiter, and worrying about our friend who may or may not have washed his or her hands recently.

I think, for a while, we’ll continue to find community by doing fewer things that involve spending money on nightlife activities. We’ll turn to things that are virtual or something like smaller group game nights, dinner parties, or outdoor recreational gatherings.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned about myself by reading, studying for a new certification, and taking time to enjoy nature without so much mental noise. Most gay guys want a partner who has a good balance of thriving in their own independence and external entertainment.

4. Your “Going Out Community” May Decrease

A friend of mine compared his recent dwindling of his friend circle during quarantine to the solar system. You are Earth. Your super close family and friends are the moon. There’s no Earth without the moon, and there’s no moon without the Earth. They need each other. That connection won’t be broken.

Your Venus friends, the people you see from time to time and maybe check in on infrequently, will make the cut. Your Mercury friends, well, they will be burned up by the sun.

Additionally, I was reading an article about someone’s stance on people checking in on their tribe during quarantine. The author said they see this as very narcissistic. I think your true friends will always check in on you in some capacity, but in their own rhythm. The expectation will always be there, and you’ll always feel accounted for naturally.

In terms of dating, I think singles going out for drinks and hoping to get lucky may not be as successful. I think what will become more successful for singles will be looking to their true friend and family circle to play matchmaker.

5. For “Iffy” First Dates, You’ll Virtually Meet

Nearly one-third of American people in the study I mentioned earlier reported going on virtual dates during quarantine.

When I was actively single, I remember scheduling became an issue for me with a couple of guys, so we decided to exchange numbers and video chat instead. I will forever be grateful for that experience because, although both guys were attractive to me, there was no mutual chemistry whatsoever. I’m so glad I didn’t waste time rushing across town to park and grab a drink when things could have been settled in a 15-minute conversation.

Photo of video date

People are learning how to make the most of virtual dating.

My hypothesis is that this trend of first-meeting indifference will yield to something more noncommittal. I don’t see this as tainting the old-fashioned virtues of dating, but I see it as being pragmatic and understanding at both ends.

Not to Be Corny, But It’s About Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

This pandemic has been a bizarre time for most people, but it’s led many to take the unknown or unexpected and turn it into something manageable. As an optimist, I always think that one can turn something challenging into a positive.

Things (hopefully) won’t be like this for forever, but this COVID-19 life is our opportunity to make getting to know someone a priority when obstacles are thrown our way.

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