LOUISVILLE, Ky. — According to the dating app Bumble, 56% of daters say they think 2021 is “their” year for love.
However, finding love in the time of COVID-19 isn’t the same as it was pre-pandemic. Like so many things in 2020, dating has gone virtual.
Greg Francisco moved back to Louisville last February after living in Florida for a year. He didn’t have time to get settled in before quarantine set in, let alone try to start dating.
But once he did, it was much different.
“It's difficult," Francisco said. "You know, because there's not as much to do.”
We’ve been advised against going out and inviting new people into our pods, to prevent the spread of the virus.
When the pandemic first started, people stopped dating, but after a while dates began happening again.
“There's loneliness [that] sets in, people want to meet people and create those connections,” matchmaker Amanda Rose said.
Rose owns Prestige Connections, a matchmaking service that started in Louisville but has grown nationwide.
“We want to kind of make dating fun and easy again, instead of just swiping back and forth online,” Rose said. “But usually we are out recruiting for our clients so we're looking for the best dates,”
Not only has recruiting moved online, but where people are dating has changed as well.
“We used to…set up all in person dates,” Rose said. “Now we give people the option. If you want to do a Zoom date, [or] are you okay in person.”
Rose is now using social media and virtual events to find matches for her clients, when she and her team used to find them in person.
One thing Rose has found during this time is daters are looking for love that’s going to last.
“People are more intentional about dating right now there's more authentic conversation,” Rose said.
Francisco is focusing on things other than dating right now, waiting for a little bit more normalcy to return.
“It actually requires a lot of thought and energy to come into things that two people want to do, especially early on,” Francisco said.
Rose’s advice is even if you’re tired of the dating apps aren’t aren’t having any luck, all it takes is finding that one person, and you might find yourself falling in love.
Prestige Connections’s event company is putting on a singles virtual speed dating event in Louisville for Valentine’s Day, you can check it out here.