Covid might have negatively impacted dating, but here's why you shouldn't lose hope

Several findings are proof that there's light at the end of the tunnel

A couple in an embrace and wearing bright purple clothing standing infront of a bright orange wall
(Image credit: Getty Images / Flashpop)

Dating is not without its challenges, and throwing a global pandemic into the mix only makes the process more trying. 

Unsurprisingly, 2020 and beyond continues to wreak havoc on our love lives. We're experiencing dating burnout—which feels infinitely worse when we're stuck at home with nowhere to go. 

Some of us are guilty of hesitdating. We're caught in limbo and not quite sure what to do relationship-wise, given the ever-changing rules and regulations. 

Then, we have the total opposite with those fast-forwarding so quickly that their relationships go from casual to committed in seconds, oftentimes before they're ready for the next step. 

To be frank, we're all over the place—from worrying about dating green flags and online dating tips to whether masks protect you against the Delta variant if you finally go on a date.

How dating has been affected by Covid

According to a new study from WooDate, an app that helps you plan dates virtually and in-person in the California Bay area, the current health climate has taken a toll on us in the romance department. We won't sugarcoat it: some of the statistics can feel a little disheartening.

Polling 1,000 participants from 10 cities—those who are single (46%), living with a partner (17%), married (34%), and unspecified (3%)—the company uncovered the results below, among others: 

  • 55% of all respondents said their dating lives are worse than before the pandemic
  • People are going on 29% fewer dates per month
  • 64% find it harder to plan dates
  • 28% feel less motivated to go out

Things might feel bleak, but we're not about to lose hope. There are additional statistics from WooDate that suggest there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

"I think there's going to be a dating surge [post-Covid], I really do," says Daniel Ferras, CEO of WooDate. "I think we have some time before we get there, but people are going to get tired of sitting inside."

32% are more willing to try new experiences

Rather than get stuck in the same rut—takeout from the local Italian restaurant, coffee at the same cafe—people are feeling more inclined to step outside of their comfort zones post-pandemic. 

"There's a desire to get out there," Ferras adds. "Now when the windows open up, they want to try this new event, they want to try new food and I think there's a positive coming out of that."

Expect the status quo routine to be shaken up when the time is right. 

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(Image credit: Getty Images / Stephen Zeigler)

24% want to get out as much as possible to make up for lost time

Sure, we might be forced to endure Zoom calls for the moment, but ultimately when the time comes to get back out, we'll feel ready for what lies ahead.

"It's about having a conversation with yourself, making priorities and looking at the bigger picture," says Jaime Bronstein, relationship therapist, coach and host of “Love Talk Live” on LA Talk Radio. "There are opportunities, it's just about your own personal journey."

Plus, those virtual calls during Covid have surprisingly made romantic connections deeper. 

"There's a big thing about intentional dating," Ferras adds. "People are getting to know each other before going on the dates, so hopefully it's a more positive experience."

25% spend more time planning what to do for the dates

Research can be a bit more time-consuming, seeing as locations have closed, adjusted their hours, and changed their safety guidelines, but there's a reason to enjoy this additional homework. 

More time exploring—and yes, even calling on the phone to confirm a reservation, a prehistoric notion—leads to new discoveries and experiences. Who knew that great place was just around the corner this whole time?

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(Image credit: Getty Images / Bobbi Lockyer/Refinery29 Australia - We Are Many Image Gallery)

Tips for dating during the pandemic and post-Covid

Things are difficult right now, but a positive mindset can work wonders. Feel your emotions, the good and the bad, but don't let the setbacks while dating during Covid consume you.

"When we carry around this negative energy, it just attracts more experiences that validate that negativity," Bronstein says. "You can consciously make the shift into being more positive—you have to believe something is going to work out for you in order for it to work out."

In order to break that vicious cycle, the dating expert recommends acknowledging those feelings and taking action to move forward on a positive note. 

"Instead of feeling like a victim, start shifting into believing mode, in trusting mode."

 She adds, "You are going to meet your person, whether Covid happened or not."

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.