Out of thought came the word

Connecting Singles During The Coronavirus Lockdown - 90 Per Cent Of Online Daters Prefer Not To Meet Up

What effect is the COVID-19 pandemic having on the world of online dating? Amongst other things it means that singles now cannot meet up — but that may be just the way they like it. By Ben Arogundade. April 1, 2020.

CONNECTING SINGLES: For online daters, meeting up in person has all but ceased during the coronavirus pandemic, promoting the use of video calls instead. Could this lead to better matches when COVID-19 subsides?

HAS ONLINE DATING BEEN ADVERSELY AFFECTED by the coronavirus, now that men and women are unable to meet up during the lockdown? The answer is, not very much. Why? Because most online daters never actually go on dates anyway — a subject I discuss in my new bestselling online dating book. A survey of approximately 4,000 online dating US college students by LendEDU revealed that 71 per cent had never been on a date. Figures from research conducted by Queen Mary University are higher still. According to their study, 10 per cent or fewer of matches on ‘Tinder’ resulted in an actual meet-up.


When the numbers are this high, the primary objective that the apps had at start-up — to help people meet for sex or relationships — becomes critically eroded. Sociologist Michael Rosenfeld, who has studied the field, agrees: “Given how few actual face-to-face dates seem to be obtained through Tinder and the phone dating apps, it is possible that the main utility of phone dating apps for heterosexuals is for flirting or for browsing pictures, rather than for dating or for hooking up,” he says.


People mistakenly think that the coronavirus pandemic has created a pathological fear of meeting amongst online daters, but the truth is, that fear was already there. What COVID-19 has done is enhanced the need for connecting singles online via dating apps, and indeed other social platforms. Dating app firms will do well from the virus, boosting subscriptions amongst lonely, self-isolating singles.


For them, flirting digitally using online video, or exchanging texts with a stranger on a dating app, may be the only interactions they have in a whole day, and so they have become a vital link in the health and wellbeing of single people looking for strategies about how to cope with extended periods of isolation. Karen, an online dating friend I spoke to, told me that, “Talking to someone on one of the apps has now become an exciting part of my day, which makes me feel a bit less lonely.” Under these conditions conversations become more precious and valuable because we have suddenly been deprived of them under quarantine.

One positive outcome from this plethora of digital ‘interviews’ could be that the increased scrutiny improves the vetting process, potentially leading to better matches when the epidemic subsides and people can finally meet up again. Ironically, COVID-19 could be a blessing in disguise for singles looking for love online.


But those who use apps like Tinder to procure sex are finding it hard to do so in the shutdown. After 911, the fear people felt spawned “terror sex”, copulating in flight-or-flight mode in lieu of the apocalypse. But “Corona sex” is more rare, and is only for the reckless — having sex with an online dater while in fear of the virus and the ensuing disruption to civilisation. The thinking is, if you’re going to die, better to go out with a bang.

Discover more about online dating my new book. Available now at Amazon, (£9.99/$12.99)

My Terrifying,

Shocking, Humiliating,

Amazing Adventures

In Online Dating, by

Ben Arogundade


The Telegraph

“Extremely educational.”


“Intriguing and powerful.”

BBC Radio 5 Live

“Extraordinary and revelatory.”


Author Ben Arogundade recounts his journey as an online dater, during which time he was stood up, verbally abused, propositioned for sex and asked to be a father to an unborn child. Along the way he offers singles the secrets and best practices they need to know to boost the quality of their matches, and presents the latest strategies, research-based guidelines and innovations to take their online profiles to new levels of excellence. Get it now at Amazon, £9.99/$12.99.

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