Online Dating: How to successfully date during coronavirus lockdown

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You may be surprised to read this, but a global pandemic may not be all bad news for your love life. If you have wanted to get the hang of online dating, or have a habit of rushing into relationships, then social distancing could provide an opportunity to improve your dating life. Express.co.uk chatted to Match’s dating expert, Hayley Quinn, to find out how you can successfully date while in lockdown.

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Not being able to meet face to face other than a walk at two metres doesn’t sound like it’ll do your love life any favours. b

However, that might not be the case. Online dating site Match says users are now spending an average of seven hours a week dating online, so your Mr or Mrs Right could be out there waiting for you to swipe right!

Hayley said: “Social distancing hasn’t done much to dampen people’s desire to meet and connect during this time.

“If anything, our need for human (virtual) interaction is even greater at this time.

“Online dating site Match recently reported that users are now spending an average of seven hours a week dating online.”

Hayley added: “Although you may not be able to meet them right now, other than a distanced stroll in the park,dating slowly and getting to know someone before you meet actually has some real benefits.

“If you feel like sometimes your good qualities are overlooked, or you’re somehow always picking the wrong people to form relationships with, then going back to basics and spending time getting to know someone over a period of time will help you to form more meaningful connections.”

READ MORE- Date night during quarantine: Best date night ideas during lockdown

Online Dating: How to successfully date during coronavirus lockdown

Digital Dating: Digital dating could secure you a potential new partner (Image: Getty)

Online Dating: How to successfully date during coronavirus lockdown

Dating: You don’t need to meet up to realise you have a connection with someone (Image: Getty)

Top conversation starters

Choose your words (and emojis) wisely.

Hayley advised: “When you’re starting a conversation online you want to avoid doing either of these two things.

“Firstly, don’t send a half-hearted, ‘cut and paste’ first message.

“‘How are you?’ or ‘Lovely smile!’ are not only hard to respond to but they come across as very generic and imply you haven’t put a lot of thought into the message.

“Secondly, avoid going to the other extreme of sending a very long message about who you are and asking someone out right off the bat.

“Your first goal is to get a response, and you don’t want to ask someone on a date (or video call) before you’ve had the opportunity to connect with each other on a deeper level.

“Instead, pick up on something specific in the other person’s profile to respond to.

“Also, try to use some humour as this is a good way to show off your personality which can be hard to convey through words alone.”

Online Dating: How to successfully date during coronavirus lockdown

Dating: New stats from Match have shown people spend around seven hours a week on dating apps (Image: Getty)

Put together a stellar bio

Your bio is the make-or-break factor in winning a match.

Hayley said: “It’s very important that you always complete your bio!

“Without this additional information, it makes it tricky for people to tell if you are being sincere and offers little conversation starters.

“However, there are some dos and don’ts you should be aware of when filling out your profile.

“Try to avoid online dating clichés like, ‘Not quite sure what I’m doing on here!’ and keep it light-hearted.

“Complaining about previous bad online dating experiences or aggressively warning off anyone who isn’t prepared to commit to a full-on conversation won’t portray you in the best light.

“So try to write your profile in a conversational tone, as if you were speaking to someone who was sat in front of you.

“And don’t forget to include at least one sentence about what you’re looking for.

“This will help you to save time on matches you are fundamentally incompatible with.”

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Picking a dating app

There are more than 1,500 dating apps or websites out there, so how do you choose?

Hayley said: “When it comes to choosing which site to use, I would pick one that’s reputable and that has a large user base, particularly if you live in a regional area.

“An app like Match asks you to create a detailed profile to help you to connect with people who are as serious about starting something real as you are.

“However, it is important to remember that whatever app you are using, you stay proactive.

“If you create a great profile, upload at least three profile pictures and aren’t afraid to message first, then you will soon start to reap the rewards.”

Online Dating: How to successfully date during coronavirus lockdown

Dating: Pour yourself a drink and act like you’re in a bar on a real-life date (Image: Getty)

How to date someone virtually

We can no longer meet up with matches for a drink, or suss them out over dinner.

Hayley talks you through how to take the next step with a match from a dating site or app.

She said: “Video dates, if you’re comfortable doing them, can be a great way to build a connection whilst you can’t meet in person.

“They’re the closest you will come to a real date without actually meeting face-to-face but are less pressurised as you can get to know someone from the comfort and safety of your own home.”

Online Dating: How to successfully date during coronavirus lockdown

Dating: Voice notes and phonecalls are another way to get to know someone without breaking social distancing rules (Image: Getty)

If you don’t fancy getting that intimate just yet, there are a few other options.

Hayley said: “If the thought of FaceTiming a stranger makes you cringe then there are other ways to get to know someone.

“You can of course just use a traditional phone call if it’s the video part that makes you feel uneasy.

“Lots of messaging apps also allow you to send voice notes which are more personal than a text, but not as high pressure as a call.

“Remember that anyone worth dating will be respectful of your boundaries and will be happy to get to know you at your own pace, so never feel forced into a date even if it’s virtual.”


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