MILWAUKEE — The search for love has not stopped just because of the coronavirus, but it does look different.
People can't go on dates to certain bars or restaurants and other date ideas, like mini-golf, aren't an option.
For some, it has meant forgoing an in-person meeting and having a first date over video chat. For others, the increased amount of time spent at home alone drives up that desire for human connection, so some are using dates apps more even if they aren't going on any dates.
Even though cities are beginning to ease stay-at-home restrictions and businesses are opening up, that doesn't mean dating will go back to normal. After all, not everyone is comfortable going out to public or crowded places yet.
So to learn about what people are doing, I downloaded Tinder, one of the more popular dating apps, and created a "professional" profile. Note: I was very clear as to what my intentions on the app were with the pictures I chose and the biography I wrote.
I began swiping and matched with people searching for love of all types.
Here are four people in their 20s from southeastern Wisconsin and their experiences with dating during the coronavirus.
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Have you gone on any video chat dates?
"I FaceTimed with I think three guys separately. I didn’t really have much in common with them, so that would have been three dates, but I did that all in one day," Pearl Davis said.
“No, not yet. I've like got a couple people snapchat,” LaQuan McMahan said.
"I have not, but I have heard of people doing that," Sarah Waara said.
“I have had one socially distant date. It was over FaceTime,” Bryan Nye said.
Do you use dating apps more now?
“It's nice to have someone to talk to, so, I'm probably more likely to respond to a message,” Waara said.
“My personal usage has stayed the same,” Nye said.
"Well, you're noticing people have more time on their hands, so they’re definitely using the hook-up apps more," McMahan said.
What's the hardest part about dating during the coronavirus pandemic?
"I think one of the hardest things is not being able to see someone and not being able to have that interaction with someone," Nye said.
"Probably just that it's just talking for so long and without, like, actually physically seeing each other," Waara said. "In the past I've talked to people for a long time and when you finally meet in person it seems weird."
Do you think video chat first dates dates will become more popular?
“I’ve been team video chat since the beginning, like six months ago. I’ve been for this even before corona,” Pearl Davis said.
"I think I can still do that with video chatting. it's just like I miss that intimate connection you get with, like, the one-on-one," McMahan said.
"I would do it again. I mean, I personally can not get a good sense of a person by just looking through a screen," Nye said.
What's the best pick-up line you've heard?
"'If coronavirus doesn't take you out, can I?' That's a pretty frequent one," Waara said.
"It's essentially like 'if you're sick stay inside, if you're thicc come over to my house' or something like that, but it rhymed," McMahan said.
Dating looks different during the coronavirus. How will people meet in the future is yet to be determined. Video chat dates are popular now, but who knows if that will be something to continue. In conversations with people who did not want to go on-camera for this interview, they mentioned they have or have heard of people going on walks as a first date.
As a side note, I went on a video chat first date, using my own personal profile and had nothing to do with this story, and it was a little different. You can't get the same vibe and experience from someone through a screen. However, I did have a nice time. But that's all I will say there because a gentlemen never Zooms and tells.