Online Dating 101: How to Find Love during the Circuit Breaker in Singapore
Lockdowns and quarantines happening around the world may be putting a toll on couples living separately, but the online dating scene for singles appears to be more vibrant than ever. In 2019, the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD), which is a ministry-level department in the Prime Minister's Office, conducted a series of online polls on topics relating to dating and marriage.
According to one survey, six in 10 respondents used dating apps or websites to find love, making it one of the most popular ways to meet someone new, while four in ten agreed that online dating is a more effective way to meet new people.
And now, with a majority of the population stuck indoors, the only place to go for companionship is online—where socially-starved singles may be more likely to swipe right.
If you’re new to online dating, we’ve got you covered—here’s a guide to dating in the age of coronavirus.
Find your match
With so many dating apps in the market, where should you find love? According to a report published in February by mobile analytics platform App Annie, the top dating apps amongst consumers in Singapore are Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, OkCupid, Tantan, and iDates, respectively. The perks of using a popular app are that you’re ensured a bigger pool of potential dates to choose from, and these brands also tend to update their app more frequently for better usability and security.
The OG dating app that has made swiping a natural process of online dating—Tinder matches you with dates based on proximity. However, during this Covid-19 pandemic, the app has given users to option to swipe around the world for free with the Passport feature, previously only accessible for paying users. Other similar location-based apps include Tinder’s Asian counterpart Tantan, which has been growing wildly popular, as well as iDates.
If you’re looking for a stronger connection however, Coffee Meets Bagel touts itself as an app for slow dating. To eliminate “swipe fatigue”, the app introduces a selection of people daily under the suggested section, and fine-tunes its algorithm with each like or pass in order to find you the best potential match. The app has even started organising Coffee Talks—small-group video chats to connect users based on age and location.
On the other hand, OkCupid matches singles based on a comprehensive survey on your opinions towards topics like politics, religion, financial debt and more, and what you expect from your match. A compatibility percentage is then displayed on the profile of your potential dates.
Stay connected outside of the app
Once you’ve found your match, the next step is to take your conversations off the dating app. If you’re concerned about sharing your phone number so soon, messaging platforms like Telegram, Line, and WeChat offer the option to add contacts based on usernames.
You can voice or video call to know your new date better—and ensure they’re not cat-fishing you—and these apps also offer mini-games that you can play together to break the ice.
(Related: TikTok’s Time: All About The Video Platform That Has Entertained Many During Covid-19 Lockdowns)
Arrange a (virtual) date
Found the one but still stuck indoors? There are plenty of virtual date ideas both newly-minted and long-term couple can enjoy—your creativity is the only limit.
Dining out is no longer an option, but you can take a leaf from one Jeremy Cohen, a photographer who went viral for his story about meeting a girl on a rooftop across the street from him. Jeremy surprised his date with dinner sent to her home, which they enjoyed together over FaceTime. Set up your own socially-distant dinner date via video call and get dressed up for the occasion.
Watch a movie together via Netflix Party or screen-sharing on Discord, or you can watch Youtube and TikTok together via social app Squad.
If you’ve found rapport previously playing mini-games on the messaging apps, consider arranging a date playing co-op games like Stardew Valley, Overcooked, Don’t Starve Together, or Animal Crossing: New Horizons—the latest Switch game that has become an international phenomenon.
Link up both of your social circles with popular apps like Houseparty or Plato, which features fun and engaging party games. You’ll get to know your date better based on how he interacts with others—and who knows? You might just set a friend up for a potential match from your date’s pool of friends.