We can’t necessarily call these times “unprecedented” anymore, given that the coronavirus pandemic has been a fixture in our lives for over six months now. That doesn’t mean, though, that we’ve figured out how to do…well, anything, that we did in the Before Times.
This is especially true with dating during the pandemic. Thanks to dating apps we’re able to connect and chat with a seemingly endless amount of people, but rules about when and where and how to actually meet up remain frustratingly nebulous.
As of now, they’re different for everyone. One person you meet on an app may be eschewing social distancing best practices entirely while another may not have left their house since March. How can we know who’s on the same page as us?
Match is launching Match Dates to help solve that problem.
Similar to Hinge’s Date from Home feature, Match will prompt you and ask if you’re ready to move to the next step if a conversation looks promising. The pop-up allows you to share how you’re feeling about someone without the potential awkwardness of your match not reciprocating.
This feature also makes sense considering the data. In a survey conducted with over 5,000 Match users, the overwhelming majority — 93 percent — said they’d like to know if someone on a dating app is as into them as they are. More than half, 66 percent, have wrongfully assumed a match’s interest level.
Once both people are ready, the profiles move to “Dates,” a dedicated section of the app. From there, you’ll learn about your match’s dating preferences like how they prefer to social distance, what their ideal first date is, and the like.
In initial testing of the Dates feature of around 15,000 users, 96.5 percent are open meeting in person while only a slight fewer people (91 percent) are open to wearing a mask. While 92 percent of men are open to a hug hello, only 71 percent of women are.
Match launched Dates to align with how the pandemic has shifted the dating landscape, according to its press release.
“People have been soul searching and have a clear vision on what they want in a relationship and, therefore, are more serious about dating with the goal of finding a meaningful connection,” the release states. “As dating is viewed as a means to an end now more than ever before, Match added Dates to help users identify strong connections and focus on potential relationships.”