By Marie Haaland // SWNS
Six in 10 Americans believe the COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed the dating game, according to new research.
The survey of 2,000 Americans revealed 63% believe dating will be forever altered as a result of the pandemic — and 31% believe virtual dates are here to stay.
Thirty percent think people will be more likely to turn to dating apps, and a goodnight kiss may have to wait for a second or third date: 44% believe there will be more caution used when touching and kissing on dates.
Results also revealed 66% believe the pandemic has been the biggest game-changer since the rise in online dating.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of WooPlus, a dating app for curvy people, the survey found quarantine did have some benefits for relationships: 57% believe the pandemic made it easier to reach the comfort zone with a partner.
The survey also delved into specifically what it means to reach the “comfort zone” with a partner and results revealed it takes an average of five months to fall into the comfort zone.
What does that mean? The top signs of the comfort zone were revealed to be sleeping in the same bed (48%), meeting a partner’s family (38%) and leaving the bathroom door open (37%).
Also in the top 20 signs were telling a partner a deep secret (36%), feeling comfortable not wearing makeup in front of them (32%) and sitting in silence without it being awkward (27%).
That’s in addition to being naked around the house together (28%), being comfortable around them while wearing only underwear (28%) and sharing personal details from childhood (27%).
The survey found 80% believe when they reach the comfort zone with a partner, they can truly be themselves.
“We believe entering into the comfort zone is a sign of a strong relationship — and results showed eight in 10 respondents agree,” said Neil Raman, the founder and CEO of WooPlus. “In the comfort zone, you can enjoy life with someone who loves you for you, appreciates your beauty, makes you feel unique, confident and be the best person you can be.”
Interestingly enough, half of respondents believe people can reach the comfort zone solely through virtual dates — without ever meeting in person.
With virtual dates, 32% think they’re forced to take things more slowly, and 38% said it’s actually easier to get to know someone when you’re not face-to-face.
Still, results revealed 67% agree that how you date — virtually or in person — isn’t as important as who you’re dating.
“Though the pandemic is upsetting the natural rhythms of dating and changing how you communicate with a new partner, that doesn’t mean we are locked out of love,” said Neil Raman. “The pandemic has opened the door for people to get creative with virtual dates, focus on forming an emotional connection and establish a ‘new normal’ for their dating lifestyle.
“But while some things are changing, others will remain the same: what we believe will never change is people’s desire to ignite a spark with a partner, build lively connections, create strong bonds and find love.”
WHAT DO RESPONDENTS BELIEVE WHEN IT COMES TO VIRTUAL DATES?
- The logistics of a date are easier (no splitting the bill, no wondering if you should kiss goodbye, etc.) 39%
- It’s easier to get to know someone when you’re not face-to-face 38%
- It’s cheaper than an in-person date (no dinner cost, etc.) 32%
- You’re forced to take things more slowly 32%
- It’s easier to connect with my date when it’s virtual 28%
TOP SIGNS YOU AND A PARTNER HAVE REACHED THE “COMFORT ZONE”
- Sleep in the same bed 48%
- Meet their family 38%
- Leave the door open when I use the bathroom 37%
- Tell them a deep secret 36%
- Shower at their place 36%
- Call each other pet names 34%
- Don’t wear makeup in front of them 32%
- Have them meet my family 32%
- Trust them to take care of my pet 30%
- Talk about having a future together (marriage, kids, etc.) 29%
- Take a trip together 29%
- Be naked around the house together 28%
- Be comfortable around them in my underwear 28%
- Sit in silence without it being awkward 27%
- Tell them personal details about my childhood 27%
- Talk about sexual fantasies/desires 26%
- Let them see me cry 26%
- Laugh at dumb things together 26%
- Let them see me in old/ratty clothes 24%
- Have them meet my close friends 23%