NEW DELHI: With the COVID-19 pandemic putting a spanner in socialising, activity on dating apps has gone up.
Matches on OkCupid have increased by 10 per cent worldwide since March 2020, and many of its users are allowing love to bloom online.
With conversations having increased on its platform by over 20 per cent, a new form of virtual dating ushers in the era of "slow dating" for single people.
"Virtual dating brings the focus on the quality of conversations and time spent together, making it easier to figure out whether the person you're talking to is compatible with you. When it comes to planning virtual dates, both men and women prefer sharing activities as well as drinks and dinner," OkCupid said in a statement.
Asked how they plan on dating in the time of coronavirus, around 9 on 10 Indians said they will continue to date, albeit virtually.
What are the most popular forms of virtual dates in India? For 33 per cent men and 42 per cent women, it's messaging and texting; for 32 per cent men and 13 per cent women, it's video-chatting; and almost 27 per cent men and 21 per cent women are relying on good, old-fashioned phone calls.
More women than men are also waiting to date till the pandemic is over, the findings said.
When asked what their ideal virtual date activity is, India showed a clear preference for a meal and drinks, connected by technology.
Forty-one per cent Indian millennials chose dinner or drinks; 22 per cent prefer watching a movie or TV show together, and 19 per cent opted for online games and activities.
OkCupid also said that almost 1 in 3 individuals feels less pressure in dating virtually, and 30 per cent are just glad they can wear pyjamas to a date.
"When people can't meet in person they still find a way to date. In fact, there have actually been over 50 million intro messages sent across the world on OkCupid over the last month among daters connecting for the first time. With restaurants, bars, gyms, offices, and entertainment establishments around the world all temporarily closed, people are looking for human connection now more than ever before. We don't have to go through this isolation period completely alone," OkCupid CEO Ariel Charytan signed off.