Covid-19, Computer Mediated Communication, Emerging Adults, Dating


In recent months, the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) has swept across the globe, causing several countries to impose quarantines and social distancing measures for indeterminate amounts of time. This study investigates how dating has changed since the enforcement of social distancing due to Covid-19, specifically for Portland residents between 21 and 30 who were using mobile dating apps prior to Covid-19 and who continued to use them during the pandemic. I interviewed five Portland singles between the ages of 21-30 who use a variety of dating apps such as Tinder, Grindr, and Hinge, with one 30 minute semi-structured interview with each participant.Three essential themes emerged across the interviews which allude to how dating through dating apps has changed since the onset of Covid-19: social distancing did not hinder the desire to form intimate connections, the idea of socially distant dating was interesting though many gave up after an attempt, and though people still met up, there was guilt around the experience. Although these themes suggest how attitudes toward dating among emerging adults has changed since the onset of enforced social distancing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the habits themselves appear unchanged.This research suggests that during the first three months of Covid-19, Portland residents aged 21-30 still felt the desire to seek intimate connections and did so in quarantine by social distance dating or meeting up in person. There was, however, a collective guilt felt for breaking social distancing mandates. Although dating habits seem to have not changed dramatically, the potential rise in guilt and anxiety may have implications on the future of dating. This suggests how single individuals might be coping with the social isolation created by the pandemic, which is fundamental to understanding the inevitable and permanent changes brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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