Two years ago, video dating seemed that it was meant only for those in long-distance relationships. Only about 6% of the dates were responded to via video before the pandemic.
But according to the tenth annual survey of singles in America (published in October 2020), 70% of respondents are already open to video dating – and enjoying it.
“This started out as a necessity during quarantine as people couldn’t meet, but we found that people were actually connecting via video and having more meaningful conversations.
Video dating has not only become more popular, it is ubiquitous. Many traditional online apps and dating sites have added interactive features that allow singles to send video or audio messages or make video calls on their platforms.
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Some singles recognized the benefits of video meetings before the pandemic. “Online dating has been the most popular way to meet same-sex partners since around 2000,” explains Dr. Lehmiller, cites a study published in the American Sociological Review in 2012. According to a 2019 study by the Pew Research Center, “lesbian, gay, or bisexual adults are about twice as likely as older people to report having used the site or dating apps – 55 percent versus 28 percent. Videos and other virtual encounters provide a safer way to identify other people of the same sexual orientation with less concern about homophobia,” said Dr. Lehmiller.
However, all the benefits of video dating do not add to the experience to replace face-to-face dating. While some may experience chemistry and connection via video, the connection will still have to pass a personal test.
Since it doesn’t look like video dating is going away anytime soon, here’s what researchers and experts have learned about long-distance dating over the past year.
1. Believe it or not, you can feel the spark from the video.
After Kyle Smith sent a few messages to Olivia Holmes, a woman he met at Bumble, he videochatted her. “We ended up talking for three hours,” he recalls. “Our conversations were very organic and as we laughed at the memories and quirks of childhood, we talked about our values and life goals. I was surprised to feel so much energy between us during video chats because I’ve always been skeptical about online dating. I had no idea that people could relate to someone on such a deep level if they had never met in person. “forward a few months later (on video and in-person dates) and the couple got engaged.
You are not alone. According to the Match study, 56% of respondents said they felt chemical during a video date, and 50% said they fell in love with a video.
This medium is effective because it allows us to share intimate details, where we feel chemistry and connection with others, explains Dr. Justin Lemiller, researcher at the Kinsey Institute and Lovehoney expert. Also, while a video date may not provide as much information as a face-to-face meeting, it does provide more information than a phone call or text or email exchange. When you see and hear your meeting, you can sense facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language. By learning so much about your date, you can determine whether it’s worth meeting them in person.
2. Relationships can fail in real life.
A real life date (IRL) can end a relationship that started digitally. Video dating offers more information than email or text, but doesn’t claim to be exhaustive. There are still gaps in how people appear on profiles or on screens and how they look in real life: According to a Pew survey, 70% of online dating users find it very common for other users to lie to be more desirable. appear.
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“We know from research that attraction is a multi-sensory process,” says Dr. Lehmiller. “It’s about visual appeal, but also a person’s voice, the feeling you feel when they put their hand on your shoulder, the smell and taste of their lips when you kiss them. Attraction occurs through all of these different senses. And when you meet people in practice, you can’t fully train them. “
It may be equally important that video dating does not reveal how people interact with other people, e.g. B. with the bartender, cashier or your friends and family. In general, “it’s easier to control what you share about yourself in a virtual environment,” says Dr. Lehmiller. “You can create a distorted image of yourself.
3. Video dating slows down the courtship process.
Makala Gentry and Ben Farris, who also met at Bumble, texted each other for three weeks before they had their first video meeting. Then they spend another month talking on the phone or video before meeting in person. Such a delay of IRL meetings, thanks in large part to video dating, are becoming more common. “We’re going to see less discussion early on,” said Dr. Lehmiller. “But what we see will be more meaningful because at that point the couple will decide that they like each other.” This “slow love” approach can work because if you take it very slowly, you build a strong emotional bond between them that can overcome the differences between the way one presents his or herself online and IRL.
In fact, 55% of Bumble women take longer to move the game offline, says Joshi. “Instead of exchanging a few messages and then meeting up for a drink, some people have a video meeting first and then get together for a simpler, more solitary meeting, like a walk around the neighborhood. We’re seeing more people video dates than something like “pre-meeting” or virtual dates before “IRL” dates. “
Even as cities begin to relax social distancing measures, he added, “Virtual connections will remain. In an internal Bumble survey, we found that one in four couples are open to video dating in the New Year. dr. Lehmiller: “We may see that online dating will continue to increase in the future as more and more parts of our lives become virtual.”