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RealMe Report Reveals 2 in 3 Online Daters Have Lowered Their Standards, Less Okay Being Single

New survey examines pandemic-driven online dating behavior and potential risks

Since the coronavirus was deemed a pandemic and social distancing has been mandated across the country, online dating has seen a significant increase in activity. A new survey commissioned by RealMe, a transformative technology offering a no-cost way to make people safer on dating apps, reveals the potential lasting impact of the coronavirus on online dating behaviors, including attitudes on loneliness and singledom in the “new normal.”

Survey findings revealed loneliness is an acute motivating factor for online daters, with 67% of respondents reporting they are “less okay” with being single during this time and a similar proportion increasingly worried about finding a partner. Survey results also showed 64% of respondents are less picky with their matches in quarantine due to their desire for companionship.

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“There’s no denying the pandemic is driving new online behaviors, which are here to stay,” says Mark Brooks, online dating expert and CEO of the Internet Dating Excellence Association (IDEA). “Ninety-five percent of respondents plan to continue at least one online dating behavior they developed during the pandemic, which implies the way we choose to find love and build connections has forever changed. In the ‘new normal,’ online daters will place more value on quality interactions that reduce feelings of loneliness. However, it’s worth noting, this newfound desire for companionship could lead users to ignore red flags and, therefore, make them more vulnerable to dating scams, as the inclination to misrepresent is on the rise, with three in four online daters admitting to lying on their profiles. This means there’s a higher burden on dating apps to authenticate, reduce risk, and provide more assurance.”

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Other notable findings from the survey include:

  • If social distancing stays in place for another few months, more than half of online daters report they will use dating apps more frequently. This number was especially high for millennials (64%).
  • Seventy-two percent of online daters feel more hesitant to have physical contact when meeting someone in person.
  • Over 76% of respondents invest more time in talking to the other person.
  • Over a third of respondents say they plan on having more meaningful conversations even after the pandemic is over.
  • Dating behaviors differ between personality traits, with specific profiles more inclined to display “red flag behaviors.” For example, 69% of less emotionally stable respondents are more worried about finding a new partner. Extraverts are more likely to spend more time on dating apps than introverts, with 75% claiming to use video chat features more frequently during the pandemic.
  • Nearly nine in 10 online daters wish they could obtain more information about the person they were talking to and would be more likely to meet up with them if their profile was “verified” via enhanced safety features, such as a reputation checker that pulls data from criminal records, lawsuits and financial documents.

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“The implications of the pandemic on online dating go way beyond a spike in user activity. It’s transforming the way people meet and connect with each other in the long term, but some of these newfound behaviors come with their own risks and security concerns,” says Neil Davis, RealMe Head of Dating. “That’s where RealMe can help – it’s a sophisticated, yet simple, platform to verify users and provides access to reputation information to reduce fraud and improve safety, while increasing trust in dating apps and other online marketplaces.”

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