- Meredith Golden is a professional dating coach and dating profile ghostwriter.
- Recently, she says her inbox has been flooded with inquiries from the newly vaccinated.
- Darma, her new app, provides post-date feedback and includes a ‘closure’ button to prevent ghosting.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A few weeks ago, my inbox suddenly started filling up with inquiries about my dating profile and coaching services, prompted by the combination of warmer weather and the COVID-19 vaccine rollouts.
While everyone who’s spent the past year at home alone is eager to make up for lost time, those on the vaccination priority list – the 65+ age group and those with pre-existing medical conditions – are like bulls rushing out of the gate ready to get back into the dating arena.
These days, ‘vaccinated’ is the hottest detail you can add to your dating app bio.
Now I see vaccine status updates on every three to four profiles out there. It’s become a badge of honor as well as a great conversation starter.
People are not only mentioning they’ve been vaccinated, they’re also going into detail as to which vaccine they got and whether they’re half or fully vaccinated. Some even include an eye-catching 💉 emoji.
Sharing these types of details has become an easy way to convert a conversation to the next stage of the dating process. It’s truly become the ultimate pre-pandemic icebreaker to say, “Oh, look at us, we’re both vaccinated, we should go out and celebrate.”
As research continues to emerge regarding whether or not the vaccines fully prevent transmission of the virus, many singles still view someone who’s been vaccinated as a safer option.
The bottom line is if they’ve got two choices to date – between the unvaccinated, meaning a date who can pass on COVID-19, and the vaccinated, someone who likely won’t – it’s pretty obvious who looks like a more attractive candidate.
People are eager to date again without the fear they might wind up on a ventilator.
Safety isn’t the only factor though. People also want to make the best use of their time.
I’ve long considered video chats a smart screening tool, as they can help determine whether the person you’re talking to is worth meeting in person. It’s an easy and efficient way to advance a relationship, especially now that work has been reimagined and geography is no longer restrictive for most people.
This flexibility has made people more open to searching in different markets because they no longer have to board a flight and “meet” for the first time blindly. Technology is evolving the long-distance dating process in that respect.
One of my clients was initially very skeptical about using video chat. She was excited to advance with someone and meet him in person, saying “I think I like this one. He looks great.” However, I told her she couldn’t like him because she didn’t even know him, and encouraged her to have a video chat first. A few days later, I got a text saying, “Dodged a bullet with that one. Thank you!”
While video chat features were available long before the pandemic, they were often underutilized. Since COVID-19, more people have come to understand their value, and I believe video chats are now here to stay.
At the end of the day, singles invest a lot of time, effort, emotions, and resources when it comes to dating, so when they aren’t successful in terms of finding a match, it can leave them feeling frustrated and defeated.
After being isolated the past year, some singles are throwing their pre-COVID-19 requirements out the window.
People are ready to get back out there with a more open mind. Many didn’t miss the pain points that come along with dating, but know they can’t completely take themselves out of the market because they still want to meet someone. These types are re-entering the dating world with the mindset that dating is less of a priority than before.
One of my clients who had a lot of pre-COVID requirements clearly reconsidered as she wound up telling me, “If he’s over six feet and vaccinated, count me in!”
The pre-COVID-19 style of dating is still kind of a novelty at the moment. These early days and attitudes around dating will most likely be different six months from now or even by Labor Day, as people begin to make adjustments to their lifestyle and mindset.
Based on my work, while rejection may sting, the consensus is that singles would rather know a connection isn’t moving forward than be ghosted.
It’s typically the ambiguity and precariousness of dating that takes up a lot of brain space and creates anxiety. If you know the door is shut, your brain stops ruminating, the loop is closed, and you can move on. There’s a lot to be said for closure.
The fact is, while many dating apps do their best to match people, they don’t address common dating pain points, such as helping to provide appropriate feedback, a lack of manners, and a desire for closure.
After being a dating coach for more than five years, I decided to create a dating app called Darma that allows people to connect while also offering users the opportunity to receive confidential feedback and closure, something no other app does. Dating feedback can often reveal blind spots in dating or validate that you’re doing everything right. Either way, it’s helpful for a person to know.
If a single provides a cell number for their date, Darma follows up and asks for feedback from a series of pre-selected options ranging from your date’s table manners and punctuality to their attire and personal hygiene. There’s even a handy ‘closure’ button that allows you to fire off a preselected note rather than ghost someone.
Everyone wants more matches on a dating app because matches create opportunities.
The dating industry will still evolve post-COVID-19, and while not everyone can afford to hire me or another dating coach, not everyone needs to. I’ve learned through my work that many of the problems with dating can be easily solved with the assistance of technology.