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Is In-Person Dating Going Out of Style?

By Lisa Striffolino

As years pass, it seems as though more young adults are meeting and dating people through their screens rather than spending that treasured quality time with each other in person.

Considering that we are currently living through a global pandemic where being with other people could be considered pretty dangerous, the amount of people using online dating apps and using video chat to communicate has drastically increased since March.

“Covid has had a huge effect on in-person dating,” said Alex Goldberg, 21, who zoom-dated for the first month of her relationship this past July. “If you don’t know the person, it can be risky to let them into your personal bubble and you are not sure who you can trust.”

This type of fear from the virus has definitely been a large part of the decrease in real-life dating over the past year, but the virus is not the only factor in the surge of online dating.

Results from an Instagram poll that surveyed 200 young adults with ages ranging from 18-22 showed that 53% have used an online dating app in the past.

“Personally i think the draw for our generation to meet people online comes from the idea of not feeling like there’s anyone in your direct life to go to,” said Lauren Byers, 20, who matched with her current boyfriend on Tinder in January of 2020. “So we seek those deeper connections so that people can see us as who we are rather than who we were in our past.” 

Not everyone believes that online dating is the best way to start a relationship for the current generation, though. Based on that same poll, 84% of those young adults disagreed with the notion that in-person dating is fading out. There can be that magic of first date jitters some may be missing out on when having their first interactions online.

“With online dating you can’t experience the butterflies in your stomach while you’re getting ready for your special dinner, seeing your significant other, hugging them, spending that night with them,” said Gabi Villamil, 19, who has been happily dating in person since 2018. “I feel like it’s almost harder to make that connection because you can’t feel the tension over the screen, you can’t read their body language and tell whether or not they’re actually enjoying the time spent together.”

Villamil said that although online dating is probably less stressful, it is not nearly as rewarding as getting to spend time with someone in person.

There is definitely some give and take when it comes to online dating versus in-person dating, but as of now it seems as though most Gen Z’ers believe that real-life interaction still holds a lot of importance. Although, as social media keeps evolving, and screen times for everyone continue to increase over the years, the upcoming technological advances are bound to have even more of an effect on in-person dating in the future.

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