Online Dating During a Pandemic

By Susan Trotter, Ph.D.


If you’re single during a pandemic, the surest way to fire up your romantic life is to turn to online dating. 


In fact, online dating platforms have experienced a surge in membership, matches, and conversations since self-quarantining became a fact of life. Why? People have more time to devote to finding a partner, are more relaxed and engaged in their conversations, and are taking the initial stage of dating – “the getting-to-know-you phase” – to a deeper, more serious level through virtual dating, before they actually meet.


According to OkCupid CEO Ariel Charytan, “There’s been a 200% increase in people reporting that they’ve been on a virtual date this month compared to last month.” 


Here is some additional updated information from various dating sites:


  • has launched a free video chat feature called Vibe Check, which works like a phone call, and is available on the app and website.  


  • also offers a hotline called where dating experts answer your questions for free and is open 12 hours a day.  The website also lists the most asked questions about dating during the Coronavirus pandemic.  More information is available at


  • Last year, Bumble released its video chat and voice call features. To let the world know you’re open to virtual dating, Bumble now offers the Virtual Date Badge. The best part — each time the Virtual Date Badge is added to a profile, Bumble donates $10,000 to the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Solidarity Fund. 


  • Coffee Meets Bagel has extended its 7-day chat expiration to indefinitely. Plus, they are organizing CMB Virtual Meetups for small groups.


  • With a 30% increase in messaging, Hinge, owned by the Match Group, now offers its “Date From Home” video feature.


At OkCupid, 85% of the 70,000 users who responded to a survey indicated that developing an emotional connection before a physical one is important.  


Pivoting to virtual dating has made it easier for them to develop a stronger understanding of each other under less pressure. 


According to Susan Trotter, Ph.D., a relationship coach who specializes in dating and relationships, how you present yourself – whether it’s virtually, in person or online – requires the same three foundational factors.


1️⃣ “If you are pursuing online dating during Covid-19 or at any time, it is important to understand that what you put out to the world is what you get back.”


“If you are anxious and depressed about isolation, you will ultimately find others with the same mindset,” Trotter explained during a recent webinar entitled “How to Date Successfully During This Time of Social Distancing”, sponsored by Vesta: Redefining Divorce. 


“If you are positive, upbeat, and open, you will connect with others who are also more positive about circumstances beyond our control. This helps us to feel better about ourselves and those we are potentially dating.”


2️⃣ Her second recommendation is to work through your relationship challenges. 


“History tends to repeat itself. That’s part of why patterns get repeated and the divorce rate goes up for second and third marriages. Learn what worked in your past relationships and where things began to break down. Take this time to better understand your issues, with the help of a professional or on your own. Identify your part in the dynamics of the relationship, and learn how to change any behavior that didn’t serve you well in past relationships,” Trotter said.


3️⃣ Third, realize that while you can’t control people or circumstances, you can control how you respond to whatever is in front of you. 


“Your power is in the way you respond to a situation, and in the dating world, that means in response to a message, a conversation or behavior,” Trotter advised. “Mindset is critical in life and in the dating process. How we think affects how we feel, which affects how we behave, and that can affect outcomes. This means that, indirectly, how we think can lead to the results that we get. Paying attention to your mindset about dating and relationships can have an impact on your experience in the process.”


Trotter also thinks that this time of social distancing actually provides an opportunity for people to set themselves up for even greater success in dating and relationships. 


It requires people to slow the process down and revert to the more old-fashioned courtship rituals of simply talking and getting to know each other on a deeper level. She has already seen some of her own clients experience this kind of success, and she is excited to see how it all unfolds for others. 


Of course, Trotter has additional and proven suggestions for a winning profile, and to find out, you can attend her next Dating Webinar or set up a complimentary consultation at or


“I believe that there’s more than one person out there for each one of us,” Trotter continued. “Be flexible in your thinking. People show up in different, and sometimes unexpected, ways in your life. Understand your core values since shared values are foundational in a relationship. Plus, know your deal-breakers. Covid-19 is giving you the chance to go slow.”


“Take advantage of this time to do your own work and to approach online dating in a new way that can help you be more successful in dating and relationships. Even if it’s only virtual for now.”

Susan Trotter, Ph.D. is a Relationship Coach with specialties in dating and relationships, self-confidence, mindset, and communication. She also has a special interest in working with people who are divorced or in the process of divorce and works closely with Vesta, a program designed to provide education, connection, and empowerment to people at all phases of divorce. Susan has her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and was a therapist for over 20 years. Her extensive background in psychology, therapy, and coaching gives her a unique perspective in helping people to achieve greater joy, satisfaction, and success in their relationships and in all areas of their lives.

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