Dating apps are adapting to life in — and after — the pandemic Part 1

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. on one occasion / ɔn wʌn əˈkeɪʒən / (idiom) – once, one time

    On one occasion, we danced all night.

  2. stroll / stroʊl / (n.) – the act of walking at a relaxed, comfortable speed

    After dinner, how about a stroll on the beach?

  3. reckless / ˈrɛk lɪs / (adj.) – lacking proper caution or care

    You can lose your license for reckless driving.

  4. off-putting / ˈɔfˌpʊt ɪŋ / (adj.) – unpleasant and likely to push someone away

    Many people found the club president’s personality off-putting, so they stopped coming to the meetings.

  5. prompt / prɒmpt / (v.) – to cause someone to act

    The mayor’s scandal prompted my sister to run in the next election.


Read the text below.

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, Jennifer Sherlock went out with a few men she met through dating apps. The dates were “weird,” she said, and not just because they were masked, socially distanced and outdoors.

On one occasion, a date remained masked while they were out for a stroll, but soon after invited her back to his place, a move Sherlock saw as reckless. “It was so off-putting and awkward,” she said. “So we wouldn’t be safe outside without mask(s), but we would be safe back at his place maskless?”

She decided she needed a way to filter people, so she began arranging video chats before agreeing to meet anybody in person. Sherlock, 42, a PR consultant who lives in New Jersey, said it’s a practice she’ll continue post-pandemic.

Sherlock isn’t alone in changing the way she used dating apps during the pandemic, prompting many app makers to roll out new features. Despite the social distancing of the past 18 months, the use of dating apps in general has surged as people sought connections amid their isolation.

Tinder reported that 2020 was its busiest year yet, and this year its users have already set two records for usage between January and March. Hinge tripled its revenue from 2019 to 2020, and the company expects it to double from that this year. (AP)

To be continued…

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • According to Sherlock, dates at the beginning of the pandemic were “weird.” How do you think dating has changed since before the pandemic? How has dating changed since you were a teenager? In your opinion, is it easier or harder to meet people now? Why? Discuss.
  • During the pandemic, many single people have complained of loneliness, while many people in a relationship have complained that they miss their alone time. Do you feel it’s better to be single or in a relationship during a time like this? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The use of dating apps in general has surged as people sought connections amid their isolation. Aside from dating apps, what are good ways to meet people? What are bad ways to meet people? Why? Discuss.
  • Do you think the use of dating apps will continue to grow, or will it decrease in the next few years? Why? Discuss.