By Miguel Velázquez, MWN
Amid the lockdowns imposed around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, dating apps have been on the rise. As Tinder has explained in its 2020 annual summary, novel coronavirus ‘got us to open up’:
“The combination of being stuck at home and the fact that we were all going through the same thing at the same time led folks on Tinder to get chattier than ever. Globally, April 5 was the peak of this chattiness: on that day Tinder members sent an average of 52% more messages vs. the start of lockdowns in early March.”
Gleyce Hanna, who met her soulmate thanks to the popular app, told Metro that she decided to take advantage of Tinder during quarantine, as she was not able to leave the house to spend time talking to new people.
“I went through the profiles and I saw a picture of a Chinese boy with the description saying that he was looking for someone just to teach him Portuguese and in return he would teach English or Chinese. As I don’t know how to speak English, I became interested in learning a new language in those days that I would have nothing to do.”
Both started talking, he used the translator and the conversations were very difficult to understand.
“He asked if I was interested in working at the same company as him, and I was interested. I went for an interview, he saw me and just said “hi.” Then he handed me water and didn’t speak to me anymore.”
The crush happened shortly after.
“Next month he called me asking me to help him at the supermarket, because he didn’t understand Portuguese. We chatted in the car for a long time and he came to kiss me. At first I didn’t want it to happen, but he tried for a second time and I kissed him back. I didn’t know that in Chinese culture talking every day means dating, there is no “only one date” thing.”
Their love story was about to take an unexpected turn.
“One month later he was at my home to meet my mother. I still didn’t want to date anyone… He had lunch at home and at night his parents called from China to meet me and accept me into the family to get married… I was in panic, but I kept thinking that that madness would end and everything would return to normal. That was in April. On Aug. 7 he asked me to marry him and I accepted, still not believing that it was happening,” said Hanna.
Suddenly, Hanna and her partner’s family was growing:
“I got a bunny from him as a gift, we called it Isabela. But then we found out it was male, so we changed it to Alvim. I got married in São Paulo, my honeymoon was in Rio de Janeiro. Then I lived at my mother’s house for a month, while he was in another apartment. On Dec. 23, our furniture arrived and we moved to our place. Him, me and Alvim the rabbit.”
Hanna concluded: “I haven’t gotten used to the culture yet, in June or July I’m going to China to have the Chinese wedding. According to him, we started dating the same day we met.
“This is the story of how I met my husband on Tinder.”
Five Tinder trends during the pandemic:
- Support for Black Lives Matter became mandatory for many matches. Mentions of BLM increased 55-fold in 2020, surpassing the use of the term “connect” by the end of the year. Starting in June, Tinder quickly filled up with bios that said things like, ‘If you don’t support BLM, ours wouldn’t work.’
- TikTok and Tinder: an ideal match. TikToks and Tinder became a way to share likes, by asking your matches to share their all-time favorite TikToks; show off your dancing skills, by sending TikToks of your own; and tease a little if you’re “famous on TikTok.” Mentions of TikTok increased in 2020, peaking in May.
- Masks became a necessity in dating. Users proved ready to don the mask and go out and meet, with mentions of masks increasing nearly tenfold in 2020, inspiring bios like, ‘Who’s up for a date in the park with masks’ and ‘Sex with masks.’ But make sure you know exactly how you put it on, because some users posted warnings like, ‘If you put the mask on your chin, forget about me.’
- Carole Baskin was another way to take the measure of someone in 2020. Putting “Carole Baskin killed her husband” was a way to cut to the chase in bios and a slightly quirky way to break the ice on Zoom quotes, as users sought someone to talk to about their “Tiger King” theories.
- Dating creativity reached its limits as people moved from bars to Animal Crossing (AC) islands. Mentions of AC reached their peak in May, when users could find profiles that said things like, ‘Let’s watch the sunset together…. on my Animal Crossing island? Seriously!’