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What the Post-Covid Dating Boom Means for Your Love Life

What will your dating life look like in the second half of 2021?

As worldwide restrictions started to ease, news outlets declared that the post-lockdown world would likely give birth to a “new Roaring ‘20s”—a bacchanalian frenzy the likes of which our generation has never seen.

This particular moment is critical, because many people are likely to “panic buy” their way into a relationship—throwing themselves into the first nice person they meet as soon as the “gates open.”

Thankfully, there’s a simple step you can take before a first date that will ensure you’re meeting people who are a better fit . . .

How Has the Last Year Changed Your Relationship Goals?
Leave a Comment Below & Subscribe . . .

Matthew Hussey:

What does post-pandemic dating look like for you? Let’s take a look at what some of the news is saying:


Kirsten Joyce:

A year of lockdown forced many of us to rearrange our priorities. And for many, what we really want in our love lives, according to a new survey by Kinsey Institute, the year of COVID set up our society for a post-pandemic change in dating norms. For singles, the overwhelming majority surveyed say they’re more focused on finding a serious relationship as a result of the pandemic.


Matthew Hussey:

So according to this study, the priorities of what is important to us have shifted. Do you know what was important to us a year ago? Toilet paper, Steve.


Steve Hussey:

Oh, yes. Oh, yes, sir.


Matthew Hussey:

Very important.


Kirsten Joyce:

44% say commitment is more important than before. 64% less interested in dating more than one person at a time.


Matthew Hussey:

Is that true for you? Have you felt that, since the pandemic, dating seriously has become more important to you? This accords with an article I read in The Guardian whereby the CEO of Hinge, Justin McLeod— McLeod?—I think I’m saying that wrong, was interviewed. He said, for single people who have missed out on a year of opportunities to find a partner, ” . . . ‘the priority around finding a relationship has increased.’ And while many have thought that wild decadence would be the reaction to coming out of lockdown, he thinks people are looking for something more serious. ‘That is what we are hearing. People are being a little more intentional about what they’re looking for coming out of this.'”


Kirsten Joyce:

70% plan to now video chat before committing to scheduling a date.


Matthew Hussey:

Steve, I was pushing for stuff like this before the pandemic. Jameson, can you be bothered to find a clip of me referencing how important it is to have a phone call before a date?


[Montage of clips of Matthew speaking]

Text can only do so much. So phone calls are important. I want to argue for the phone call right now. You should try and avoid where possible going on a date with someone that you haven’t had a phone call with. Let’s FaceTime for a couple of minutes or whatever. Get on the phone with them. Just call them because that can save you an entire evening. By the way, I think FaceTime is great because when you can actually see someone on a screen, it’s the next best thing to a date. Right? We see body language, we see facial expressions. It’s real connection.

Speaker 3:

But I’m on my way home now. What are you up to? How’s your night?

Speaker 4:

A voice . . . on the telephone!


Matthew Hussey:

I’ve been pushing for this, because I really believe that we should, before investing an entire evening in someone, maybe see if we have any chemistry, any compatibility via video or phone, so as not to waste a lot of time.


Kirsten Joyce:

And 65% plan on prioritizing finding a deep connection rather than a hookup.


Matthew Hussey:

This is interesting because it’s in stark contrast to that idea that I’ve heard about many times from people close to me. It’s going to be the Roaring Twenties when we come out of this, you just wait. It’s going to be a bacchanalian frenzy of sex and partying and . . . well, Steve, you know . . .


Steve Hussey:

Well, don’t say it like that.


Matthew Hussey:

And I suppose some of that relates to age group. Right? There will be people who are in a stage of their life where they feel like they’ve been denied this exciting, youthful party stage of their life, that will go out and do the biz with lots of different people. But there’ll be others, I think in a different age group, who look at this and go, “Ooh, that was what it was like to go through a difficult time without somebody.” But here’s what’s interesting . . .


Kirsten Joyce:

On the other hand, you had divorces, which rose rapidly in the early days of the pandemic and have since slowed down over recent months. Wendy Strgar says those getting divorced at the time were couples already in troubled relationships. And when they were forced to spend more time at home together and interact more often, she says suddenly there was no escape and they wanted out of the relationship.


Matthew Hussey:

This in some ways is a sort of interesting juxtaposition, isn’t it? The idea that you’ve got lots of people coming out of the pandemic saying, “I want a more serious relationship, now. This has made me realize that I need depth in my life. I need structure. I need someone to be a teammate with me when the chips are down, when the storm comes.” And yet, we’ve just come out of a period of lots of people leaving serious relationships, precipitated by the proximity that people have had to one another—the forced proximity, I should say—during the pandemic.

There is an easy line to take, which is that the pandemic exposed weak relationships. And I think that’s true for an enormous number of relationships. But I also think that we have to remember, the pandemic forced a situation that no one would argue is healthy for a relationship. It forced an artificial level of proximity that no one would design in a relationship that we would say is a healthy one.

We talk about spending time with your own friends, or getting out of the house, having your own lives, not spending every minute of the day together. So, of course, what will happen, if you force two people into doing that, there will inevitably be some relationships that succumb to the pressures of that. But I do think there are a lot of relationships during the pandemic that made people realize that they were more in love with their partners absence than their presence. In other words, for a long time, the relationship had survived on the idea that, “This is my boyfriend, this is my girlfriend. Here’s who he is, here’s who she is.” And as soon as the two people were forced into a situation where they were confronted with each other’s presence, they got to know who that person is today. They got to know what it’s like to actually have to really cooperate with that person under immense pressure, immense stress, what it’s like to be a team with that person, to figure out and cooperate with boundaries in an environment that is inherently difficult.

So I do think that made a lot of people realize, “Oh wow, this isn’t the teammate I need or can stand over a long period of time.” And it made people wake up to that sooner than they otherwise would have realized. I also think that whilst there are plenty of relationships that buckled under the pressure of the pandemic, there will be a lot of relationships that began in the pandemic that buckle under the freedoms of normal life afterwards. There’ll be relationships that worked when two people were confined to their own bubble, their own world, and it felt like a sort of cozy space, unthreatened by everyday life. And then when life opens back up and they’re faced with all of the normal challenges of a relationship, of being out amongst other people, the opportunities, the shiny things, then some of those won’t last.

What comes out of this for me are two really important lessons. One, the right relationship should be robust enough to handle a change in seasons. You can’t have a relationship that only works when everything’s going well, when both people are healthy, when everyone’s happy, when there are no existential challenges. You want to be in the kind of relationship that isn’t constantly threatened by a change in circumstances.

And the second big conclusion it takes me to is, if a lot of people are looking for something more serious now, there maybe the danger of panic buying a relationship coming out of this. And what I hope for a lot of people is that, we’ll all take the time to look at the last year and say, “What traits would have been really, really valuable in a relationship during this time?” Teamwork, patience, empathy, understanding, a genuine ability to cooperate, someone accepting our flaws, us being accepting of somebody else’s flaws, the ability to argue well, to disagree constructively. So many relationships begin because of the shiny aspects of a person or of a dynamic. A shiny aspect can be just crazy chemistry, or it can be a person’s charisma, or it could be how good looking they are. And what I find sort of fascinating about the early stages of dating and relationships is that the person that we show off to our friends and our friends all get excited about isn’t necessarily the same thing as the person who would make a great partner.

What we can do is look at the last year and, either from a meta perspective say, “Why did a lot of people break up? What was missing in their relationships that they didn’t anticipate when times were good? And how will I not make that mistake?” or on a micro, personal level, we can look at it and go, “What qualities would I have really wanted to have in somebody during this time?”

Because it’s really easy when life is moving at a hundred miles an hour and we’re distracted by our work and how much stuff we have to do in a day. And we’re only dating someone for one night or two nights a week, and they just show us their most charismatic self during that time, it’s really easy to make a decision about who we spend time with long-term and who we have a relationship with based on ultimately superficial and unimportant characteristics that don’t contribute to the happiness of a relationship long-term.

Let me know in the comments, what are you experiencing right now? I suppose post pandemic is a dangerous thing to say, isn’t it? Sort of, in this new era of hoping for an imminent end to everything that’s been going on, and at the very least, a loosening of the restrictions where you live. Has it made you more eager to go out there and find a relationship? Has it made you reassess what you’re looking for? And if so, how? Leave me a comment. Let me know. I’m very excited to read these. I want to know, where are people at right now?

Also before you go, like this video, subscribe to this channel and hit the bell so that you get reminded when I have a new video coming out. I’ll see you next week.

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20 Replies to “What the Post-Covid Dating Boom Means for Your Love Life”

  • I decided to freeze my eggs because I turned 39 in February and haven’t had a partner in a few years. I could moan about the lack of options in the last year+ or do something to help me have a family either with a man or not in the future.

    I would love more online dating content from you Matt!!

  • I fell head over heels for a celebrity during my time in quarantine, and now I don’t even want to date real men because nobody can compare to him.

    But on the bright side I:
    1. Finally made up my mind that I don’t want kids
    2. Worked on improving my social skills in a platonic context in some online fan groups.

  • I find myself loving my life by myself so much that I don’t want to date right now. Also, I am working hard on starting my own online business and website on the side of my full time job, so I don’t have a lot of extra time. Last year the few times I tried dating, I could never get anyone to do a video call for me. So I have spent the time just really loving myself, figuring out what I really want, providing that to myself, and I’m still doing that. I think that after another 6-9 months of this, I might perhaps be ready to get out there and look for someone to video chat with again. Oh, but the one exception is if they open up swing dancing again – I will do that as soon as I can!

  • I crystallized more of what I want in a partner and decided not to waste time on men who won’t invest time or effort from the beginning. I dated a few men during the pandemic who were emotionally confused, impacted by job loss and depression. I can’t help someone who can’t help himself. I realized I’m mentally stronger than I thought and won’t settle below happiness.

    I still find men who aren’t prioritizing a serious relationship so I don’t believe those stats are necessarily true. With the lockdown, they felt they lost time and want to explore people now with cities reopening. Some of my male friends had abnormally more options to choose from online during the pandemic and enjoyed the temporary “Covid buddy” relationships before restarting their normal galavanting.

  • I’m terrified.
    I moved in with my boyfriend 1st of February 2020, not knowing that we would be sent in lockdown with his 2 teenage boys just a month later.
    Bottom line….my boyfriend gave up investing in the relationship pretty soon after, and precisely 1 year after moving in together I moved out of the house, heartbroken, confused, disappointed and powerless.

    I have lost confidence in long lasting relationships, and that love can overcome any struggle.

    As I began with…..I’m terrified!
    As age 46 I’m both terrified of starting to date again, but also of being lonely.

  • I was single during the last 15 months. I love Matthew’s question: “What traits would have been valuable in a relationship during this time?” It is worth pondering and journaling about. Being single during the pandemic was NOT easy, in any way. It magnified feelings of loneliness, and that deep yearning to share with someone your feelings about what was happening to the world. My beliefs and standards still remain the same as they were before the pandemic. I want to meet someone organically. I am looking for a meaningful relationship with someone who would like to walk beside me in this thing called life. I am not in to online dating, one night stands, and dating multiple people. Never have been, and not about to start going in those directions now. I also do not want to panic about what dating may look like in the post pandemic world. I am remaining true to who I am and not settling for less than what I know I deserve. So to answer your question: I am still looking for in a partner the same things I looked for before the pandemic happened.

  • Post pandemic is challenging today for me. At the beginning of the pandemic I was in a very healthy loving committed relationship and now about eight weeks ago he broke up with me saying he just didn’t feel it anymore. This is an awful place for me to be so I read and I subscribe to your dealing with heartbreak which I found extremely helpful 21

  • I didn’t get valued by men before 2020 and still am being treated the same. I speak up and explain exactly what my relationship goals are and still get under appreciated. I’d rather stay alone then being under valued for the unique woman that I am. If I’ve been alone without a man, who doesn’t value, me for a year and a half then I’d rather be alone until the great man enters into view. I don’t need a man to make me happy.

  • I wound up feeling grateful that I was single during the pandemic. It would have been absolute hell with my ex. I’m paying attention to how people have behaved and reacted during it, and listening to what they have to say about it . It will tell me a lot about what this person will be like to be with when the chips are down.

  • I lost my father 6 weeks ago due to the aftermath of covid and that has pushed me more to look for a serious relationship and weigh up what i really want. I have been to the MH retreat and I hadn’t dated for a while and then covid hit and I stayed single but as we are coming out I want to really find someone and date and do fun things with a partner. With the end of corona and the death of my father it has made me really focus on what i want more!

  • I guess the post-pandemic life for me will be focused on going back to what I love doing, enjoying life and if while doing that I find someone I can connect with and I can go deeper into building a special relationship with… well I would gladly welcome it. On the other hand I proved myself that I can survive a pandemic alone so I am in the best position to be selective in choosing a partner. I love sharing and investing and building with somebody else, but I can enjoy life also by myself.

  • The pandemic has not affected where I am very much although I have spent a bit more time being self reflective. I think its given me more time to decide what I really want and thats a good thing. To be honest… I’ve got to the point where I don’t really feel a relationship is necessary but if I come across a fellow in which we have shared values, mutual interest and attraction, then yeh – that would be rather grand.

  • I went into the pandemic with a new-ish boyfriend who only just graudated university (he’s a few years younger). He was robbed of finishing his last year of a 5 year degree as it should have been, and has struggled to find work, and moved back in with his parents. It has tested our relationship in ways a new relationship isn’t normally tested I think.
    I have felt so confused because I don’t want to judge him for pandemic struggles but I haven’t been able to see who he would have been if life had continued as normal with graduation and job seeking. I haven’t met his friends, see him have hobbies or anything that I first fell in love with.
    I feel we clung to each other as lifeboats throughout the pandemic and now it’s starting to ease we’re both unsure about our future.
    I feel so uncertain if we should stay together to see how things develop or if I should cut and run. He’s displayed so many wonderful qualities that have seen us through the pandemic and supported me emotionally, I don’t know if it’s enough to throw away. But that honeymoon phase was taken from us and it has felt so… boring?
    At the same time I feel very scared to be single now in the midst of this dating scene – I barely recognise it. My single friends are grabbing the first men they go on dates with and trying to settle down ASAP after their difficult pandemics, and I can’t bear the thought of being alone when the music stops – like in musical chairs. Do I keep my current chair or try and find a new one?

  • I was single and in a bad way in March 2020 just before the first lockdown hit. For me it was a gift. I had time (being on furlough) to stop, go inside and work on myself mentally, emotionally and work on loving myself.
    I got through it all on my own, landed a new, better job and found I was happy enough on my own. More importantly, I learned to love myself.
    I would like to meet someone one day, but it is nowhere near the top of my priorities list! My priority now is buying my own home, looking after myself and those I care about and making sure I look for the joy in every day.
    If there is going to be a “go nuts free-for-all” when restrictions are lifted, I think I’ll stand well back and let the madness ensue without me thanks. I’ll be sitting in my garden, relaxing in the sunshine, with a cat and a cuppa ;)

  • I learned to love being by myself during lockdown,and I feel grateful I hadn’t to cope with the ups and downs of living with somebody all the time. I hav very good neighbours that supported me and a lot of videocalls and calls with friends and family.
    Eventually I want a serious relationship, but I think that after so much inactivity I ‘d like to enjoy a bit of roaring twenties before (not a lot of frenzy, just having some dates).

  • I am more eager for a serious relationship yet I’m not actively seeking that. I’m still trying to wrap my head around life, transitions and all that going back to normal entails. Taking things slow but with the goal to put myself back out there soon. What I’ve valued in a partner in some subtle ways has changed but some already existing values were strengthened in my mind even more.

  • My experience is somewhat similar to Susanne’s and Shivanthi’s (in the comments). I still have the same dating and relationship goals as pre-pandemic…. Have fun dating to meet my Right man and then having an exclusive, long-term / life-partnership with him. That has been my goal for over 10 years, since my divorce was final. I was in a 9 month love coaching program during the pandemic and feel I love and accept myself more than I did a year ago. Yet, during the pandemic, I only dated 2 guys for about 4-6 weeks each, and when exclusivity or commitment started being brought up, both guys faded out or ended it/ they started dating others and wanted to keep their options open. I wasn’t pressuring; it was that type of conversation that Matthew spoke about in a prior video. I had 1-4 dates with a few other guys during the pandemic as well. Anyway, I’m feeling a little on the hopeless side because it feels like men in general seem so non-committal and have so many options online right now. I’m just over 50, and I’m fun and pretty and have a great job. My last teen at home will be going off to University in the fall. I’m truly a catch, but for some reason, men don’t seem to be able to recognize that. I’m not meeting high quality men, or the guys I think might be high quality that I meet in real life don’t make any effort to pursue me or ask me out. I keep attracting men who either drink a lot or are non-committal/emotionally unavailable, and I’m not going to have a relationship with either. Sigh…. I hope you respond to some of these comments Matthew or Stephen or Jamison! Pandemic dating was very difficult, and I’m an outgoing, out on the town, adventurous person…. Now I just feel exhausted, but I want to keep my energy high. Thoughts??

  • In this era post what we all hope to be peak Covid, the stableness of a good mate is priority to me. Someone who is a good foundation, my anchor, my best friend, my go to. It was awesome to realize the man I was with was that person.

  • .
    How do I date when I need to rebuild my social life. I can’t see that being healthy. I think I need to get used to the transition and start creating social networks. I would love to date , socialize but jumping into bed with someone , not really interested, Committing to someone right away , not healthy without a life of my own again. I strongly believe I will meet some great men, date and get to know them and go from there. I am not online and don’t plan to be. I want the person in front of me talking , so I need to get active, take trips, courses and socially engage in life again.

  • During the PandemicI tried dating apps thinking that men would be more open to video chat, which helped with knowing they were not a catfish. But found the opposite. It was like the scammers were out to play and take advantage of it. Especially the ones wanting to scam older women. So I havent pursue dating all year. I miss it so much!! I am an extrovert and really miss connecting with people. Not sure when it is safe to try again

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