“How do you spell love? You don’t spell love. You feel it.” —Pooh, “Winnie the Pooh”
Many people search for love in different places: school, bars, parties and dating apps. Dating apps are becoming more and more relevant in the age of technology.
People use dating apps with different intentions and ideas of what they want to find, whether that be one night stands, short-term romance, long-term relationships or even friendships.
Because of the pandemic, people aren’t able to go out, so some people have taken it upon themselves to download popular apps like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge. Having an app that lists your interests and matches you with people that have common interests is a great idea.
Callan Lichtenwalter, animal sciences doctoral student, found her partner through a dating app. She said she originally downloaded Tinder as a joke but as time went on, she and her current boyfriend made a connection.
Although she had success, Lichtenwalter said it is challenging to date due to the pandemic, and it is generally difficult to get a feel for a person over the internet.
“I think just figuring [people] out over the internet is not always easy. Having that disconnect from real life can be hard to [assure] you’re actually making a real connection with someone,” Lichtenwalter said.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a shot. She encourages being careful, especially if you plan on meeting in-person.
“I don’t think [dating] has to stop completely. But I do think it’s something you should be cautious about it. Just for personal safety and public health [reasons],” Lichtenwalter said.
Lichtenwalter believes it’s important to get to know someone, as well as their COVID-19 habits, she said. For those planning to pursue a relationship during the pandemic, it is safest to be sure the other person takes COVID precautions seriously before trying to meet up for a date.
She recommends trying dating apps because you could find someone you would have never met otherwise.
“I think we all have our own little bubble, and sometimes dating apps help you meet people that you otherwise would have never come in contact with,” Lichtenwalter said.
She said that if you are going to meet up with someone to tell a friend who you are going with and where you are going.
“I’ve only ever been on Tinder and Bumble, and it’s usually ended up pretty well with a few dates here and there, and sometimes even a relationship. Online dating right now is one of the only ways to meet new people,” said Alana Hall, sophomore psychology student.
Although online dating opens doors for romantic relationships and new friendships, Hall cautions readers to be wary.
“I think people should be very careful, as always. If they want to try and meet in person, [they should] get negative tests from both parties or have each person quarantine before and after meeting. Pullman is a hotspot right now, and the last thing we need is to spread [COVID-19] around more,” Hall said.
Hall said they believe people will value dating more after the pandemic.
“I think people will appreciate in-person dates more, and long-distance dating might become a little easier since more apps and websites have popped up with things to do over the internet,” Hall said.
Hall said people should use dating apps but make sure someone they’re talking to isn’t catfishing — luring someone into a relationship by creating a fake persona online.
“I do recommend online dating apps, but there are always risks involved. Video chatting is always a good way to make sure A, You aren’t being catfished, B, You can recognize each other, C, It puts you in less danger, and D, It’s usually a better way to get to know a person,” Hall said.
Dating is always a tricky subject, in and outside of a pandemic. However, you must approach dating with caution, as it can be an unintentional way to spread COVID-19. But if you are both safe, online dating can be a great way to meet your significant other or a new friend. If you are looking for new people to meet, this is a great way to do so.