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Online Dating Shifts in the Pandemic: Masks, Politics, and Kissing Fewer Frogs

The results of an annual survey find that politics have increasingly percolated into the business of finding love

Most singles searching for love online are looking for qualities such as humor and kindness. Other areas of compatibility singles look for are things like their levels of physical activity or desire to travel (once traveling is a thing again).

How Dating Changed in 2020

But there is a new area singles are looking for in a partner; compatibility with their politics. released their findings from its 10th annual Singles in America study which found 76% of the 5,000 singles surveyed are looking for someone who shares their political beliefs. This is a 25% jump from just three years ago.

“We’ve seen unprecedented changes in dating this year, says Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and chief scientific adviser to Match. “Prior to 2020, no one expected that singles would consider a date’s willingness to wear a mask." 

"Recent cataclysmic events have led singles to want more from dating: a desire for a relationship over casual dating; more meaningful conversations, and more honesty and transparency during a date,” Fisher said.

“Today’s singles want to know who you are, where you’re headed financially, and what you expect from a possible partnership,” Fisher said. “And with the rise of video dating — a new stage in the courtship process — singles are saving time, money, and kissing fewer frogs.”

More than half of the men and women surveyed have made a shift toward more intentional dating in the wake of the pandemic with the goal of finding a relationship.

Meaningful conversations seem to be the new norm as daters are spending more time virtually getting to know each other. Although 58% of singles responded by saying they felt that video chatting was awkward, many also found the process paid off. Sixty-five percent felt that video chatting made them like their date more. More than half of the singles surveyed felt some chemistry on a video date and 50% fell in love during a video date.

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Not bad odds. On the flipside, 54% felt that video chatting made them like their date less.

Since getting to know people is a priority before actually meeting, daters are focusing more on honesty, transparency and meaningful conversations and less on looks.

    >> Plus, from Robert Powell's Retirement Daily on TheStreet: Six Must-Know Financial Tips for Young Professionals

And when it does come time to meet in person, 36% said they will be more selective about who they will choose to go on a date with. Additionally, they will be more selective about where they will meet for their date.

Safety tips: When meeting in person, pick a public place but make sure you can social distance. Another important tip for online dating safety: never give out your personal information, your address or any of your financial information.

There is one final quality singles want to check the box on: is their potential match a mask-wearer or not? While 20% of singles say they will insist that both daters wear masks throughout the date, young singles are the most open to wearing a mask while on a date (28% of Gen Z; 25% of millennials.)

For more on's study and other insights into how to navigate dating during the pandemic, go to

Jeanette Pavini is an Emmy Award winning journalist specializing in consumer news and protection. She is a regular contributor to TheStreet’s Retirement Daily. Her work includes reporting for CBS, MarketWatch, WSJ Sunday and USA Today. Jeanette has contributed to The Today Show and a variety of other media outlets. You can follow her moneysaving tips on Facebook: Jeanette Pavini: Better Ways to Save Community or go to