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Roommate sex in the time of coronavirus. Yes, it’s a thing

New research from Match shows that most singles aren’t having sex during the pandemic. But those who are are loving the one they’re with.

Roommate sex in the time of coronavirus. Yes, it’s a thing
[Photo: Anna Shvets/Pexels]

Surges in text messages and video dates have become a hallmark of romance in the time of COVID-19. But the pandemic has also wrought some changes in other behaviors. A new report from Match.com details the findings. And some may not surprise you.

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Early on, the pandemic tested the limits of personal safety, and our own Talib Visram opined about COVID-19 killing the hookup culture that flourished on dating apps such as Tinder and Hinge.

Meaningful conversations and alignment on major issues such as politics are fast becoming necessary components of compatibility now that people are taking more time to get to know each other rather than quickly swiping away from a profile. Among the findings of this 10th annual Singles in America report:

  • 63% of singles are spending more time getting to know their potential partners
  • 59% said they had more meaningful conversations during video dates
  • 63% became less worried about their appearance when video dating
  • 69% say they are now more honest in their interactions
  • 76% of singles (on both sides of the aisle) believe it is important for a potential partner to share the same political beliefs
  • 59% of singles want to know if their date supports Black Lives Matter
  • 21% of singles will ask if a potential date has been practicing social distancing

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

But there are some who will still give in to their urges. While 71% of survey respondents said they didn’t have sex with anyone during the pandemic, there’s something to be said for operating in the safety of the quarantine bubble. One of four who did have sex over the last few months coupled with a nonromantic roommate.

[Screenshot via Match]
“Love itself—the pings and pangs of dopamine in our animal brains—seems likely to endure,” writes Debora Spar, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. “We will find it on Tinder. On Twitter. On Zoom, if we must. And it will shake our days and break our hearts all over again.”

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About the author

Lydia Dishman is a reporter writing about the intersection of tech, leadership, and innovation. She is a regular contributor to Fast Company and has written for CBS Moneywatch, Fortune, The Guardian, Popular Science, and the New York Times, among others.

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