Everyone wants to know how the COVID-19 lockdown and the attendant social distancing guidelines have impacted our love lives, and the results from Match’s latest “Singles in America” study are eye-opening. to say the least. It turns out that nearly a quarter of people who had sex during the lockdown did so with the most readily available person around: a “non-romantic roommate.”
Under normal circumstances, sleeping with a roommate is extremely inadvisable. After all, you have to see that person every day, you share the burdens of paying rent and utilities, and both your names are likely to be on the lease agreement. But these aren’t normal times, and since abiding by quarantine restrictions for many people across the United States meant not only closing bars and restaurants (the typical date hot spots!) but also limiting your contact with friends and loved ones, well, people got desperate.
And who can blame ’em?
The study, which boasted more than 50,000 respondents, also revealed that 71% of survey respondents spent their quarantine totally celibate, so kudos to those people for doing their part by keeping it in their pants. Of the 29% who did have sex, though, 45% were bold enough to get it on with someone outside of their household (though, of course, that includes romantic partners who don’t cohabit).
And what about masks, one of the most divisive issues of the last six months? Just 20% of people who reported that they went on dates during the quarantine insisted that their date wear a mask, and most of those people skewed young (Millennials and Gen Z). Politics, too, now seems to play a greater role in how we date: since Trump took office, there has been a 25% increase in respondents expressing that it’s important their romantic partner share their political beliefs, making a clear majority (76%) of people prioritizing political alignment in a dating prospect.
One positive takeaway from the study is a visible reorientation in why people date, with a renewed focus on long-term relationships. 53% of survey respondents reported seeking out an actual relationship, rather than something short-term or casual.
Are these changes temporary, tied exclusively to the lockdown, or could the COVID-19 epidemic have fundamentally altered the way Americans date? Only time will tell.
Writes Jack Dawes (AskMan.com)