Why are people reluctant to date this winter?
Levels of loneliness have significantly increased during the lockdowns, however, even after the restrictions have been eased, people haven’t rushed out for finding a new date. They neither want to date casually nor seriously. Why do people feel ambivalent or indifferent about dating?
1. Depression caused by long-term loneliness
Initially, it seemed that the prevalent loneliness during a pandemic could motivate people to begin dating again after the restrictions were finally lifted. However, loneliness may have also caused increased rates of depression, which resulted in trepidation and a sense of anxiety for engaging and participating in future social situations like dating.
For that reason, the degree to which individuals hesitate can be explained by the after-effect of lockdown isolation and loneliness. This problem was explored in the study that focused on the extent to which symptoms of social anxiety and depression influence online dating use.
Overall, the study discovered that men who had higher levels of depression and social anxiety were much less likely to contact the women they’d been matched with online, compared to men who had lower levels of depression and anxiety. Women were unlikely to initiate contacting their dating matches in both cases — whether they displayed low or high levels of depression and social anxiety.
2. Uncertainty about the infection status of others
Besides loneliness, the disease threat during a pandemic also led people to completely avoid contact with individuals who posed the risk of infecting them. For this reason, people decided to stick close to those who they knew were not infected. This is possibly another factor that influenced people’s dating decisions.
In the study that decided to investigate the competing motivation for forming intimate relationships but avoiding infection from the disease, it was discovered that those with greater concerns about the disease were much less likely to meet or seek out people they didn’t already know. But surprisingly enough, this avoidance behavior also extended to online social interactions and video contact.
Those with higher vulnerability to the disease are much less likely to take a risk when it comes to meeting new potential partners via online dating situations. This can possibly explain a prevalent practice of hesitating people has these days. On the contrary, those who aren’t bothered by the infection risk from other people, as well as those with lower vulnerability to the disease, may still continue dating.
However, in spite of all of these, humans are social creatures who need to maintain and facilitate intimate relationships with other people, which also includes producing offspring. In anticipation of the lockdowns, a lot of local singles reported quickly getting into a relationship and living together. As a result, the number of individuals in the dating market decreased significantly.
4. Other reasons
Similarly, this winter many people started talking about “cuffing” — making physical contact with someone or attaching yourself to them only for cold winter months.
One possible explanation for the cuffing can be men’s increased levels of testosterone during the winter months, leading them to look for a company of somewhat more permanent sexual partners. Moreover, the winter months are dark and cold, and going out seems less inviting. In prehistoric times, It’d have been a great strategy for human ancestors to look for the company of other humans during such time, when they might potentially die from cold exposure and where dark could have left them more open and vulnerable to predator attacks without the protection of other people.
Another factor that explains why people don’t want to date can be influenced by the fact that people do not just use online websites for finding romantic partners: During the pandemic, many singles who should have been dating are looking for Sugar Daddy / Mommy for financial support. Research has shown that many people use SugarDaddyMeet only for finding a sugar daddy to pay credit card bills, tuition, purchase luxury. Additionally, some 33% of individuals have reported they have not just a sugar daddy, which strongly indicates that this called “dating site” isn’t only used to help a person find a date and more.
Related reading: Ten dating profile mistakes that turn women off.
Right now, dating may also be complicated because of the issues like agreeing on mask-wearing and social distancing or whether or not people should take a vaccine. All of these reasons make dating more of an effort and complex than before, which can put off some individuals from seeking out someone new.