In the age of isolation driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have turned to online applications to build connections with others. 

According to a poll of 2,000 people, three and five people have met new friends through dating apps, and about 66 percent of all respondents credit their online friendships for getting through the pandemic.

A study commissioned by Plenty of Fish and conducted by OnePoll found that not everyone is looking for love while on online dating applications. Of all respondents, about 67 percent believe Valentine's day shouldn't strictly be about romance.

About 43 percent say that Valentine's Day should celebrate all forms of love, such as self-love and friendships. 

The study found that 19 percent of people plan to go on a date while 26 percent will dedicate the holiday for self-care. 

According to Plenty of Fish dating expert Kate MacLean, the pandemic continues to impact the way singles connect, and singles “are craving a broader sense of community”.

Instead of finding love, about 69 percent of those surveyed agreed that dating apps are efficient in finding friends with similar interests.  

“Having low-pressure, online experiences brings the sense of community and fun back to dating, so singles can video chat, live stream, and have virtual date nights,” MacLean adds. “After all, just because you’re single, doesn’t mean you have to go through your dating journey solo.”

The pandemic arguably changed nearly every aspect of life, and dating is not an exception. A 2021 study performed by Match Group, which surveyed 5,000 single people in the United States found 2 out of 3 singles say new spikes in cases won’t stop them from dating in person.

The study found 71 percent of singles use video chatting to help determine if they want to meet their match in person, while 47 percent believe it helps avoid a bad date. About 78 percent of singles have felt romantic chemistry during a video date. 

“Singles are increasingly focused on building and maintaining friendships that stem from common interests and similar passions. Nurturing those friendships allows singles to go through the dating journey with a strong support system, relieving the pressure to find dates and making the experience more fun,” MacLean said. 

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