PHOTO BY SARA SHEIKH / THE SPUTNIK PHOTOGRAPHY
‘Tis the season to be jolly— at least that is what we are told around this time of year.
For those who are single and feel the pressure to find a partner during the holidays, being jolly is easier said than done.
There is a lot of pressure to bring someone home for Thanksgiving, or to find someone to kiss when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. Or to find someone to spend Valentine’s day with.
This pressure is known as “cuffing season.”
During cuffing season, which starts around Thanksgiving and fades out by Valentine’s day, singles around the world pair up to face the holidays together and then go their separate ways afterwards.
The Sputnik went undercover on various dating apps to get the inside scope on what dating is like in 2020.
Some apps have implemented new safety questions. For example, Bumble requires users to choose between the types of dates they are comfortable with.
The options are “virtual, socially-distance w/ mask and socially-distanced.”
Contributed Image / The Sputnik Photography
Noah Graham, a Laurier Brantford student, has never used Tinder before until COVID-19.
He appreciates the new video call feature as an alternative to an in-person date.
However, he struggles with the platform. Graham said, “Dating this year has been spirit-crushing for me.”
He said, “Tinder does not show people who I really am, people judge me based on my looks and I don’t have the opportunity to show who I really am.”
He finds the new dating climate to emphasize hook-up culture, and not good for those looking for a deeper connection.
Despite the limitations that COVID-19 has created, some students have actually found that COVID-19 has made it easier to date.
Kevin Patel, a Laurier graduate student on the Waterloo campus said, “I have been on more dates since COVID-19.”
Patel said, “I had a really fun date where the girl and I video called and cooked together.”
Patel thinks that since people are lonelier nowadays, they are more open to dating him compared to the past.
However, he is worried about taking relationships to the next level due to the unclear regulations.
“I don’t know what to do after the first date though. I want to meet her but I do not want to violate lockdown rules, as we are only allowed to see people we live with.”
Patel expresses feeling lonely despite his recent dating success.
“I feel lonely but I love music and cooking so I have been indulging in my hobbies to cope with these emotions,” he said.
Other students have not found the same luck.
Contributed Image / The Sputnik Photography
Elaina Davis is a Laurier Brantford student who finds it extremely difficult to date and to make friends.
“I feel like dating is much harder with COVID-19, video chatting helps but as a human, I want to spend more time socializing with a person, not my phone,” said Davis.
Despite the dating struggles, she expresses that not being able to see her family and friends as a bigger issue for her.
“With COVID-19, we are stripped of our family and friends and I have found it easy to become depressed and lonely,” said Davis.
Users can locate Bumble’s recommendations on their ‘Guide to Dating in 2021.’ Some of their tips include sending messages during the hours of 6 p.m and 10 p.m, as users are more responsive then.
“Our research shows daters find dating complicated and overwhelming, […] but we have equipped the community with data-driven tools needed to navigate the complexities,” said a Bumble spokesperson.
It is also recommended to add as many badges to your profile as possible and share photos of pets, hobbies or zodiac signs to boost your chances of finding a deeper connection.
Dating and connecting with family and friends is really challenging during these times. Things might seem a bit depressing right now since COVID-19 appears to be getting worse, but we must focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.
For students looking to date and connect with people, video calling or calling, in general, has proven to be a successful alternative instead of in-person dates.
However, if students are suffering from the social limitations produced by COVID-19, reach out to the Wellness Centre.
Sarah Syrett, a wellness educator said, “The Wellness Centres provides integrated services to support student’s mental health[…] no problem is too big or small”
If you are in need of support, reach out to the Wellness Centre to set up a phone or video appointment with a counsellor.