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Lockdown love: dating during the pandemic


Over the pandemic, the youth have taken to online dating platforms to look for what [or who] they need to make life bearable during lockdown.

On these apps, users can put their best foot forward and operate outside traditional gender norms.

“Anything that happens in one part of your life usually has a ripple effect in other parts of your life. We are not separate components. We are an integrated being,” said Dr. Margarita Go-Singco Holmes, a clinical psychologist specializing in sex therapy, in panel discussion organized by dating app Bumble.

“If you are assertive in one aspect of your life, it will push you to be assertive in other aspects of your life,” she added.

Bumble, launched in 2014 and brought to the Philippines in 2019, was created by Whitney Wolfe Herd, one of the co-founders of dating and social app Tinder.

Heralded as a solution for the misogyny rampant in online dating, what set the new app apart were the settings that gave women the responsibility to make the first move.

Since Bumble was founded, women have made the first move on the app over 2 billion times around the world, said Lucille McCart, communications director for Bumble in Asia Pacific.

“We’re social creatures. We want to engage and connect. We want to meet people,” she said. “The video feature was luckily something we had before then [the pandemic]. We saw over 50% increase of video calls made in the app between March and May last year.”

Independent journalist Ana P. Santos echoed this sentiment and shared from personal experience that Filipinos are now more accepting of the online dating scene.

“The Philippines keeps topping the world’s list of top internet users, … that’s where we’re meeting people,” she said. “Another evolution is that women aren’t waiting to be chosen but making an active choice, taking charge of their own love life.”


Bumble has added filters and information on a person’s bio such as height, work, gender identity, political stand, and interests to make the dating process more convenient.

“The research has told us that Filipinos prioritize personality over any other aspect when looking for a partner,” shared Ms. McCart. “When creating your profile, show off your personality. Show off what’s important to you.”

Dr. Holmes agreed, adding features in Bumble such as audio notes and video calls are essential in helping people get to know each other better on the app: “It’s backed up by research to go through these channels before actually meeting. Studies have shown that tone of voice matters and this is one way that people respond. Sometimes, just hearing the tone of voice makes you decide whether you want to meet or not.”

Meanwhile, Ms. Santos reassured those who suffer from dating fatigue.

“Dating fatigue is real,” she said. “If you want to go off the app for whatever reason, that’s normal, and if you want to go back to it again, it’s part of a cycle you’re going through in life.”

As a tip for those struggling to pursue their matches and stay motivated to engage in conversations, the panelists encouraged setting aside time for the app instead of logging on impulsively and without intention. “Keep your self-concept intact,” they said. — Bronte H. Lacsamana

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