By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The pandemic transformed many things, including the world of dating.

Experts say some of those changes may stick around, even as those looking for love come out of lockdown.

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During the pandemic, a lot of singles turned to online dating apps. On the popular app “Hinge,” dates were up 14 percent in 2020.

Logan Ury, Hinge Director of Relationship Science, said more than 40 percent of all Hinge users have been on virtual dates and 65 percent want to continue using video chats in their dating lives after the pandemic.

“That’s because they felt really safe,” Ury said. “They could do it from the comfort of their home. It’s this low-pressure vibe check. It’s a chance to say are we a good match before we meet up in person.”

Single Eric Webb said that’s what has worked for him.

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“It’s like, some people I met in person. Other people I would just be like talking through the apps and then, like, Zoom and whatnot,” he said.

Now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted in the US, more singles are embracing the dating scene. Seventy-five percent of Hinge users say they are looking for a relationship this summer. But, Ury said, just over half also say they have fear of dating again.

“People want to meet someone, but they are also experiencing social anxiety about their rusty dating skills, and even maybe being in public on a date,” Ury said.

“People have different levels of comfort with what they want to do on dates now,” said single Max Hardy. “So, certain people don’t want to go to concerts yet or go to a baseball game. So, making sure that people are really clear with what you want to do on a date is really important.”

Finding the right person may be easier if you are vaccinated, according to experts at Hinge. Users of the dating app who say they are vaccinated are getting 30 percent more matches.

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Hinge also suggests users be upfront on their profiles about what they want, adding that people who say they want a committed relationship get 17 percent more responses from people who want that, and 10 percent less from people who only want something casual. Team