It seems a lifetime ago that we were sitting across from a date, nervously sipping our gin and tonics as they made awkward small talk. Allowing ourselves to think about the future has been an unreliable and rather futile activity since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Nonetheless, OkCupid has thrown caution to the wind and made a prediction for when it believes will be the biggest dating day of 2021 in the UK.
According to the dating app, Aug. 1 will be “the hottest day for dating in 2021,” after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to offer all UK adults the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by July 31.
At the time of writing, 17.7 million people had received the first dose of the vaccine in the UK, and over 620,000 had received their second dose. In mid-February, the government achieved its target of offering first dose vaccines to 15 million people. The government also succeeded in offering a first dose of the vaccine to the first four priority groups of people in England, comprising people seen as most vulnerable to COVID. OkCupid’s prediction hinges solely on whether the government sticks to its promises — something they don’t exactly have a brilliant track record of doing.
It should go without saying that any kind of optimism should be tempered with a generous helping of skepticism and expectation management. After the prime minister announced the “roadmap” for the country’s lockdown exit strategy on Monday, we do now have an idea of when restrictions will lift if all goes to plan. Singletons in England still have another three months to wait before household mixing rules are relaxed, meaning that the sex ban will lifted no early than May 17.
Vaccines are a hot topic among online daters at the moment, according to OkCupid data. The dating app reports a 137 percent increase in the mentions of ‘vaccine’ on OkCupid profiles between November 2020 and January 2021. 42 percent of OkCupid respondents said they’d cancel a date with someone who didn’t want to take the vaccine. Could ditching someone over the vaccine be the new ‘Fauci-ing’?
Michael Kaye, PR manager at OkCupid, says that just as people are experiencing Zoom fatigue, so too are daters right now. “86 percent of respondents on OkCupid said they’re looking forward to in-person dates again,” says Kaye. “The vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel. During the coming months, we’re expecting even more couples to match on OkCupid as people get vaccinated and hope to enter a post-pandemic world with a partner by their side.”