‘If we want to leave, we can just close our laptops’: Yahoo UK’s lockdown dating show explores virtual relationships

Yahoo Style UK

The coronavirus lockdown in the UK has dramatically changed our day-to-day lives - from getting used to working from home, to stocking up on loungewear as we spend our downtime reading and baking.

However, one area that has seen perhaps the biggest transformation in the last six weeks or so is dating.

It is now impossible for single Britons to get to know potential suitors like they’re used to - over drinks, dinner or other activities - thanks social distancing measures, which came into force on March 23rd.

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In response, there has been a sharp increase in ‘virtual dating’ - a topic explored in Yahoo UK’s new video series ‘Dating At A Distance’, which follows people looking for love via video call.

In the first episode of Yahoo UK’s ‘Dating at a Distance’, Alex gets to know Rob (Yahoo UK)
In the first episode of Yahoo UK’s ‘Dating at a Distance’, Alex gets to know Rob (Yahoo UK)

Read more: What is 'zumping' the new dating trend coronavirus lockdown has spawned?

It’s clear that the many people see the pandemic as no barrier to romance, with more people keen to emotionally connect now more than ever.

Some of the biggest global dating apps and websites have reported a rise in usage since the lockdown - and users are frequently enjoying their first dates over video call.

Match.com found that a third of singles on the app have already agreed to a virtual date - and sharing drinks, a takeaway or film have proved popular.

Similarly, Bumble saw a 45% increase in video calls during the week ending March 27th, compared to the week ending March 13th.

Read more: Why singletons should keep dating (virtually) during coronavirus lockdown

Hinge - which has launched a ‘Date From Home’ feature - discovered 70% of its users would be open to having a virtual date.

Meanwhile, Tinder found that people are conversing for long - an increase of 12% since February - with the three billion swipes recorded on March 29th, the busiest date in their history.

To explore the growing virtual dating trend, Yahoo UK has launched a ‘Dating at a Distance’ video series.

Read more: Quarantined university student spends time phoning her exes to ask what went wrong

Each episode sees two people meet up on for a blind date over video call - with us watching.

In the first instalment, Alex, 29, a hairdresser from Fife in Scotland, gets to know Rob, 23, a sales advisor at Harrods in London.

We learn that Alex is after a clean-cut fella to socialise with in Soho, and he explains he is finally ready to meet someone new after his ex passed away eight years ago.

Meanwhile, Rob’s type is a Mediterranean-looking man with buckets of confidence and who will happily binge on Gossip Girl with him.

Watch the episode above to find out whether they click with each other enough to meet up in real life.

Want to give virtual dating a go? Get in touch by emailing, beinavideo@verizonmedia.com.

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