Online dating app or site in mobile phone screen. Man swiping and liking profiles on relationship site or application. Single guy using smartphone to find love, partner and girlfriend. Mockup website.

Person using an online dating app. (© terovesalainen -

NEW YORK — Isolation can be a lonely experience. The coronavirus pandemic has cut many couples off from one another as Americans follow the national quarantine orders. A new survey says that loneliness has many people turning to online dating to fill their needs, even if they already have a partner.

The survey, commissioned by LELO, found that 42 percent of both single and attached Americans had downloaded a dating app while in quarantine. The big difference however was that more people who already have a significant other are apparently taking their browsing even further.

Researchers polled 1,000 single Americans and 1,000 Americans in a relationship but not quarantining with their partner. While 41 percent of single people said they’ve signed up for a dating website during their isolation, a surprising 52 percent of attached Americans signed up as well.

“It’s only natural people are missing the intimacy they had prior to the pandemic. All the things we took for granted are now conspicuously missing from our lives,” Luka Matutinovic, the Global Marketing Director for LELO said in a statement.

‘Ex’ Marks The Spot

Along with seeking out some companionship online, the survey says many Americans are reaching out to familiar people during the quarantine — their ex. A third of attached Americans polled said they’ve reached out to their ex while in isolation. Thirty-seven percent of single Americans said they did the same thing.

The national quarantine has also sparked a surprising change of heart among those former lovers. Of the people surveyed who said they reached out to their ex, 54 percent of attached Americans admitted the contact “reignited a spark” with that person. The most popular way people are looking up their exes is through Facebook, followed by WhatsApp, Twitter, and an old-fashioned phone call.

Lowering The Bar?

Another effect the quarantine has had on the American dating scene is people are apparently becoming less picky about who they chat with.

According to the poll, six out of ten people say they are willing to lower their standards and talk to someone outside their “usual type” while in isolation. Two-thirds of people surveyed said social distancing was making them crave physical intimacy.


“There will be lasting consequences to this crazy period in our lives, but when it comes to sex and pleasure, hopefully, they will be good ones,” Matutinovic added.

Going Virtual

Just like work meetings and classroom learning has gone virtual, date night has migrated to a video screen too. Researchers found that 41 percent of attached respondents say they’ve gone on a virtual date during the COVID-19 quarantine. Only 27 percent of single people had done the same.

When it comes to who those daters are sharing a screen with however, the object of their affection was very similar — it’s their ex again! The survey found that more than 65 percent of both single and attached Americans who had a virtual date chose to spend that time with an ex.

So, is it cheating? Three in four people polled said virtual dates are good for human interaction during their isolation, but are not the same as an in-person meeting.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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