Given the social distancing measures that have been recommended to slow the spread of the pandemic, dating looks a bit different now than it has in years past. While dating apps are not new, CivicScience took the pulse on interest and experience with this option for striking up romance to see how the apps are faring so far in the new year. 

As the data show, among dating app users, 18% are using the apps more than they were a year ago, while 41% are using them less.

Although dating app usage may not be everyone’s preference, 11% of respondents met their current boyfriend or girlfriend online, while 8% met their current spouse in the same way. This suggests a certain amount of viability that, for at least some U.S. adults, a committed relationship can, in fact, be found online. 

Top Three Dating Apps  

Of the major apps, Tinder, Bumble, and OKCupid have the highest favorability. Tinder leads with users both liking and approving of their experience at the highest rate. Bumble favorability comes in second, with OKCupid just barely surpassing Match in favorability to round out the top three. 

Although eHarmony is not a top contender in the apps studied, intent to use this app comes in right after Bumble at 22%. 

So how do these apps fare amongst certain users? Well, as it turns out, men have a higher rate of trying and liking all of the top three apps. Women were more likely to be unsatisfied with their experiences.

App Preferences by Age

While Tinder and OKCupid skew generally younger, with favorability gradually declining with age, Bumble’s popularity rests largely with adults aged 25 to 34.

Pandemic Impact 

As the pandemic continues, it’s worth noting that those who are using dating apps more often are also the most likely to be comfortable in public spaces right now.

The most frequent dating app users are also the most likely to be not working or getting paid as a result of the pandemic. Perhaps losing a job means more time to try online dating? 

While many adults may be holding off from dating apps, using them less than they were this time last year, there is still a strong demand–specifically amongst younger adults, those comfortable in public spaces, and those currently out of work–to connect with potential partners online.