If You’ve Been Dating Over Zoom, It’s Ok If It Fizzles Out IRL

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Online dating has increased ever since the global pandemic hit, because duh; single people are still single even with stay-at-home orders. And if you don’t take advantage of the tech during this time, hunny, what are you doing?

On Clover alone, there was a 30% spike in new singles at the beginning of the pandemic. This trend was seen on multiple other dating apps, which is pretty indicative of a bigger shift to online dating as stay-at-home orders were being put in effect.

Minus the global, deadly pandemic, there was a sort of romanticism and excitement to the stay-at-home orders. It was different, new, exciting, and it gave people a chance to get to know each other online at their own pace without feeling pressured to meet in person (since they physically couldn’t).

During quarandating, you may have chatted with a few people. After talking to someone for a little over a month, you start to connect with them on a level that might feel really good. You actually get excited to talk to them, you pretty much talk daily and you’re getting along really well.

But with restrictions loosening up, what will meeting them in person be like? That’s the issue.

This isn’t something we haven’t dealt with before, either. Even before quarantine, wouldn’t you sometimes chat with someone on an app and feel absolute FIREWORKS! But only end up going on a first date for it to actually be the biggest flop? What gives?

Well, firstly, learn to manage your expectations. Here’s why:

The reason it’s possible for ‘sparks’ to be exist online but not in person is that ‘falling in love’ is reliant on anatomy, endocrinology and real chemistry.

Compatibility is actually based off engaging all of our senses. Online dating doesn’t let us do that, so we’re basically dating blind, says Sheril Kirshenbaum, author of The Science Of Kissing.

Human attraction involves physical cues that we’ve evolved over millions of years. When two people are a good match, hormones and neurotransmitters give us those ‘butterflies’. We pick up on those things with physical cues on traditional dates, like walking side by side, holding hands, etc. You’re vibin’, they’re vibin’, you know?

One of the most important neurotransmitters in influencing our emotions is dopamine which is responsible for craving and desire. This definitely adds to the addictive nature of a new relationship.

And this is just one neurotransmitter in a whole slew of others, like oxytocin, which creates feelings of attachment and affection, and epinephrine which boosts our heart rate and reduces stress.

Also, did you know our noses also play a big role in who we fall for?


In the ‘sweaty t-shirt experiment‘ women nearly always expressed preference for the odor of the men who were genetically different from them in immune response to disease. Scientists theorize that choosing someone genetically different in this way could be important in reproducing children with versatile immune systems.

All of these physical cues have to line up perfectly for two people to hit it off

Contrary to popular belief, it’s hard to tell who will give us butterflies in real life using someone’s witty bio or profile pic. Dating apps naturally have an initial focus on superficial characteristics like appearance which doesn’t necessarily promote compatibility.

This is the exact reason Clover has its detailed matching filters to pair people using core values and lifestyle choices.

Don’t worry, it’s definitely possible to hit it off!

Quarandating was an awesome time for people to take a slower approach to dating, one that Clover encourages. It gave people a chance to know each other without the anxiety of feeling pressured to hook up.


And for some of you, a date IRL will be the spark that sets your love on fire. For others, you’ll be happy you managed your expectations properly!

H/T: The Conversation

If you’re media and want to reach our Editor, Moira Ghazal, email her at social @ clover . co

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