LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – We might be socially isolated, but that does not mean that people have stopped looking for love.
Jen and Michael Rumble met on dating app Match in the beginning of the pandemic. The couple spent their first date in her backyard.
They spent nearly every subsequent day together, said the couple, going on hiking dates, boating dates, or any other kinds of outdoors and socially distanced dates.
Match itself saw a 30% increase in messaging last month when compared to last year.
“People who may not have been interested in online dating because they could have gone out far more often are now utilizing [online dating] as a tool,” said Match dating expert Rachel Dealto.
Online dating began to really pick up after the holidays, when many singles refocused their goals on finding love.
Dating app OkCupid said there’s been on a suge on their app as well, and that any remaining stigma around online dating has vanished.
“You get more questions now if you’re single and you’re not on an app,” said Dealto.
Both Jen and Michael have been married before, and they said they felt guilty to find happiness amidst the pandemic and hardship.
“We didn’t want to tell anyone,” said Michael.
The couple met in March, got engaged in August, and married in October,
Economics magazine Fortune reported that in March of 2020, dating app Tinder saw their highest number of swipes in March of 2020: 3 billion in one day. Bumble saw a 70% increase in video calls, and Fortune also reports that OkCupid saw a 700% increase in dates.
However, it hasn’t been all good for online dating in 2020.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warned about the rise of catfishing around last Valentines day.
Catfishing is a phenomenon where someone pretends to be someone else online, often with malicious intent.
The name is derived from the documentary and MTV television series Catfish.
Catfishers often create false identities or steal the identities of others, often stealing their photos and likeness as well.
WLNS previously reported that Instagram model Tom Ernsting of Michigan has been the target of catfishing identity thieves.
“I’d get a message once a week that someone had used my picture. And then it just snowballed. They were stealing money and defrauding them using my image,” said Ernsting.
He says people find his real social media accounts and say they’ve handed over more than $200,000, to who they thought was him, but, wasn’t.
One woman spent her and her husband’s retirement fund of $150,000, thinking she was in a relationship with Ernsting.
The BBB put out tips on what to look for when dating online- its biggest one, never send money to someone you haven’t met in person.