Lifestyle Story: Portland, OR. Bumble recently conducted research on how the pandemic has changed dating as singles head into the ‘summer of love.’ The women-first dating app and social networking platform, is revealing how the pandemic has shaped the way that single people are dating this summer and beyond as restrictions are beginning to ease and more people are becoming fully vaccinated within the United States every day.

Nearly 90%4 of American users who have selected their first date preferences within Bumble’s COVID Preferences Center are ready to date In Real Life (IRL) again. Of those ready for an IRL first date, there’s nearly an even split between those who are comfortable with a regular IRL first date (46%)4 or a socially distanced one (41%)4. Bumble has also seen growth particularly in those states and cities where there are higher vaccination rates.

“The pandemic has leveled the dating world like never before and has brought about meaningful changes in behavior that we see having a positive impact on our community long term,” said Whitney Wolfe Herd, CEO and Founder of Bumble. “Historically, this is a time of year where the dating industry sees a considerable increase in activity and we’re experiencing that more than ever heading into this summer season. As our research illustrates, daters are entering this ‘summer of love’ with more intentionality than ever before and are prioritizing safety, compatibility, and shared values as restrictions ease and vaccination rates increase.”

Ahead of the official first day of summer on June 20, Bumble is sharing new research and insights about dating during this ‘summer of love.’

Here’s all the current research from Bumble:

Dating has changed for the better. The time that people spent in lockdown really allowed them to focus on what they are truly looking for while dating, giving them a renewed sense of clarity and confidence in taking control of their dating lives as they begin to meet new people this summer. Through recent research, Bumble has found that people are now dating more intentionally than before the pandemic – they’re being more honest about what they’re looking for in a relationship, whether it’s something casual or serious.

  • 55%2 of Bumble’s global users have said that they are now feeling less willing to compromise on what they want and need from a potential relationship, according to a recent survey.

  • Nearly 40%1  (38%) of Americans surveyed have noticed an increase in clear communication of expectations and intentions while dating throughout the pandemic.

  • Nearly 30%1  (28%) have seen a meaningful decline in dead-end conversations as people are being more honest about what they’re looking for in a relationship.

  • Nearly 40%1  (39%) respondents have noticed a meaningful decline in ghosting while dating throughout the pandemic.

  • Over 30%1  (31%) have said that they noticed a meaningful decline in catfishing.

Online dating is just… dating

It’s no surprise that people have adapted to new ways of communicating and dating to find and explore meaningful connections throughout the pandemic.

  • 91%1 of the Americans surveyed believe that there is no longer a stigma attached to meeting someone online or through a dating app since the pandemic began.

  • An overwhelming two-thirds1 (65%) think that it’s possible to fall in love with someone that they’ve never met in person before.

  • Nearly 40%1 (38%) enjoy going on virtual dates as they find that it’s safer to engage with a match virtually before meeting in person.

    • 1 in 31 (31%) like virtual dates because it saves them time and money.

    • 1 in 41 (26%) appreciate that they only have to get partially ready (“half-glam”) when going on a video date.

  • Many are also leaning more into other means of virtual communication – 1 in 41 (25%) of those surveyed have sent someone an audio message this past year.

Safety is still top of mind

Following a year in quarantine, safety is still top of mind and many are continuing to prioritize discussions on precautions and COVID vaccination statuses before meeting someone in person for the first time.

  • More than 54%2  of Bumble’s global users feel more safety conscious than before the pandemic.

  • Vaccination status is essential to many, as 30%1 Americans surveyed would not go on a date or have sex with someone who hasn’t received the COVID vaccine.

  • Bumble announced its plans to launch a “Vaccinated” Badge in profiles this summer within the US and the UK. By adding the badge, people will be able to show on their dating profile whether they have been vaccinated for COVID-19. Bumble will also offer complimentary credits for premium features, such as Spotlight and SuperSwipe, to those who enable the “Vaccinated” Badge later this summer.

To help its community feel comfortable dating right now and to help normalize conversations about dating during the pandemic, Bumble has added a COVID Preferences Center that can be accessed by tapping the profile icon within the Bumble app. After matching with someone, both individuals will be able to see what the other person’s dating preferences are – such as meeting outdoors and in uncrowded places only – and what precautions they want to take.

Bumble also offers a Safety Center, which is available online and within the app by tapping the profile icon. Bumble’s Safety Center provides a compilation of resources and tools to help its community date confidently.

Shared values are more important than ever before

The way that people are now approaching conversations around race and intersectional inequalities while dating has completely shifted after a year that re-ignited powerful social justice moments.

  • Since the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in 2020, nearly 2 in 53  (38%) Americans surveyed said that they have re-evaluated how they approach race and inequality in their romantic relationships.

    • This number is even more significant for Black respondents, as more than 1 in 23  (53%) Black Americans are now re-evaluating how they approach race and inequality while dating since last year’s events.

  • 62%3  of respondents say that it is important for them to talk about key social issues on a first date, such as gender equality, politics, race, or the environment.

  • 75%3  would only date someone if a majority of their political and social views align.

  • 1 in 23  (51%) respondents believe that activism is now a more important part of society than their parents considered it to be during their generation.

Wolfe Herd continues: “Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve remained intently focused on listening to our community to understand how their needs have evolved and we have continued to innovate our product to meet that demand. We are always looking for ways to enhance the user experience by listening closely to user feedback and will continue to do so moving forward.”

Over the past year, Bumble has made several updates to its platform, including introducing 150 new interest badges in dating profiles and launching its “Night In” feature, where two people can participate in an interactive game during a video chat. The company also recently launched Snap’s AR Lenses within Bumble video calls and launched video notes that utilize Snapchat’s technology.

Research background:

1 Based on insights commissioned by Bumble and carried out online by Censuswide. Surveys were conducted with a sample of 1,003 single adults in the United States between May 4th to 10th, 2021. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society, which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

2 Based on a survey conducted on the Bumble app among those based in Australia = 1,215, US = 1,598, UK = 1,272 during Q2 2021.

3 Based on insights commissioned by Bumble and carried out online by Research Without Barriers (RWB). The survey was conducted with a sample of 1,002 adults in the United States between May 14 to 17, 2021. All research conducted adheres to the UK Market Research Society (MRS) code of conduct (2019) and ICC/ESOMAR (international). RWB is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and complies with the DPA (1998).

4 Based on proprietary Bumble platform insights in the US, June 2021.

About Bumble app: Bumble, the women-first social networking app, was founded by CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014. Bumble connects people across dating (Bumble Date), friendship (Bumble BFF) and professional networking (Bumble Bizz). No matter the type of relationship, women make the first move on Bumble. Bumble is built on the importance of equitable relationships and how crucial they are to a healthy, happy life. They’ve built their platform around kindness, respect, and equality – and their community plays an important part in that. Bumble holds its users accountable for their actions and has zero-tolerance for hate, aggression, or bullying. Bumble is free and available worldwide in the App Store and Google Play.