NEW DELHI: The covid-19 pandemic has changed the way young Indians date, with many prioritising emotional availability in their partners while others preferring to remain consciously single. 

Dating app Bumble said 71% of people on the service in India are ready to hit the reset button on their dating journey in the new year. For 75%, the pandemic has made them now prioritise finding a partner who is more emotionally available while for more than half (52%), it has drastically changed what they are looking for in a partner.

These findings are based on research conducted by Bumble using internal data and polling between 6-21 October 2021, with a sample of more than 8,500 Bumble users across Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Philippines, United Kingdom, and United States.

At the same time, the pandemic has made almost half of the people (48%) question what their ‘type’ is. Around 55% of daters on Bumble in India would describe their approach to dating as exploratory. Hobby-centric dates have emerged with 75% of Indian daters having picked up new hobbies and skills during the pandemic and 52% planning their dates around these new hobbies. This is an easy way to get back into dating post-lockdown by doing something you already love and connecting over shared interests, a statement from the company said.

To be sure, the need to find someone special is now stronger than ever with 62% saying it’s okay to be alone for a while and people consciously making a decision to be single, with the majority of singles (54%) being more mindful and intentional in how and when they date.

With vaccination rates increasing, PDA is back in a big way and 73% of single Indians on Bumble say that they are more open to public displays of affection post-pandemic.

“If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that people are being more mindful of what they are looking for in a partner and more intentional about dating at their own time and pace. As we head into the new year, there is a sense of hope and excitement around dating, both virtual and in real life, as India lifts restrictions across states,” Samarpita Samaddar, India communications director, Bumble said in a statement.

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