What do work, elections, and doing taxes have in common? They can be less stressful than dating. In fact, according to new research from Plenty of Fish, dating is a bigger source of anxiety for some than elections, work, or even doing taxes. 67% of those surveyed by Plenty of Fish find dating to be a source of anxiety, and one in five has even skipped a date entirely due to this.
When it comes to pre-date nerves, the study found the most anxiety inducing moments before a date. 30% find waiting for their date to arrive the most nerve-wracking part, and stresses typically come down to self-conscious thoughts. 69% of singles are anxious about how their date will perceive them, with 64% worrying about keeping the conversation going.
When it comes to keeping dates anxiety-free, Plenty of Fish was able to pick up on some top tips. According to its research, singles feel the least anxious on less formal dates, such as getting a coffee (keeping it virtual for now, of course), going for a simple (socially distanced) walk in the park, and dates that revolve around an activity, such as cooking or online games. These keep the conversation going, and can be achieved over video chat. With this in mind, Tinder has launched in-app video calls to help people continue to date in lockdown.
This is a trend being picked up among the best online dating sites, with OkCupid recently revealing that 94% plan to continue to date throughout the coronavirus crisis, but virtually. In fact, Plenty of Fish found that 8 in 10 wouldn't date somebody who isn't taking social distancing seriously, so video dates are the obvious choice. 'Before social isolation, only 26% of singles had video chatted with a prospective date, now 60% of singles are more likely to use video chat with a potential date.'
Anxiety is on the rise
Among the specifics of dating and anxiety, Plenty of Fish also revealed some worrying findings regarding the rise of anxiety in general. In its Dating From a Distance report, the site found that 7 in 10 singles report feeling more anxious than usual these days. This comes among reports that WHO experts think social distancing will cause a second pandemic: mental illness. And it's not just singles facing increased levels of anxiety; recent research revealed that 35% of people working from home say their mental health has worsened.
If you're experiencing a drop in mental stability throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we've put together a guide on how to stay healthy and feel happy while isolating at home. If you are concerned for your mental health, these resources are here to help: