Health and Healthcare Systems

Coronavirus: Online dating has seen a surge in activity in India since the lockdown

Khushbu Hitesh Mehta, 22, an architecture student, works on her project as her father Hitesh Mehta, 47, a businessman, speaks on his mobile phone inside his three-room apartment in a high-rise building during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to slow the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Mumbai, India March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Hemanshi Kamani - RC20VF968OXN

How can you find love in lockdown? Image: REUTERS/Hemanshi Kamani

Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Health and Healthcare Systems?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how COVID-19 is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

COVID-19

  • Lockdown measures in India, enforced to curtail the spread of COVID-19, have proved to be no barrier to dating among India's population, as thousands go online to dating sites and apps.
  • Since the country went into lockdown in March, there's been a 26% increase on conversations of the platform OkCupid.
  • Lockdown has changed the dating seen around the world, with more and more young people open to going on an 'online date'.

Amid a stringent lockdown, India has taken to online dating like fish to water.

Over 90% of the Indians on online dating platform OkCupid said they would continue dating virtually during the Covid-19 quarantine. Indeed, there has been a 26% spike in conversations on the platform and 12% in matches in the country since March, the second-highest bump globally on both fronts.

India dating society Coronavirus china virus health healthcare who world health organization disease deaths pandemic epidemic worries concerns Health virus contagious contagion viruses diseases disease lab laboratory doctor health dr nurse medical medicine drugs vaccines vaccinations inoculations technology testing test medicinal biotechnology biotech biology chemistry physics microscope research influenza flu cold common cold bug risk symptomes respiratory china iran italy europe asia america south america north washing hands wash hands coughs sneezes spread spreading precaution precautions health warning covid 19 cov SARS 2019ncov wuhan sarscow wuhanpneumonia  pneumonia outbreak patients unhealthy fatality mortality elderly old elder age serious death deathly deadly
Increase in matches and conversations on OkCupid since March 2020. Image: Quartz

Indian millennials already had ideas for how they could convert a regular date into a digital one. Over 40%, of an average 16,000 respondents per question across India, said they were open to coming together online for meals and drinks.

India dating society Coronavirus china virus health healthcare who world health organization disease deaths pandemic epidemic worries concerns Health virus contagious contagion viruses diseases disease lab laboratory doctor health dr nurse medical medicine drugs vaccines vaccinations inoculations technology testing test medicinal biotechnology biotech biology chemistry physics microscope research influenza flu cold common cold bug risk symptomes respiratory china iran italy europe asia america south america north washing hands wash hands coughs sneezes spread spreading precaution precautions health warning covid 19 cov SARS 2019ncov wuhan sarscow wuhanpneumonia  pneumonia outbreak patients unhealthy fatality mortality elderly old elder age serious death deathly deadly
Activities Indian millennials would choose for an online date. Image: Quartz

Most Indian users of OkCupid also preferred text messaging over video calling, in line with global trends. “There have been over 50 million intro messages sent across the world on OkCupid over the past month among daters connecting for the first time,” said Ariel Charytan, CEO of OkCupid.

India dating society Coronavirus china virus health healthcare who world health organization disease deaths pandemic epidemic worries concerns Health virus contagious contagion viruses diseases disease lab laboratory doctor health dr nurse medical medicine drugs vaccines vaccinations inoculations technology testing test medicinal biotechnology biotech biology chemistry physics microscope research influenza flu cold common cold bug risk symptomes respiratory china iran italy europe asia america south america north washing hands wash hands coughs sneezes spread spreading precaution precautions health warning covid 19 cov SARS 2019ncov wuhan sarscow wuhanpneumonia  pneumonia outbreak patients unhealthy fatality mortality elderly old elder age serious death deathly deadly
Popular formats of virtual dating for Indian millennials. Image: Quartz

The dating platform attributes this affinity for text message conversations to a return of “slow dating.” Up to 85% of OkCupid’s global users have said it is important to develop an emotional connection with a partner before a physical one. The virtual dating system, respondents say, aids this.

Loading...

It also correlates with a 20% decrease in OkCupid’s global user base looking for hookups online, and a 5% increase in the number of those looking for serious relationships.

Some Indian users have found other silver linings, including being able to wear pyjamas to a date.

India dating society Coronavirus china virus health healthcare who world health organization disease deaths pandemic epidemic worries concerns Health virus contagious contagion viruses diseases disease lab laboratory doctor health dr nurse medical medicine drugs vaccines vaccinations inoculations technology testing test medicinal biotechnology biotech biology chemistry physics microscope research influenza flu cold common cold bug risk symptomes respiratory china iran italy europe asia america south america north washing hands wash hands coughs sneezes spread spreading precaution precautions health warning covid 19 cov SARS 2019ncov wuhan sarscow wuhanpneumonia  pneumonia outbreak patients unhealthy fatality mortality elderly old elder age serious death deathly deadly
The benefits of dating virtually for Indians. Image: Quartz
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Health and Healthcare SystemsFourth Industrial RevolutionGeographies in Depth
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

More on Health and Healthcare Systems
See all

Antimicrobial resistance is a leading cause of global deaths. Now is the time to act

Dame Sally Davies, Hemant Ahlawat and Shyam Bishen

May 16, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum