The Scoop: During the COVID-19 pandemic, singles have turned to online dating in droves. Nick Notas, a dating and confidence coach, helps his clients navigate the tricky waters of meeting women online, connecting on video dates, and building romantic relationships despite challenging circumstances. Nick’s online dating strategies prompt single men to embrace their passions, ask engaging questions, and, most importantly, build confidence with every match. Nick recommends practical solutions for single men hoping to find love in the midst of the pandemic.

Online dating was popular pre-COVID-19, but since the pandemic hit, singles have been using these apps like never before. Between February and July of 2020, Match Group reported a 15% increase in subscribers across its dating platforms, which include Tinder, Hinge, Match, and OKCupid.

“Love is still important, and many have navigated forming relationships. That’s human nature. If we have a strong connection with someone, we’ll take risks and fight for it,” said Nick Notas, a dating and confidence coach who works with single men of all backgrounds.

Photo of Nick Notas, confidence coach

Nick Notas is a dating and confidence coach who works with single men.

Nick has a deep understanding of the dating world and human nature, and his insights can help singles on their journey to love. During the COVID-19 pandemic, online dating has become an important piece to that puzzle.

To accommodate social distancing, dating apps have added a new feature into the mix: video dating. Singles can connect with possible matches on a video date and determine if the romantic connection is strong enough to warrant meeting in person later. Hinge, Tinder, eharmony, and Plenty of Fish have all added video date features within the last year.

In Nick’s view, video dating is much better than texting and typing because two people can look each other in the eye and give their undivided attention to the conversation. Video dating offers a fresh set of challenges and opportunities to modern daters, and Nick guides his clients through this brave new world.

“When you get on video, you get the vocal tone, facial features, eye contact, the vibe,” Nick explained. “Video is the halfway point between text and an in-person date, and it lets you know if it’s worth the risk of meeting up in person.”

Teaching Clients How to Put Their Best Foot Forward Online

Many industries have struggled in the last year, but it turns out that the dating industry is pandemic-proof. Despite facing many challenges, daters have continued seeking romantic partners and looking for ways to end their isolation in lockdown.

“People are lonely and want to find someone,” Nick said. “It’s been my busiest year, and it’s continuing to grow.”

Nick coaches men to build their self-esteem and improve their dating skills. His coaching programs have historically focused more on meeting dates in person rather than on online dating, but Nick has switched gears to meet people where they are — which is online.

“It was supplemental online dating before, but now my clients are taking online dating more seriously. The focus on online dating has been a major shift,” he told us.

Photo of Nick Notas

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Nick has helped his clients with online dating.

Although Nick’s clients are willing to start online dating, they often find sites and apps difficult to maneuver at the beginning. Singles can struggle to find quality matches — or any matches at all — and they may not know how to improve their chances of meeting the right type of person.

Nick told us his online dating workshops always start with the dating profile. He makes sure his clients have attractive profile pictures and know how to present themselves in personal prompts and bios.

“If they don’t have good photos because they weren’t used to online dating, it’s hard to do that now,” Nick told us. “We’re trying to teach our clients to take the photos themselves. They can try going outside and putting the camera on a self-timer. We also teach them how to edit photos to improve the effectiveness.”

Daters Can Find Success by Building Confidence

Navigating dating websites can sometimes be a stressful experience, particularly if you’ve never done it before. So it helps to have a sure-footed guide like Nick by your side. His tailored coaching programs can provide advice based on years of experience and knowledge.

“Even when they do get a match, they are nervous about missing out on the opportunity,” Nick told us. “They’re thinking ‘How do I not mess this up?’”

Nick encourages men to become more confident in interacting with women. If they’re confident, they allow their personalities to shine, and that can be an attractive quality in the dating scene.

First of all, Nick reminds his clients that they’ve matched with a woman because she’s swiped right on him. That means she’s already interested. This reminder helps men relax and stop focusing so much on trying to impress their matches.

Photo of single men with Nick

Nick plans on resuming his in-person retreats once it’s safe again.

Nick suggests that his clients be themselves when connecting with a new love interest. He leads brainstorming sessions where he and his client come up with a few topics of conversation to break the ice on any first date, whether it’s virtual or in person.

“If you love something, or have been reading something, or have adopted a new hobby, bring that up in your video call. You’re going to come across as more charismatic if you share something you love,” he told us.

Of course, the conversation shouldn’t be all one-sided, so Nick makes sure his clients have good questions to ask. These questions should be based, in large part, on what the date says about herself in her dating profile.

“What about her profile makes you passionate? What questions would fire you up? Don’t think about how to say the right things to get her to like you. Focus on your own curiosity and fire, and that will increase the odds that you’ll meet up in some fashion,” Nick said.

Nick Notas Gets Singles Connecting in Challenging Times

Once singles meet and click online, what happens next? Many of Nick’s clients ask him how they can decide when and whether it’s time to meet up for an in-person date.

Nick counsels his clients to think about their own health-related comfort levels. Should they meet up outside? Can they eat together inside while maintaining social distance? He explains that the most important thing is clearly articulating dating expectations.

Photo of Nick Notas

Nick assures his clients that it’s possible to date and fall in love during the coronavirus pandemic.

“People are getting into relationships during the pandemic. People meet up from a distance, they feel a deeper connection, and are willing to risk for love and connection,” Nick told us.

Nick had one client who had only been dating his partner for a few months before they moved in together. They’re still together now.

Nick’s line of work has adapted well to meet COVID-19 restrictions, but he still is excited to get back to his face-to-face client work, including the retreats he offers for single men. Nick’s signature four-month retreat program Conquer Confidence helps men practice the skills they’ve learned in approaching women as part of a four-day in-person retreat. He hasn’t been able to offer those retreats in a year.

“I feel a little lonely at times. I’m excited to get back to normal life whenever I can,” said Nick.

What does Nick think will be the long-term repercussions of the pandemic on dating?

“I think people who were introverted, who thought they liked to be online by themselves most of the time, will change. When we don’t have something, we will see the value in it. We have social tools, but they’re no substitute for being with people. No Zoom or video can replace being together in person,” he said.