The Scoop: EliteSingles is a class act in the online dating scene. The platform caters to single professionals and uses sophisticated matchmaking technology to inspire lasting relationships. Not even a global pandemic can stop its members from pursuing love. In fact, many EliteSingles members became more invested in virtual dating and used the dating site to liven up their lockdown routines. During 2020, the company that owns EliteSingles saw an overall 16% increase in couples success stories across its brands.
The year 2020 is certainly one for the history books. The world changed rapidly to suppress the spread of COVID-19, and the pandemic affected people’s professional and personal lives in countless ways.
As a dating site for single professionals, EliteSingles was deeply affected by this global event and worked quickly to help its love-driven members meet the moment.
“We rose to the challenges of successfully running a dating company despite worldwide pandemic restrictions,” the team said. “One development was moving all internal and external events online.”
EliteSingles is part of Spark Networks, a leading dating brand that serves 29 countries. The company remained strong in the markets and reported significant gains in its user outcomes. In recognition of the dating company’s success, CEO Eric Eichmann received an invitation to virtually ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange in April 2021.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, EliteSingles has tracked the behavioral trends and attitude shifts in its membership base. By conducting targeted surveys, the team has gained insight into how single professionals have balanced dating and relationships with social distancing and quarantines.
“In all parts of life, 2020 proved that you don’t have to be face to face for your interactions to carry meaning and to make a difference,” the EliteSingles team said. “From movie nights to birthday parties, and even weddings, as long as you have a video link you can share special moments without leaving the house. Dating is no exception.”
Increased Interest in Video Dating & Quarantine Buddies
Life under lockdown life can be potentially isolating for a single person, but some singles used that shared experience as a way to break the ice and form a connection with an online crush.
“Early on, we noticed that the pandemic was creating a bonding opportunity for our users,” the team said. “We found that EliteSingles dating profiles with phrases like ‘working from home’ or ‘home office’ received 85% more messages than the average dating profile.”
Singles adapted to the new normal by changing the pace of their online relationships. It took longer to add a new person into their quarantine bubble. A 2021 EliteSingles survey found that 57% of singles agreed that it was important to have the bubble talk with a potential partner after three months of dating. Only 17% of respondents said they would add someone to their bubble within just a few weeks.
The same survey reported that 42% of singles said they would prefer to quarantine with a new romantic partner than quarantine alone.
The challenge for today’s singles is to find a compatible partner without taking on too much risk or going too far outside their bubble. That’s where video dating comes in handy.
EliteSingles has seen interest in video dates spike dramatically over the last year. A survey of over 1,000 users in October 2020 reported that singles were more open than ever to virtual dating through Zoom, Skype, or another video service. A solid 46% of respondents said social distancing rules made them more open to going on a video date with someone they had met online. Only 7% of users said they had tried video dating before the pandemic.
Video dates seemed to be an effective solution to cope with the post-COVID dating scene. About half of singles in the EliteSingles survey said it was possible to fall in love with a person through the course of a video chat.
“One of the biggest changes has been singles becoming more comfortable with taking the next step of chatting to their online matches via various video platforms,” the EliteSingles team told us. “We’ve seen stories of so many singles having a virtual video date for the first time in 2020.”
The New Normal Has Inspired New Romantic Priorities
The EliteSingles Magazine has blogged extensively about the pressing issues and hot topics in the post-COVID dating scene. Sometimes it’s a how-to guide for planning the perfect video date, and sometimes it’s a morale booster for hopeless romantics who are frustrated by lockdowns.
The pandemic has been a dating challenge, but it has also afforded singles more time to gain clarity on who they are and what they want. Some people have emerged from their quarantine with a new perspective. In the fall of 2020, about 60% of EliteSingles members said in a survey that they enjoy getting to know their date virtually before meeting in public.
Video dating has propelled many relationships over the last year, and the EliteSingles team expects those new tools will continue to play a role in online dating after the pandemic is over.
“The pandemic has been a strong lesson about the importance of flexibility and the value of online connection,” the EliteSingles team said. “Singles have been reminded of the value of getting to know someone without pressure – they’re not going to give that up.”
Every person joins EliteSingles with different expectations and comfort levels. And it’s especially important to be sensitive to those differences as the world works its way through the COVID-19 crisis.
Some online matches may be raring to meet in public and excited to visit newly opened restaurants, bars, or coffee shops. But others may still be hesitant to meet in person and want to follow certain protocols (wearing masks, meeting outdoors, etc.) to ensure it’s a safe and enjoyable experience.
EliteSingles encourages online matches to be honest about their expectations and concerns when planning a first date.
“The main thing is to set and stick to the boundaries that work for you, and to talk to your date to find out where their boundaries lie,” the dating experts at EliteSingles advised. “The two of you can make a great date happen whether it’s virtually or in person — but it can only start from an open and honest foundation.”
Couples Success Reports Rose 16% in the Last Year
Throughout 2020, EliteSingles received positive feedback from couples who had fallen in love and even gotten married thanks to the online dating network. In fact, Spark Network saw a 16% increase in the number of couples success stories they received during the pandemic.
These touching love stories are a testament to the good work that EliteSingles does to make people feel less alone — especially during difficult times.
In March 2020, Tony went the extra mile on his virtual dinner date with Jenn and had a meal delivered to her doorstep. “We had a great video dinner that lasted over two hours,” Tony said. “Jenn is my perfect love.”
Lisa and Nate met in September 2020 on EliteSingles, and they agreed to stay six feet apart on their first date at a local dog park. Lisa brought her two dogs, and Nate brought two cups of coffee — both of which were for him. The couple had a good laugh and a lovely conversation that sparked the beginning of their love story.
“We sat there for four hours and still had so much to talk about,” Lisa said. “We made our second date a breakfast picnic. Another four hours and we still had so much to talk about! The rest, as they say, is history!”
“Being locked in due to COVID has given us experiences that couples do not get following years of dating and being together weekly,” said one happy EliteSingles couple who got together in February 2021.
All in all, it seems that not even a global pandemic can stop two people from meeting and falling in love on EliteSingles.
“For most people COVID-19 was the worst time ever,” said Gabriella, who met her boyfriend Sam on EliteSingles in August 2020. “But one of the most beautiful things that came out of it is the relationship I am in right now.”
EliteSingles Has Adapted to a Fast-Changing World
The COVID-19 pandemic has marked a period of social isolation and global uncertainty, yet it has also brought opportunities for innovation, self-reflection, and growth. In the dating industry, the companies that embraced virtual dating technology thrived and gave singles the chance to click without crossing the boundaries.
Over the last year, EliteSingles has tracked many positive trends in its online dating membership base. The dating website has seen more users adopting video dating and virtual dating tools. EliteSingles has also received an increase in reports from happy couples who met on the site.
“It’s truly one of the highlights of working at a dating site like EliteSingles,” the team said. “Even in a year of struggle and sadness like 2020, we have the privilege of seeing daily reminders that love persists no matter what.”