By Linda Kessler.
At bars and coffee shops, on commutes and in workplaces — a lot of the places people typically look to make a romantic connection have taken a hit during the pandemic. In more recent years, dating apps like BumbleHinge and Tinder have become household names.
But these days there are varied online dating opportunities, from matchmakers and virtual speed dating to dating apps and sites that cater to more niche groups. Costs for matchmaking services vary widely from just over a hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the length of membership and of matches. Locally, the Dallas Dating Co. With in-person events limited during the pandemic, daters can look forward to virtual speed dating nights. These online events are often geotagged, allowing singles of a certain age bracket to experience short, virtual dates with people in their area.
Then, if both parties felt a connection, contact information is exchanged and the fun can continue.
Speed Dallas Dating offers such events, as well as in-person speed dating and matchmaking services. For some daters, sharing a similar culture and background with a potential match is essential. On the website side of things, online dating company Cupid Media operates more than 30 sites connecting daters based on their religion, ethnicity, lifestyle or special interests.
There are a multitude of dating for people looking for both love and a partner to share their faith with, but Christian MingleJdate and Salams are some of the most well-known. Christian Mingle is both a website and an app devoted to Christians.
Dallas, JDate is a popular dating site and app for Jewish people. Formerly known as Minder think Muslim Tinderthe Salams dating app aims to match people of the Muslim faith. For members of the queer community, having a safe space to date and connect is important, and apps like HER and Grindr aim to provide just that.
While Grindr used to be well-known as a dating app for gay men, today the app describes itself as a social networking site for the gay, bi, trans and queer communities.
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Dating apps and websites and speed dating can seem like options geared toward a younger audience, but romance is timeless. And while age is just asome companies have found success in catering specifically to daters in their golden years. The app OurTime and dating site SilverSingles are just two options for this age group. Those in their 50s and beyond will find daters in the same chapter of their life and hopefully looking for similar things in a relationship.
On the other side of the spectrum, Tabby launched last summer and caters to cat people. Both apps feature information about the daters and their pets, including photos of the furry friends in question, as well as pet-friendly date ideas and tips. Can dating in a pandemic even work? Or be fun?
Missing the chance to go to the movies together? Another fun idea is hosting a virtual game night, either just the two of you or with friends. Zoom happy hours and dinners, virtual cooking and painting classes, and playing video games together can also be fun ways to spend time with a new love interest. But, if daters get tired of being behind a screen, socially distanced outdoor dates to a park, garden or restaurant patio are also a good option for safe, romantic fun.
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