Wednesday 21 October 2020 10:59 am

DEBATE: Is there any point trying to find love in lockdown?

Emma Sayle is founder and chief executive of Killing Kittens, a social network dedicated to sexual empowerment
and Emma Revell
Emma Revell is head of public affairs at the Institute of Economic Affairs

Is there any point trying to find love in lockdown? JOIN THE DEBATE.

Emma Sayle, founder and chief executive of social network Killing Kittens, says YES.

When lockdown started, traffic to the Killing Kittens website went up 300 per cent. We had 150 per cent more photo uploads and 425 per cent more messages — 24 hours a day, from all over the world. 

So can you find love in the Covid era? Yes yes yes!

If you’re single, this crazy time really is ideal for dating — and I mean old-school dating. There is no pressure to meet (or hook) up in person, you can take it slowly, sending virtual messages from the comfort of your sofa. It’s been the perfect opportunity to stand still, take stock, and really figure out what you want in a relationship, without the white noise of normal everyday life getting in the way. 

If you’re brave enough to actually meet in person, the pace is more chilled, with quieter venues and last orders at 9.30pm. The standard practice of drinking ’til you drop into someone else’s bed is off the table right now — instead, you can take your time, find out about the other person, have meaningful conversations, learn what makes them tick. Wham-bam-thank you ma’am is over (for now). 

And why not take this time for a little bit of self-love too? There’s a reason sex toy sales have gone up over 300 per cent since March. A regular release of those love endorphins is a boost for your mental health — so it’s a win win all round.

Emma Revell, head of public affairs at the Institute of Economic Affairs, says NO.

Love in the time of Covid? How do you even start?! 

Dating apps were the go-to for younger singles before lockdown, but if you weren’t a fan of finding love through a screen, you’re out of luck now. Coronavirus restrictions put every other possible meeting place out of bounds. No more missed connections on the Tube or cliched chat-up lines in bars, Covid marshals won’t allow it. Just swipe right on someone looking for a “second lockdown buddy” and hope they’re less weird in person. Not that you’ll meet them anytime soon.

Even if you do find someone, or your fledgling relationship survived the first lockdown, what does dating look like in 2020? If you’re in Tier 2, there’s no meals out (or in), no drinks after work, the would-be suitor isn’t even allowed in your house. Forget third base, this government has effectively outlawed anything other than blowing a kiss in a wind-swept park.

Draconian restrictions are being imposed that would have been unthinkable 12 months ago, and we need to look at the impact in the round. A spike in singles is just the tip of the iceberg. The stress on our relationships — romantic or otherwise — will be felt for years to come.


Main image credit: Getty

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.