Struggling to find love in this lonely time of Covid-19? Why not pay an expert to do it for you?

Illustration. Photo by Getty Images
Illustration. Photo by Getty Images

We hear countless Tinder success stories every day. Last November, my best friend married her Tinder match. And I was recently (before lockdown) in the company of two strangers, and all three of us confessed to meeting our current partners on this much-loved (and equally loathed) dating app. 

Meeting someone in real life (IRL) has almost become unfathomable for many singles right now - even the law basically prohibits it. Unless you're keen to flirt with masked potential partners standing a metre away from you at essential shopping queues - yikes!

Online dating has to become our comfort zone if it isn't already – we can chat more freely and be more playful while we remain safely social distanced in our homes. 

READ MORE: Tinder’s most ‘swiped right’ guy finally finds love – the old-fashioned way!

“Couples who meet through personal introductions start off with some guarantee that the introducer knows them both and has a fair idea that they have a lot in common,” says Shannon Davidoff, an expert local matchmaker.

recent study published in Stanford’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, confirmed that more heterosexual couples are now meeting online as supposed to the old-fashioned way - through friends, family or co-workers. 

But Litaletu, a journalist living in Joburg, met her boyfriend IRL before coronavirus. 

“I remember standing on the balcony with a good friend of mine, watching people dance, and then David and his friends walked up - at first I didn’t notice him, but he said something to get my attention,” says Litaletu.

READ MORE: Digisexuality – the new form of intimacy

She met David, a 32-year-old Chinese-American guy at a monthly rooftop social event in SA’s most cosmopolitan city. She instantly responded to his vibe. “There was just something about the way he spoke about children, his culture, education and wanting to make a difference in the world.”

After talking the whole evening, they had their first date the very next day. “He invited me to an event at an art gallery. We had dinner at the restaurant below the art gallery and spoke about our different cultures, the education system in South Africa and more,” she says. 

A year later, and they are living together.

READ MORE: 'I was scammed out of R8300 after being seduced on Tinder'

There is nothing extreme or extraordinary about the way they met. But it’s fairly old-school compared to most modern-day love stories. 

Exhausted by free dating apps and the inevitable time-consuming drudgery, many women around the world are now paying modern-day matchmakers to ‘make them a match’. 

We outsource so many things in our lives - all in digital isolation. We UberEats instead of cooking, Taxify instead of driving, and send Whatsapp voice notes instead of having an actual conversation. Why not pay to find love? 

READ MORE: Bonnie Mbuli’s expert advice on using google to help you avoid bad blind dates

A database of vetted romantic candidates suited for us might be the answer. Shannon, who’s owned two leading dating agencies for almost two decades, says that the dating scene has evolved, even in the last two years. 

When it comes to dating, she says we still want traditional dating etiquette to play out on dates, for example “The golden rule is: the one who invites pays”; however, we need new ways to find dates that involves both digital and a human touch. Here’s where the services of a matchmaker could come in handy. 

READ MORE: ‘I went on a tinder date with a couple and we spent the night together’ - here’s how this local woman’s unique experience went

“Digital communication is vital for starters with a modern matchmaker as well, but the human need for connection is key. People need to meet. Often, time is just wasted on dating apps, and singles never actually end up making a real-life connection,” she says. 

Cape Town-based self-development coach, Maridi Jooste says, “Why waste time on an the wrong app, when you could’ve been using that time to chase your goals and aspirations instead?”

Could meeting via matchmaker be the dating hybrid we’ve been looking for? How did you meet your partner? Tell us about it here.

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Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
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Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
22% - 662 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
9% - 274 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
50% - 1516 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
1% - 40 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 546 votes