The pandemic changed how we date. These apps get that

Lorenza Centi
Originally Published: 

Summer ‘21 is approaching swiftly and with it comes the promise of long days in the sun, free from the shadow of Cheeto’s antics; actual vacations; and — fingers crossed — some hot vaccinated fun. Some of us may need a little help meeting new friends and lovers, though, because we’ve been stuck in our homes too long to remember how to flirt. Before you side-eye the new dating apps cropping up — because there are many — I'm here to testify that some of them can lead to both super hot hook-ups and finding the love of your life (true story). But before you trot out your tired old Tinder profile, check out these new dating apps custom made to help you dive into the pandemic-era dating pool.


Pre-pandemic, I would often hand friends my phone to do the swiping for me because it felt more like real life to have potential dates vetted by people who know and love me. Chorus is a new app that lets your friends do the matchmaking virtually. You can’t even swipe for yourself on Chorus, which is fun for your friends and it also ensures that the people you might date have friends cool enough to pick you, too. The app can be used anywhere, but its current user base is mostly in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.



Anyone who’s even dipped a toe into the ocean of dating apps is probably familiar with the painful monotony of swiping through still pics. How much can you really tell about a person from a contrived image of them and their friend's golden retriever? Snack remedies this; a cross between Tinder and TikTok, it shows you short video profiles that convey a person’s vibe. Just like on TikTok, you may have to parse through some kinda boring vids, but you can get a better idea of someone’s personality through video and swiping through everyone’s dating auditions is at least entertaining.


Clubhouse isn’t actually a dating app — it’s the all audio social media platform that people became obsessed with during the beginning of the pandemic — but folx are now falling in love, apparently, with people they’re chatting with. The Clubhouse invite-only access situation and chat room setup does some of the pre-vetting for you, because if you’re in the same room with someone, chances are good that you will have some shared interests. You can’t actually DM someone on Clubhouse — thank you sweet baby Baphomet — but if you like what someone has to say, you can tap them to come into a private room for some one-on-one.


Feels is the dating app for people entirely “too cool for matching.” Like Snack, it uses what it calls “anti-boring” Instagram-style stories and TikTok-style videos to introduce you to people. It’s still pretty new, so you might not see as many options as you do on more established apps, but if you do hook up with someone amazing, you’ll have the hipster cool assurance that you met in a new place that no one else knows about yet.