By Elizabeth Rose, Contributing Writer
Acton – The global spread of the 2020 pandemic stimulated an explosion of online dating activity never before witnessed. A wave of lockdowns surging from country to country was paralleled by visits to online dating sites. On March 29, as countries shuttered restaurants, bars, theaters, subways and nightclubs, Tinder recorded over 3 billion swipes in a single day. Messages sent over Bumble from San Francisco, Seattle and New York saw a 20 percent increase. In addition to more browsing online, singles also wrote more robust messages, with Tinder messages expanding by 30 percent.
Even though more singles are swiping left and right, dating online can still seem intimidating and frustrating. Kathy Kommit, a certified Life Coach and Licensed Clinical Independent Social Worker (LICSW), has taken on the challenge of assisting women over fifty succeed in the online dating world.
“Many women who are renewing dating after years of marriage feel intimidated by online dating. They may feel lonely and yearn for a partner but not know where or how to start. Navigating the technology of online dating can also be an initial barrier. It may be all new to them,” Kommit said.
She offers a 12-week program helping women gain confidence and learning how to traverse the dating world. Some clients need concrete help with the technology of the dating apps, which Kommit offers as well. Other clients may have beliefs about themselves that interfere with creating the results they seek. She helps women craft a profile which depicts them in a realistic but positive light.
“Online dating is like marketing. They have to sell themselves,” Kommit said.
In the coaching model that Kommit uses, the first step is helping clients become aware of their thoughts. They may discover that negative thoughts are shifting their narrative towards negative outcomes. Once they have awareness, Kommit helps them shift thoughts towards their desired outcomes. Clients are helped to gain clarity on what they are looking for in a partner and to identify the qualities that make them a desirable match.
Both genders may be reluctantly approaching online dating, but the numbers are increasing, and more marriages are being formed online. In the last decade, online dating has become the most practiced method for meeting singles. Online coupling now composes 40 percent of all new marriages, almost double the percentage in 2009 and 18 times the statistics for 1995.
COVID-19 has shaped new dating patterns. People are moving more quickly from texting to meeting on Zoom, or similar platforms, but are less likely to rush into sexual intimacy. They are taking more time to get to know each other.
“Using Zoom in the dating arena has never been done before. People are taking it slower. Meeting on Zoom before suggesting an in-person meeting. This is delaying sexual intimacy and changing the way people get to know each other, which is often a beneficial by-product,” Kommit said.
Kommit comes to the field with experience in online dating that she readily shares with her clientele. She has created a free, exclusive Facebook Group Dating With Confidence and Success is specifically for women over 50 who are dating. In the group, members share questions, support, advice and camaraderie. Kommit offers value by presenting video trainings on a number of topics related to dating.