Social distancing imposed by COVID-19 has made dating more conversational.

Meeting ground: Mangharam at Bengaluru’s Cubbon Park

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, popular dating apps like Tinder, OkCupid and TrulyMadly have advised users to adopt caution when meeting offline; some have even recommended social distancing. Singles-only dating platform Floh, with 12,000 paid customers in Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Goa and Pune, has for now called off the offline events it holds for single people (15-20 a month).

The rules of dating, too, are changing. One 18-year-old from Delhi says she and her partner now sanitise their lips before kissing one another on the cheek, and then sanitise the spot again to be safe. Deepti Ghosh, a 29-year-old freelance writer from Kolkata, says: We avoid bodily contact. Sanitisers are more important than condoms and conversation has overpowered physical attraction.

Many weddings are being cancelled or are seeing a makeovera leaner guest list, fewer ceremonies and greater emphasis on hygiene. Ashish Bohra, the 27-year-old co-founder of wedding planning firm Perfexion, postponed his own wedding scheduled in Bahrain on February 29-March 1. Over 350 guests and 100 artistes were due to attend the functions. Health is more important. We have rescheduled it to Goa next week, says Bohra.

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