By Tim Moran, Patch Staff

Dating during Coronavirus: Has the lockdown transformed your situationship into a ‘turbo relationship?’ My feature with explains why the Coronavirus has accelerated the intensity of our dating experience: #turborelationship #covid19

ACROSS AMERICA — With restaurants and bars across the states closed for much of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, this would seem an unlikely year for a spike in romantic first dates.

Remember, though, that this is a year like no other. And, it turns out, not only are more people using dating apps, more people are entering relationships at greater speed because of the pandemic.

It’s what Susan Winter, a New York City-based relationship expert, calls “turbo relationships” — a term that’s been created specifically for dating during coronavirus lockdowns.

“A turbo relationship is a relationship that started either right before the lockdown, or during the lockdown and has gone at Mach speed,” said Winter, who advises hundreds of clients across the globe.

“These relationships have gone from kinda knowing someone to playing house in a very short time.”

Take Kristin Bolcarovic of New Jersey. She met her new boyfriend first on a Facebook dating app and just weeks later spent an entire week holed up in the same home with him as Hurricane Isaias ravaged the area.

But why are relationships moving more quickly during the time of the coronavirus?

It’s the speeding up of the “define the relationship” conversation, according to a GQ article detailing the fast-tracking of intimacy.

“The dire circumstances of COVID-19 present an opportunity to fast-track a new relationship to the next level of commitment, skipping the usual waystations — ‘Oh, hey, I got you a toothbrush’ — for an express train to Cohabitation Town,” the article said.

Showing an even sharper increase in new use than dating apps themselves is the video dating option many had considered to be a flop before the pandemic, experts say.

“Video dating has changed the course of dating, and that’s here to stay,” Winter said. More and more first dates are taking place via Zoom, FaceTime or the major dating apps that have “rushed” to adopt the video option.

Video dating has “really exploded as the only way to meet new people and to get to know them,” Winter added. She mentioned a few of her clients who would be as elaborate as to have dinner and a virtual cocktail hour with someone they have never met before.

But what happens when these coronavirus couples do meet in person? Are these the type of relationships that could actually work out?

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