Online dating site Plenty of Fish have coined the term after surveying singles across the UK, defining it as: “Feeling indifferent about dating, unsure if you want to date seriously or casually because life in general is so uncertain right now.” Can we get an amen?
The platform also found that over half of people can relate to hesidating, with many unsure whether they are looking for commitment or a non-committal fling when it comes to pandemic dating.
Luckily, the site’s resident dating expert Kate Maclean says it’s important to take a breath and allow yourself time to figure out what you want. “Over the past year the pandemic has continued to shake up the way people date and it’s clear that there are many new trends that singles are experiencing,” she says.
“Don’t worry if you’re a ‘hesidater’… take time to find the right person for you and don’t feel pressured to rush into anything.”
Katie*, a marketing manager based in London, has been single for three years. She told GLAMOUR: “At the beginning of 2020, I thought I was ready for a relationship, and that I wanted to put myself out there – but now, it still feels really up in the air. I’m open to dating, I suppose, but it just feels too complicated to get serious right now.”
It’s not only uncertainty that daters are experiencing as we continue to navigate the Covid era – there’s also questions around vaccination status, social distancing and clashing points of view on current affairs.
If you’ve walked out on a date because you have a drastically different opinion to your so-called match, there’s a term for that, too. That’s been dubbed ‘Piers Pressure’ – 22 per cent of people are said to have experienced it, while half said they knew someone who had done the same. The top cause for disagreements? Politics, of course.
Other singles are experiencing ‘bubbling’, which is “being unsure about the physical boundaries that are acceptable due to Covid-19, such as whether to hug, handshake, or wave at your date”. Over half of those surveyed revealed they’d felt this way at some point during the pandemic.
Unsurprisingly, the pandemic has presented plenty more conundrums when it comes to navigating our love lives – and vaccination status is another hot topic. In fact, Plenty of Fish have dubbed this period the age of ‘Moderna Love’ – since 62 per cent of singles consider having had the covid jab to be one of the most important attributes of a potential beau.
A quick look at social media will confirm that many feel pretty uncertain about how to navigate dating right now. One tweeter writes: “I know a lot of people around my age, including me, have felt very weird about dating during the pandemic. Everybody’s boundaries are different… it seems like the bar to hit for many is being fully vaccinated.”
Dating expert and matchmaker Jasmine Diaz also recently tweeted: “Much of what we thought we knew about what we wanted in a relationship may have changed. Perhaps what you prioritised before is no longer a priority. What you valued before is no longer of value.”
Complicated? Yes. Frustrating? Probably. But perhaps now more than ever, we know exactly what we want in a partner, whether now is the right time or not.