How the coronavirus pandemic amplified 'apocalypsing,' a relatable dating trend

A new report is warning singles of 'apocalypsing' as they look for love in 2021

Many moments this year have felt like the end of the world, so it makes sense that some singles are searching for their perfect partner like it’s the apocalypse.

The global coronavirus pandemic has upended daily life and hasn't spared the dating world, either. Looking ahead to next year, Plenty of Fish is trying to predict what trends and troubles romantics will have to navigate as they look for love in 2021 – and a psychologist is explaining why today’s stresses make "apocalypsing" particularly appealing.

Many moments this year have felt like the end of the world, so it makes sense that some singles are searching for their perfect partner like it’s the apocalypse.

Many moments this year have felt like the end of the world, so it makes sense that some singles are searching for their perfect partner like it’s the apocalypse. (iStock)

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The dating site defined the "apocalypsing" phenomenon as "treating every relationship like it's your last and getting super serious with someone you just started dating." According to its report, which included a poll of 2,000 Plenty of Fish members in the U.S., one-third of singles said they know someone who has fallen into the trap of this top trend, while one-third of Gen Z members said they’re personally guilty of getting intense a little too quickly.

In a Wednesday interview, psychologist and marriage therapist Danielle Forshee explained why the pandemic can make it especially easy to fall fast.

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"Because of COVID, we’re in a scenario where we’re being told to not have human contact and physical touch, and that takes away our ability to have the emotional and physical connections that we as humans require," Forshee told Refinery29. "The more socially isolated we are, the more likely we are to get attached to somebody."

What’s more, frequent conversation with a new boo over text or video chat "creates a very false sense of knowing who this person is," the psychologist said – but that isn't always true. 

"When we know we have things in common with someone, we as humans think: ‘Oh they’re similar to us, we can trust them,'" Forshee explained, making the case that taking things slow may be the wisest way to go.

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Elaborating further, Plenty of Fish Dating Expert Shannon Smith echoed similar sentiments on the so-called craze:

"Some positive news to come out of the pandemic is that one-third of singles report taking dating more seriously leading to one of our top dating trend predictions for 2021 – apocalypsing," Smith told Fox News. "We’re seeing a growing number of singles move more quickly in their relationships, taking them from zero to 60 by moving in together or even getting engaged after just a few weeks or months."

"It's tempting to rush into something right now, but I recommend a slower courting period to give the relationship time to breathe and form a strong foundation," she argued. "Apocalypsing can be temporarily comforting but might be disastrous in the long run, as red flags can be easily missed or overlooked when the excitement of it all puts up blinders."

And if you do get serious in a short amount of time, just be wary of any other pitfalls that come with dating in the modern age, such as being "exoskeletoned" or getting "benched." You've been warned.