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If there is such thing as love at first swipe, then there's hope for Knoxville Tinder users. But if you believe love requires meeting — actually meeting — and sharing quality time, then folks The coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on dating life, with nearly nowhere to go for the awkward first encounter. But people are still swiping, liking, matching and creeping on a variety of dating platforms. Knox News photographer Calvin Mattheis and I set out on a mission to answer just that question a few weeks back by creating our own ridiculous — yet purely professional — tag-teamed Tinder profile to ask matches about their dating expectations in a world with COVID and how the landscape has changed.

We also put the word out to friends and social media followers that we were seeking singles for stories.

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We narrowed it down to four people, who each had an interesting perspective to share. Our Tinder photos and bio explained our experiment, making it clear what we were looking for.

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We adjusted settings so that we would come across all types of people and rapidly swiped right until, sadly, our swipes ran out. For a brief moment we considered upgrading our profile with a company credit card but figured that might not go over well. So, we waited. It was only a matter of time before we started matching, and we realized a solid pickup line is what we needed.

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We explained in the same message how we were looking to share stories about dating during the coronavirus pandemic. Some people seemed excited, while others ignored the message entirely. Someone even asked if our profile was ONLY for work, and we decided it was best to quickly unmatch.

She likes to imagine all the guys on Tinder in one large group chat sharing these cheesy pickup lines.

For over 50 daters, photo and bio information are keys to online dating success

She sees the same ones over and over again. Another one of our matches, Meaghan Doyle, said people seem to be serious when they suggest actually meeting. It's like, dude, we're in the middle of a pandemic. Hayes was invited to cabin parties in Gatlinburg before the town shut down.

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Her friends were invited to bonfires. When Calvin and I ed up for Tinder a few weeks back, the company was urging people to use the platform for connecting virtually and not to meet in real life. Tinder was also sharing with users that conversations seemed to be lasting longer in areas most impacted by COVID Andrew Gray, 26, has definitely noticed an increase in women who seem more willing to chat. The girls offer up their phone s a lot quicker. Most of the conversations I've been having have been through text messages and not exactly on Tinder.

But once those conversations are initiated, what's the next step? We still needed to find what exactly people are looking for. Pre-pandemic dating had a somewhat standard trajectory.

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App messaging turned to texting, and texting often turned into meeting. Gray said he would enjoy taking a match to the park for a picnic; it's the only idea he can think of that respects social distancing boundaries. You can slow the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID, by staying home for all but essential trips, practicing social distancing and washing hands with soap and water frequently.

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Plus, with plenty of people still going to the park, there's a level of safety for both parties. But for year-old David Habel, all he feels can be offered at this moment is friendship. Hayes, more or less, is looking for friends.

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But she isn't totally abandoning the idea that maybe a relationship could come along. Hayes had a four-hour conversation with a Tinder match by phone. Doyle and Gray have each taken things off Tinder to interact with their matches on Snapchat.

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Gray admits it's hard to keep video calls going when it's purely one-on-one with a stranger. There's nothing to do and no one around — just conversation.

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But at least those conversations are there in a way they haven't always been. Everyone agrees that people seem more willing to talk. People are promising their matches drinks and dates on the other side. But will that actually come to fruition? Hayes, Doyle and Gray fully expect a second baby boom. They've been pent-up — getting that pent-up energy out. Hayes has noticed contraceptive aisles seem to be running low in the stores she shops at.

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But at the same time, there's also a chance people become more selective once this is all said and done. Download the free Knox News mobile app. Facebook Twitter. Ryan Wilusz Knoxville News Sentinel. Show Caption. Hide Caption. We create a Tinder to learn how dating has changed during coronavirus. Calvin Mattheis, calvin.

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Getting to know The Scruffy Stuff podcast hosts. Strangers start unlikely romance amid global pandemic. Jeremy Cohen sent a note-carrying drone over to a girl on a rooftop. This led to a rooftop rendezvous and a human hamster ball date.

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Modern romance is a bit different. Ryan Wilusz: Knoxville's downtown explorer and urban reporter Instagram Twitter Enjoy exclusive content and premium perks while supporting strong local journalism. Visit knoxnews.

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