Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

This is the weekly Amplify newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web or someone forwarded this e-mail newsletter to you, you can sign up for Amplify and all Globe newsletters here.

Author Domini Clark, right, and boyfriend Shane began 'slow dating' during the pandemic. Ten months in, they're going strong.


Domini Clark is an editor at The Globe and Mail.

It was not love at first sight. Far from it.

Story continues below advertisement

But there was enough of a spark on my first date with Shane that I decided to see him a second time. And a third and, well, nearly 10 months of dating later it’s safe to say things have worked out.

Call it, love eventually. Or, to use a buzzword, slow dating. Spurred by COVID-19 fears and restrictions, the trend is one of the unexpected positives to come out of the pandemic. As a single, straight woman, I’ve found using apps for online dating often disappointing – so many conversations end with ghosting – and, at its worst, a threat to personal safety. The pressure to meet quickly, and do everything you can to impress and keep the interest of a guy whose options are endless, is unrelenting.

At the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of singles panicked about finding someone to lock down for lockdown; even exes came out of the woodwork. Of course, as restrictions tightened and went on, it became harder – and scarier for all genders – to connect in person. Rules dictated that the culture of hookups and casual dating was effectively over. For a while in the U.K. it was essentially illegal for two people who didn’t live in the same household to have sex.

But even if hanky panky is off the table, humans crave connections, especially when our mental health is at risk. Over the past year, Hinge – the dating app through which Shane and I met – experienced a 63-per-cent rise in people downloading it and a tripling of revenues, its chief executive officer, Justin McLeod, recently told The Guardian. Other apps, including Bumble, Match, Tinder and OKCupid, reported similar bumps.

But increased use wasn’t the only change. Multiple surveys revealed singles experienced a change of heart and became more intentional about their dating, both out of necessity and desire. Video dates and phone calls – activities that allow to people to get to know each other without any sexual pressure – took off.

“Priority around finding a relationship has increased,” McLeod said. “ … When we’re faced with big life events such as this, it makes us reflect and realize that maybe we want to be with someone.”

In Toronto last summer, a reduction in case numbers meant somewhat traditional dating was possible. Patios were open and indoor socializing was allowed, yet people still seemed wary of quick flings, and the threat of another lockdown was ever present.

Story continues below advertisement

That first date with Shane took place in late August. It was a simple park hang with coffees in hand. He was cute, engaging and quick with the compliments. I was pleasantly surprised and left wanting to see him again.

But despite a promising beginning, our relationship encountered some hurdles early on. One month in I bought a house in a different city. And shortly after that I became an emotional mess as my mother endured a long hospital stay and almost died. It was one obstacle after another, and at times I doubted whether a guy I had just met was worth what little energy I had left.

I decided he was.

The question is: did I stay with him because of the pandemic? If, as in the before times, I knew I could easily start over with another man when my life had calmed down, would I simply have dismissed our fledgling romance as too much work and moved on?

When I brought it up with Shane he rightly pointed out that it could just as easily have been him who called it off. It’s not like I was making things easy. He had, in fact, told a friend he was thinking of bailing in the early days.

I think it’s safe to say the pandemic played a role in our love story – but not because it limited our options. As Hinge’s McLeod said, living through a global catastrophe has a way of bringing our wants and needs into focus. It serves as a reminder that our health, happiness and liberties are not guaranteed. It forces us to confront the reality that our time is precious and fleeting, and compels us to consider how we truly want to spend it – and with whom.

Story continues below advertisement

Research commissioned by Bumble in May shows that 40 per cent of Canadian daters are extending the get-to-know-you-phase and “seeking more meaningful relationships.” About a third report “an increase in clear communication of expectations and intentions” from potential partners as well as “fewer instances of ghosting.” In the world of online dating, where matches constantly disappear and disappoint, that’s noteworthy.

What I learned about Shane during those first few weeks is that he is, in every sense of the word, a good man. When I was down, he lifted me up. When things got dark, he brightened my world with sunflowers. When I embarked on a new adventure, he said, “How do I help?” Such depths of kindness, integrity and support take more than a couple of dates to plumb.

The obstacles Shane and I faced turned out not to be roadblocks but merely speed bumps, slowing us down and, ultimately, keeping our budding relationship safe. Combined with the pandemic, they gave us the opportunity to get to know each other without distractions, to learn how to best communicate and to prove to each other how serious we were about making it work.

And now that the dust has settled, we’re enjoying a delayed “honeymoon” phase. Yes, the world is still a messed-up place. But at least we have the joy of “us” in our lives.

What else we’re thinking about:

Summer brings with it a lot to be excited about it, and for me that list include moths. Yes, moths. Listen, butterflies are pretty and all but I prefer to cheer for the underdog. Moths can be just as gorgeous and are also crucial pollinators. They just do their work at night, which for some reason creeps people out. “Mothing” has become a pandemic pastime in the U.K., with at least 10,000 people picking up the hobby, according to one report. It’s easy to get started. All you really need is a bright light, a white sheet and some patience.

Inspired by something in this newsletter? If so, we hope you’ll amplify it by passing it on. And if there’s something we should know, or feedback you’d like to share, send us an e-mail at

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies