With many schools shutting down for the semester amidst the coronavirus outbreak, college students are adjusting to a new norm — with a transition to online seminars and long-distance friendships, and no classroom crushes in sight. It’s safe to say that dating during college is challenging enough already, but add in a full-blown pandemic and it’s a whole new ball game. On the bright side, you probably have way more time than ever before to enjoy some casual swiping from the comfort of your own couch. Better yet, Tinder U’s ‘Still In Session’ just launched, making it even easier to connect with cutie near or far with while you’re self-quarantining.
Here’s how it works. Tinder U, a version of the dating app that’s reserved solely for college-goers (you need a university email address to enroll), typically allows users to find and match with other students at their own schools or on nearby campuses. That means that your swiping pool is limited to people within a short distance range that’s set by the app. Obviously, the coronavirus outbreak has changed a lot of people’s living circumstances, with many students moving home for the remainder of the semester. That’s where the new “Still in Session” feature comes in: Tinder U has officially removed its distance radius, so you can connect with other students no matter where they live — whether they’re currently crashing with parents thousands of miles away, or living off-campus back in the state where you attend school.
FYI, you don’t have to be a college student to find a long-distance crush, either. While Tinder U’s new feature is already up and running (as of March 18), the dating app is about to make their Passport feature (which is typically a paid feature for Tinder Plus and Gold subscribers) free to all members. That means that starting at the end of next week, all Tinder users will be able to match with anyone, anywhere in the world, through April 30.
Whether you’re fantasizing about a new boo with a British accent, a Parisian digital pen pal, or a South American snack to exchange flirty banter with, Passport can make it happen. All you have to do is tap the profile icon, select settings, tap location, and hit “add a new location.” Then, you can search by city or drop a pin on the map, and instantly begin swiping and matching with Tinder members in your destination of choice. While you can only choose one city at a time to scour for prospects, you can change that location as many times as you’d like.
Dating under the current conditions definitely requires some major adjustments — namely, meeting people online rather than IRL, and avoiding physical contact. That said, when one door closes, another opens — and fam, it’s time to take advantage of the apps that can help you to keep making new connections near and far. Even though this pandemic may be limiting your love life in some ways, it can also open up your eyes to dating prospects you’d never have noticed before. Who knows? You could be one swipe away from finding "The One" halfway across the world — or at the very least, you may be surprised to discover a long-distance confidante during these difficult times. The best part? You didn’t even have to leave the house or change out of your PJs to find them.
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