For the romantically unattached in the northern hemisphere, the first few weeks of a new year are peak cuffing season. Cuffing, a pragmatic tradition in which single people try to find a temporary partner for the dark winter months, is also big business for dating apps. In 2021 the pandemic has added a dash of extra urgency.

Cooped up, bored and lonely, user interactions on dating apps have soared over the past nine months. Swiping on potential romantic interests is one of the few activities unaffected by lockdowns. In the second quarter of 2020, Tinder reported a record 3-billion “swipes” in a single day. Shares in parent company Match, whose subsidiaries also include Hinge and OkCupid, traded at a record high in mid-December as it joined the Nasdaq 100. Rival Bumble has taken the opportunity to reportedly file for an initial public offering (IPO). ..

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