As the lines between reality and technology continue to blur, it’s no surprise that dating in the metaverse has become a hot topic lately. Forming relationships, be it romantic or platonic, via online games, social media platforms, or chatrooms is nothing new. And now, thanks to virtual reality (VR) technology, it seems that the metaverse is shaping up to be the future of online dating— according to a recent survey conducted by Dating.com, 33% of singles are already open to dating in the metaverse.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why many are so keen to explore dating in the metaverse is because of the ability to be whoever you want to be. In this new digital landscape, people are able to create avatars that are an extension of their true selves, and use them to explore new worlds and meet new people. This level of freedom allows people to be more confident and open in their interactions, leading to more authentic and meaningful connections because you’re getting to know each other through conversation. While the metaverse might be the exact opposite of real life, dating in the metaverse might be the closest to IRL as people actually get to know each other by talking in contrast to dating apps, where a series of photos and superficial criteria like your height, age, and job title basically determine whether you’re worthy of being given a chance.
Another advantage of dating in the virtual sphere is the ability to meet people from all over the world, unlike traditional IRL dating apps such as Tinder or Bumble — which both recently unveiled plans to venture into the metaverse — that only allow you to meet users within your immediate vicinity. In the digital realm, you can connect with anyone, anywhere, at any time, expanding your dating pool and increasing your chances of meeting your other half. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for those looking for a connection (and who don’t mind a little long distance, obv.)
But, as with any new frontier, the digital world also comes with its own set of challenges. How do you know if the person you’re talking to is actually who they say they are? And what happens when virtual chemistry doesn’t translate to real life? And, as with any online activities, spending too much time in the metaverse can lead to virtual addiction, which can affect one’s social life, work, and other aspects of the real life. All of these are things to keep in mind when deciding if you really want to explore simulated dating, but as long as you are aware of the potential risks and take the appropriate precautions, metaverse dating can prove to be an exhilarating and rewarding new experience.
For those who are willing to take a leap of faith and give it a try, we rounded up some of the best metaverse dating apps a month ahead of Valentine’s Day for meeting and interacting with other people. Who knows? You might just find the one in a virtual world.
This app is one of the most popular virtual reality platforms, with a large and active community of users. It offers a variety of digital worlds and activities, making it easy to find like-minded people. Users of the app are classified into various “trust levels” so you can be more cautious about the identity of the person you are interacting with.
Around for nearly two decades, this app boasts over a million active users and counting. With online games and communities dedicated to dating, it’s a great way to meet your potential special someone.
For people who aren’t comfortable with sharing their face in cyberspace, Nevermet is the app for you. Think of it like Tinder or Hinge, only instead of posting images of your real self (it’s strictly prohibited) you upload images and videos of your custom avatar. This allows for more authentic connections not influenced by superficial judgements.
An amalgamation of the words “flirt” and “virtual,” this app was designed for people to meet in the metaverse and going on to form IRL relationships. How it works is that the dating app matches VR users based on their interests and then facilitates a meetup in VR. It’s a vibe check of sorts before setting up a physical meeting. Beyond matching users in the app, Flirtual also hosts speed dating and social events in the virtual space.
Designed for Oculus and Steam VR headsets, Planet Theta offers a virtual experience where you can interact with avatars in a “social VR” setting and also spent time with them alone if you choose to take them by way of a walk through an enchanted forest, watching a movie together, or just having a chill cup of coffee— all virtually, of course.