Local experts weigh in on new dating trends in Chicago

Spring has officially arrived, which means love is in the air and Chicago's dating scene is about to kick into high gear.

In a FOX 32 special report, Dawn Hasbrouck checks in with a couple of local experts to find out what you can expect before diving in.

Over the years, the amount of technology we use to meet someone hasn’t gotten any smaller. Just ask Cheryl Rothschild. She's been trying her luck on Chicago's dating scene.

"People are all in it for the same reasons, trying to find somebody. But at the same time it’s just like it is, exhausting. You’re on these apps. You’re at work. You’re doing everything," Rothschild said.

Thanks to the pandemic, we've added another layer of technology.

"One of the silver linings to come out of Covid was the addition of video dating to all of the major sites and apps. Today, there’s no reason to have to go out with a complete stranger that you’ve never seen before or maybe only seen five photos or 200 characters on a profile," said Bela Gandhi, founder of Smart Dating Academy in Chicago.


She says video dates provide a safe way to meet new people, and it saves you time and money.

"Then you don’t have to invest so much time, effort and money getting ready for a date that might be game over before you begin," Gandhi said.

She also says video dates are a good way to screen your potential dates.

"I always say crazy can’t hide more than 10 minutes, so you can eliminate the crazy as well. And if you like the person, you develop chemistry even over video," Gandhi said.

Hopefully, there is a little less crazy in the dating world post-pandemic.

"What we are noticing first and foremost is the rise of conscious dating. What that means is that lots of people spent time during the pandemic really working on themselves. They read books. They listened to podcasts. They did therapy," said Dr. Alexandra H. Solomon.

Solomon is a clinical psychologist who teaches at Northwestern University and hosts her own podcast called Re-imagining Love.

"I’ve been a relationship educator for more than two decades and I have been trying as best I can to kind of get the word out that the best route to a high-quality relationship is to really value your mental health," Solomon said.

"I don’t know if there’s less crazy out there, but I definitely think people reset. I think I reset," Rothschild said.

Another big trend both of our experts mentioned: giving someone you're not initially attracted to a second chance.

"Of the thousands of people that we’ve helped in the last 14 years find love, it’s never been ‘Oh, on the first date I knew.’ So, open up your mind and your dating life as much as you can," Gandhi said.

"I think people are now starting to realize attraction takes a while to build," Solomon said. "I can’t possibly know everything about you after one walk or one cup of coffee. It takes some time for people to unfold, learn each other and really establish is there a connection here."

While dating apps are not going anywhere, Solomon says some singles still want to make a love connection the old-fashioned way.

"What we are seeing a little bit of course correction where people are finding the dating apps to be somewhat exhausting. I think because dating apps happen on a screen, we’re all quite screen fatigued from living through the pandemic," Solomon said.

"I think people are really valuing that kind of meet-cute, that opportunity to meet someone face to face, or the opportunity to be set up by somebody in their lives," Solomon said.

That’s something Rothschild is open to doing.

"People are on the apps. People are just wanting to do things quickly, not necessarily talk and meet," Rothschild said.

No matter how it’s evolved, dating can be considered one of life's necessities.

"For me, I want to find my someone, but you can’t do that without the dating," Rothschild said.

A search that will hopefully be worth it all in the end.

If you are on a dating app, one of our experts has this advice about your photos: they should not be more than a year old and should include some full body shots.