Would you have an affair in the ‘Meetaverse’?

how you doin? 'meetaverse' - image by timisu pixabay

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, a new study has found that the metaverse could become better known as the ‘Meetaverse’ where people will look for love in the future and even carry out clandestine affairs.

The research, from Zen Internet, also revealed that more than two fifths (42%) of UK adults see dating someone else in the metaverse as the equivalent to cheating on a real-life partner.

Dates in the ‘Meetaverse’

As our online worlds go into overdrive, the future of dating is becoming more and more digital. 

Over a third (37%) believe dating in the metaverse will become more mainstream by 2030, and just over one in seven (15%) would actually be open to dating a new partner in the metaverse.

However, whilst love may be in the virtual cloud for some, over a quarter (25%) admit that a bad internet connection would put them off online dating in general – specifically via video call (29%) and the metaverse (22%).

The Zen Internet survey was carried out be Censuswide and canvassed more than 2,000 respondents over the age of 16.

A New Dating Dimension

Recent Gartner research showed that a quarter (25%) of people will spend at least an hour a day in the metaverse by 2026. 

In fact, Zen found more than one in five (22%) are intrigued by the metaverse and intend to learn more about it this year, rising to 30% for those surveyed aged 35-44, with over a third (37%) believing the metaverse will become mainstream by 2030. 

This could provide a new dating dimension as a quarter (25%) think dating in the metaverse could cross realms into physical dating.

The Internet Provides Cupid Connection

Loved-up couples and singletons alike may have to re-think their internet reliability as poor-quality broadband can negatively impact online dating. 

Nearly a quarter (23%) think losing a connection during online dating is the equivalent of getting the ick in real-life – a true deal breaker in this day and age.

With the UK experiencing multiple lockdowns over the last two years, people’s love lives have not always taken a back seat though, with many going online to fill the void of physical connection. 

Indeed, 14% met their current partner via online dating since the first lockdown, and 11% have had date nights via video calls. 

When heartbreak strikes, 16% have also turned to group video calls to ease breakup pain.

Valentine’s Day online 

For those who have not yet jumped on the metaverse bandwagon, many UK adults still plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day online. 

Nearly two-fifths (39%) will be marking the occasion digitally, as almost a quarter (22%) look to stream a movie on services such as Netflix and Prime, date via video call (7%), and search for love online (6%) or in the metaverse (4%).

Jawad Ashraf, CEO of digital collectibles site, Terra Virtua, said: “The metaverse will provide an entirely new way to interact with virtual environments and others, in a more immersive and interactive way than previously possible. 

“Zen Internet’s research highlights how important our virtual interactions will be to our identity and our relationships. 

“It may be too early to predict exactly what the metaverse will become, but we do know it will open up completely new shopping, work, social, entertainment and dating experiences.”

Paul Stobart, CEO at Zen Internet, said: “For most, streaming a movie with a partner, or ordering food online, will be the extent of internet-based activity on Valentine’s Day. 

“But, as our independently commissioned research demonstrates, there are others who are curious to explore the metaverse to make new connections. 

“And in that metaverse, as more and more people engage in online dating, internet connectivity needs to be fast and reliable. 

“As an industry we can play our part in helping people find love on this Valentine’s Day!”