Relationship expert reveals how to get over your fear of dating again post-Covid

When it comes to relationships, 33-year-old Logan Ury, is an actual expert.

The dating coach and behavioural scientist, who director of relationship science at Hinge, holds the secret to finding long-lasting love – and first date success.

But she also has her own incredible romantic story.

She initally swiped left when she saw her future husband on a dating app, but after a chance encounter at work, they’re now proving the power of devotion in sickness and in health.

Can you really apply science to finding love?

We were not born knowing how to date or choose a partner for long-term commitment – but it’s a skill you can learn, and get better at.

Each week I get emails from people around the world, not just in their 20s and 30s but also up to their 60s, because people struggle to find life partners at all stages of life.

There’s a field called relationship science that looks at the factors that go into romantic relationships.

It truly is a science, with academics working on this at top universities around the world and conducting experiments to see what factors in people’s personalities affect different outcomes.

My background is in behavioural science, the study of how people make decisions, why their judgement is sometimes clouded and ways to help overcome this.

I combine this science with my experience as a dating coach and matchmaker.

Has lockdown made meeting someone harder?

So many people worry they have lost a year during lockdown but even before the pandemic, meeting online was the most common way for couples to meet.

It’s very efficient, and that’s especially true during the pandemic when people were not meeting at their cousin’s wedding.

But not everyone took a year off from dating, and at Hinge we saw an increase in people sending messages and going on virtual dates.

There’s a mixture of people who carried on dating, a group of people who weren’t as confident, and other people are suffering from FODA – which is fear of dating again.

So FODA is actually a thing?

Yes, and it’s completely normal because a lot of people are feeling anxious and are worried that their conversation skills are rusty.

It’s fine to feel that way – Covid has had a big impact on people’s mental health – but I’d advise anyone worried about dating again to take it slowly – you don’t need to rush back into things.

If you’re on a date, give people a chance, because if you’re feeling anxious and unsure about yourself, it’s likely the other person is too.

People should go on a second date – because if we go into a first date thinking ‘Are you good enough for me?’, we are wearing the hat of a job interviewer and we’re judging, rather than being in the moment.

But if you go on a first date thinking ‘Unless something really weird happens, I WILL go on a second date’, you can relax and have fun. There’s a lot of reasons why people should give potential partners more time, and it’s easy to be swayed by social media and posts that seem to show a perfect life.

I say ignore the spark, that desire to seek out instant chemistry, because that can fade – and go after the slow burn instead. It worked for me.

So how quickly did you fall in love?

I met my husband at Harvard when we were students, we became Facebook friends, and seven years later I saw him on a dating app and I did not pursue him.

A year later, I was working at Google and so was he. He helped me learn a new language, and we went from not knowing each other to friendship to more than friendship.

I really feel that my husband is a slow-burn person, a mathematician and a scientist who may not be the most exciting person on a first date but I am living proof that giving someone a second chance and not making a snap decision because you’re looking for the wrong qualities can lead to lasting love.

How did you get into this?

I’ve always been fascinated by the way people make different decisions and how our minds work. I had the opportunity to take a course in psychology at GCSE level, and I went on to study it at Harvard. After college, I ran a behavioural science team at Google.

I moved on to Airbnb, but all the time, I was single and using dating apps, and I wondered how I could combine the science I was doing with the fact I was dating and in my early 20s. I went to see a dating coach who helped me understand the mistakes I was making.

I started holding focus groups at my house to talk about dating, and conducted my own research on breakups and how a couple should know when it’s time to break up, the best things for them to say and how to go about a split.

A year ago, I joined Hinge.

Is there a perfect age to meet someone?

No, there’s not a perfect age – it’s really important for all ages. My main advice is to go after the life partner not the prom date.

When you’re choosing someone for the prom, you want the best dancer or someone who looks really good, but these aren’t necessarily the most reliable partners.

So a lot of people in their 30s are still looking for that prom date. They need to make a mental shift, to go after a life partner with loyalty, kindness, and emotional stability.

Someone who brings out the best in you. I really think my husband is a life partner but he was diagnosed with bone cancer insummer 2020, and I’ve had to be the partner holding the backpack in the oncology department.

You had a week to plan your wedding . . .

We married last June in a park, with just seven days’ notice to organise our socially distanced wedding. A lot of that time was spent in meetings with doctors, so our friends planned everything.

I wore a white jumpsuit that my sister lent me, friends sent me shoes and a bag, and they did the decorations and booked the photographer.

We married on the Sunday because on the Monday, my husband had to go to hospital to have his lower leg amputated because of rare bone cancer. The vows say ‘in sickness and in health’ but this wasn’t the future – the sickness and health was already happening.

I’ve never regretted it, although it had to be socially distanced and our families couldn’t be there – they had to watch it on Zoom.

Mistakes, you’ve made a few?

Swiping left on my now husband on a dating app years before we properly met.

Also having a bad pattern of thinking that love was all about the chase and all about convincing someone to be with you, and chasing people who make you feel bad about yourself.

Logan Ury is the author of How to Not Die Alone. For more on Hinge visit

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