Could You Find Your Future Partner In The Metaverse? Here's How It Works

Dating apps like Hinge, Bumble, and Tinder have taken over as one of the primary ways to meet your partner in recent years. But what if you could take it one step further and test out the dating world through virtual reality? Imagine a digital replica of the real world where you could fully immerse yourself. This is exactly what the 3D world of the Metaverse consists of, and now, users can take their interaction to the next level with virtual dating.


Similar to the expansion of the internet and social media, the Metaverse is constantly changing. The term "Metaverse" originated in 1992 in the science-fiction novel "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson as a place where characters could escape from their less-than-ideal lives. This concept really took off in 2010 when VR headsets became popular and became a common way for gamers to enter the 3D world.

Today, the Metaverse allows for not only gaming but also for creating a personal avatar that represents a version of yourself. This avatar can be used to socialize with others and even form romantic relationships. In fact, the ability to connect with just about anyone anywhere in virtual reality is what's so enticing to so many users. While finding your future partner in the Metaverse may seem like a strange concept, it could be the new Tinder or Hinge in a few years.


What is the Metaverse?

Although the Metaverse has existed for some time, it can be a challenging concept to wrap your head around. Let's start with the basics. The Metaverse is an online 3D space where you interact and socialize with others in real time. The space is mainly accessed through virtual reality and augmented reality headsets and has the power to transport individuals to both fictional locations and simulations of the real world at any given moment. This means you can attend a concert with friends, visit a tropical beach, or hang out at a local bar, all from the comfort of your living room through the Metaverse.


Several key components make up a Metaverse, including an avatar, which is a virtual identity that you can customize to look and behave like you.  Your avatar can move you through different locations and interact with others in the 3D world of the Metaverse. There are also different Metaverse providers that offer different experiences, much like the various social media platforms. For example, Facebook primarily focuses on posting status updates and connecting with friends, while Instagram mostly centers on sharing pictures. The Metaverse also has a host of 3D worlds that offer differing experiences, including spaces devoted to gaming, socializing, and dating.

Creating a virtual identity

Your digital avatar is the key to creating your virtual identity and potentially finding a future partner in the Metaverse. But how do you start the process? First, think about the look and personality you want to go for. You can tailor your Metaverse avatar's appearance and outfits to curate a self-identity.


To create your avatar, you can utilize an avatar-making app like Zmoji software or Ready Player Me in the Metaverse. These apps allow you to use a real-life photo to customize your avatar or choose from pre-made ones. After customizing your avatar's look, including outfits, hair, skin, and eye color, you can import it into the Metaverse platform of your choice, such as virtual reality chats suited for dating and socializing. Keep in mind that some avatar customizations may cost anywhere from hundreds of dollars to as much as $10,000, depending on the program you use.

Interactions in the Metaverse

Communication and interactions in the Metaverse may seem like a whole new planet, but the process is actually much simpler than you might think. Once you have your digital avatar and are ready to explore the world of the Metaverse, you can also prepare yourself to interact with others. Similar to social media interactions, you can chat with others through text, audio, and video clips of your digital avatar. However, interactions can also be taken one step further with new AI speech translators. These systems allow you to connect and speak to nearly anyone in the world regardless of their native language.


"The ability to communicate with anyone in any language — that's a superpower people have dreamed of forever and AI is going to deliver that in our lifetimes," said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg during an "Inside the Lab: Building for the Metaverse with AI" livestream event in February 2022. This advanced technology combined with the power to interact using virtual reality headsets and your digital avatar through audio, video, and text in real time may allow individuals to form meaningful and long-lasting connections in the Metaverse that mimic real-life interactions.

How to begin dating in the Metaverse

Due to the home confinement of the COVID-19 pandemic, non-traditional dating methods, such as online dating, have become more popular than ever. As a result, people are looking to expand beyond Tinder and Bumble for their dating needs. If you're open to love in the Metaverse, you can start by downloading platforms for Metaverse dating that suit you.


For instance, Metaverse dating platforms like Nevermet have similar swiping features to Tinder but are best suited for individuals who aren't comfortable revealing their face and want to swipe right or left on potential partners utilizing pictures of their digital avatars, including both a customized appearance and voice. Platforms like Planet Theta, which has yet to fully launch, even allow your digital self to visit different locations like a pub or beach on a virtual date.

Keeping your intentions in mind, just as you would in real life, is crucial to getting what you want out of the Metaverse dating scene. While dating in the Metaverse may feel strange or uncomfortable at first, you're definitely not alone when it comes to being intrigued by this virtual world. A survey by Capgemini, an information technology company, indicated that 93% of surveyed consumers were curious about the Metaverse. Additionally, a survey conducted by found that nearly 33% of single respondents were open to finding love in the Metaverse, according to a press release.


The different Metaverse dating platforms

If you've decided to take a chance with Metaverse dating, it's a good idea to get familiar with the different platforms and virtual reality chats that exist in the Metaverse. While more and more virtual dating platforms are emerging daily, the most popular ones so far are VRChat, Planet Theta, Nevermet, and Flirtual, with each offering different and unique dating features.


Each metaverse world or application has its own active community, making it easy to find compatible friends and potential lovers. For instance, VRChat has a large online population of gamers whom you can chat with. If you're more interested in dating with your digital avatar, Nevermet could be a good fit for you, while adventurous daters who desire real-life-like dates may prefer Planet Theta. Flirtual is another great Metaverse world that allows you to expand on your hobbies and interests through tags and even offers social events like speed dating. If you're looking to find a deep connection in the Metaverse, this might be the right platform for you.

Building a genuine connection

Establishing and nurturing an authentic relationship in the Metaverse can be challenging. What can you do to ensure you get the most out of your digital dating situation? Well, for starters, a virtual relationship requires the same level of trust and vulnerability as an in-person one. Even though screens or virtual headsets may replace an in-person dinner table, individuals should still present their authentic selves and strive to receive the same in return.  "Vulnerability is something that grows organically and there are layers to it as people find one-to-one relationships," explained Megan Fitzgerald, the head of experience and product marketing at Facebook Reality Labs, during a discussion titled "Making Friends in the Metaverse," as reported by VentureBeat.


Moreover, the Metaverse allows people to express themselves freely and discover communities with like-minded individuals who share the same interests and passions. This can help build more profound and meaningful relationships with people from all corners of the world that might not be possible in real life.

Physical intimacy in the Metaverse

The Metaverse is a rapidly evolving landscape, with the possibility of physical intimacy serving as a point of interest for many people. Although it may seem challenging, there are ways to establish physical intimacy in the Metaverse. You can engage in physical interactions and sexual fantasies using chats, images, audio, and video technology. There are also dedicated spaces for spreading sexual education and providing tools for pleasure. For example, Lovehoney Group, a sexual wellness company, has a virtual pop-up space with sex toy products, lingerie, a dance floor, and educational videos, per Her World. Safety features are also included, allowing you to report and block any inappropriate interactions or behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable. Before entering the space, your age is screened based on your birthday, as only those 18 years or older are allowed in.


Recent technology in the Metaverse has even made it possible to feel the sensation of someone's mouth, lips, and tongue touching yours. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania created an interactive headset technology that "enhances realism and immersion in virtual reality," per WION. When combined with evolving technologies that allow you to connect sex toys and pleasure devices with your Metaverse world, it is possible to both flirt and take your relationship to the next level physically.

Emotional intimacy in the Metaverse

Learning how to appropriately display your emotions and support others as they work through theirs is a challenge in and of itself. Adding screens and 3D worlds to the mix can make it even more complex. However, it's not a lost cause. Creating emotional intimacy in the Metaverse requires individuals to be vulnerable in the 3D world, which will help them build connections and cultivate a good emotional environment, per University World News.  "Things like being genuinely interested in someone else's feelings, affirming their thoughts and showing you care are ways that you can connect with another person without touching," advised Nancy Sokarno, an Lysn psychologist, while speaking to TheLatch.


It is important to note that technology has been a key way to build emotional intimacy for some time now, with people sharing their lives on social media, through texts, and video calls. The Metaverse is no different. Our interactions in the digital sphere of the Metaverse will be similar to how we interact through cell phones and computers. As we move towards a digital-first society and our realities become intertwined, it is up to each of us to decide how vulnerable or honest we want to be about ourselves online.

Benefits of dating in the Metaverse

For individuals struggling to build genuine connections in the real world, finding a partner in a virtual reality setting can be a real boon. As you enter the Metaverse, a world of possibilities awaits you. This new dating experience allows you to curate everything from your appearance to your voice. It can also be a platform for those living with mental health issues. In fact, virtual reality therapy is being used to help patients overcome social anxiety at Oxford's VR social engagement program. "The immersive nature of VR provides a powerful new way to engage users and helps them to regain confidence, feel safe and overcome trigger situations," says June Dent, director of clinical partnerships at Oxford VR (via PR Newswire).


By catering to different communities and giving people the opportunity to meet others from all corners of the world, the Metaverse diversifies the number of people you encounter. If you've been manifesting your love life or even a dream date, the Metaverse can fulfill that for you. Whether it's a beach vacation or an enchanted forest, you'll have the chance to play out your dream dates and fantasies in a non-intimidating setting while expressing yourself in any way you choose. You can also partake in shared interests and activities, such as gaming. The best part of all this is that you may just find the one while doing so.

Risks of dating in the Metaverse

Despite its allure, the Metaverse presents a unique set of challenges. The biggest risk of dating with curated avatars is the potential for getting catfished. If you're preparing yourself for Metaverse dating, be aware that it can be difficult to know who is behind the avatar, which can create issues of trust regarding identity. To avoid this, clear boundaries and communication with your date are crucial. For example, if you prefer to know what your date looks like outside of the Metaverse, it's important to be upfront with them about this, as not everyone is comfortable revealing their real-life appearance. It's also important to communicate your intentions clearly to avoid confusion between friendships and romantic relationships.


Dating in the Metaverse requires a commitment to investing in the right resources and technology, such as a high-quality virtual reality headset that provides easy access to the Metaverse and eliminates issues like voice lagging. However, technology glitches can still occur, especially since Metaverse technology continues to evolve. Additionally, while many Metaverse platforms are attempting to ensure user safety, instances of targeted racism, sexual harassment, and homophobic and transphobic language remain prevalent (per The Irish Times). This makes it crucial to understand the Metaverse world you're entering and set clear boundaries with the people that you interact with.

Dating apps versus Metaverse dating

Popular dating apps like Tinder and Bumble incorporate swiping features to indicate interest in potential matches. Similarly, Metaverse dating worlds, such as NeverMet or Flirtual, allow you to like or dislike a potential match, though there's a key difference that removes the pressure to put your appearance on the line. These apps utilize avatar images for their dating worlds, which means that your customized avatar will be the one on display as people hunt for prospective connections.


In addition to swiping, Metaverse dating offers instant messaging and calling features. Match Group, the parent company of Tinder, has even expressed interest in incorporating avatar-based dating into its app to be more inclusive, according to TechCrunch. While this plan has yet to advance, there could be a potential future where dating apps and Metaverse dating collide. For now, Metaverse dating remains similar to dating apps, with the exception of using avatars instead of real-life photos to take the heat off of one's appearance.

Is it free to date in the Metaverse?

While entering the Metaverse is generally free, some spaces may require you to pay for access. Additionally, customizing and adding unique personal touches to your avatar may also come at a cost. Combined with the internet fees and equipment necessary to access the Metaverse world, these expenses can quickly add up. The good news is that many Metaverse worlds accept cryptocurrency in addition to regular payment methods.


To get the best experience from the Metaverse, investing in your avatar and the spaces you visit may be necessary. With advertisements increasing in the Metaverse space, it can be easy to spend more on products that enhance your experience in the 3D world, like going on an immersive date or gifting your virtual partner something special. While there is no universal Metaverse subscription fee, the tools needed to access and maintain a connection in the Metaverse dating world can easily cost you.

The future of dating in the Metaverse

"Depending on what study you look at, roughly 80% of new spouses are derived from online dating," says Paul Brunson, a relationship science expert, according to Yahoo! News. "I could see within the next five to 10 years that being roughly equivalent for the Metaverse." Although this may seem like an incredibly high number, the Metaverse is quickly gaining popularity with advancing technology. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 54% of a pool of 624 technology researchers and experts believed that the Metaverse will be a fully immersive experience that will infiltrate the daily life of at least half a billion people by 2040. 


Currently, there are many Metaverse platforms and features in the works, such as methods for minimizing the physical gap and increasing physical intimacy in the Metaverse worlds. In addition, upcoming spaces like Planet Theta could revolutionize the dating experience by providing a place where you can travel anywhere that you desire. This will allow for fully immersive dating that can take you anywhere on Earth. As more Metaverse relationships and couples emerge, marketing around the Metaverse will also likely increase, encouraging more people to join, similar to dating apps today.