The big picture: The global pandemic and a high-stakes presidential election were just a couple of the unique challenges and circumstances that folks living in 2020 have had to face this year. Through the thick and thin, however, one thing has persisted - the need for human connection. Whether through the proliferation of videoconferencing apps like Zoom or existing platforms such as dating apps, people are looking to connect with others now more than ever.

OkCupid, an online dating service in the Match Group portfolio, recently analyzed this year's dating landscape in hopes of identifying trends likely to emerge in 2021.

Since the start of the pandemic, OkCupid has observed that connections and conversations across borders are up nearly 50 percent with people increasingly setting their location preferences to "anywhere."

What's more, 92 percent of respondents said they were still looking for love during lockdown while nearly 30 percent said they had been on at least one virtual date during quarantine.

Curiously enough, the pandemic has also led to a slowdown in the dating process. That is, the rush to meet a match in real life is decelerating and people are taking the time to more intimately connect with matches through deep conversation and virtual dating.

When it comes to politics, however, OkCupid believes that 2021 will see even more people refusing to date outside of party lines. A full 64 percent of those surveyed said they prefer that their date shares their political views while 60 percent said they flat out couldn't date someone whose political views were the opposite of theirs.

Image credit: Jakub Krechowicz, Tero Vesalainen