Isolation Icebreakers: How to Reach Out While Staying In

Isolated woman making digital connections on her tablet

In these strange times of self isolation, digital connections are more vital than ever. It’s true for your online meetings, it’s true for your family chat, and it’s true for online dating. If you’re looking to make the most of the latter, these EliteSingles insights could help. We’ve studied the isolation icebreakers that you can add to your profile to get a boost in online attention.

Traditional, in-person dating might be on pause for now, but you can still reach out online, and let others reach out to you. But just how do you get started? A great dating profile can help. And making a great profile often comes down to finding the right words.

In our most recent study, we looked into some of the words-of-the-moment to see if any of them can have an impact on the amount of attention you get online. We analyzed anonymous data from 300,000 singles on the EliteSingles platform, looking for mentions of certain words or phrases. We then looked into the average number of messages received by profiles with these words, and compared them to the average messaging rate for the site.

We discovered that profiles with these certain words or phrases have a significantly higher messaging volume than the average profile. In other words, these are the isolation icebreakers that could improve your time online. Some topical, some competitive, and all interesting, these additions can make your profile pop.

1. Isolating? That’s an icebreaker

As we head into April, millions of people around the world are still in isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic. And that’s ultimately a good thing! It’s the most responsible way to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak. It’s also the most kind. It means that essential workers can more easily get out and be the heroes we need. It means that the most vulnerable among us are more protected. And it means that we might stand a chance of flattening the curve.

What you might not know about isolation is that, as well as the serious stuff, it could also help you get more attention when online dating.

The EliteSingles data team took a look at a sample of profiles from people who had added the words ‘isolating’ or ‘isolated’ to their dating profiles and found something interesting – their average incoming messaging rate was significantly higher than the EliteSingles average. In fact, profiles with words relating to isolation have a messaging volume that is 49% higher than the average user. Perhaps kindness really is attractive after all.

2. Home office is the new hot destination

Many people around the world are learning the perks of home office. The short commute, the easy access to breakroom snacks, the relaxed dress code (it’s all about sweats, at least from the waist down!). And EliteSingles has uncovered another perk that should speak to the hearts of single professionals: talking about your home office set up is one of the isolation icebreakers that can get you more attention when online dating.

In fact, the average messaging volume of users who have the words ‘home office’ or ‘working from home’ in their dating profiles is far higher than the volume of those without. We’re talking 85% higher. Whether you have a room of your own to think in, or whether your office is really just a corner of the kitchen table, talk about your working situation in your profile and let the home office bonding begin.

3. Cats and dogs make the most attractive co-workers

Pets are really pulling their weight during this crisis. Whether it’s the dog who needs belly rubs partway through the daily briefing, or the cat scratching at the home office door, pets are the highlight of many an online meeting, and Instagram hashtags like #dogsworkingfromhome are a bright spot in many isolated people’s weeks.

We’ve long known that, as well as making ideal co-workers, pets can be good for your love life too. In fact, an EliteSingles study from 2017 found that a majority of people think owning a pet can make you more attractive. However, our latest study shows you don’t have to actually own a pet to reap the benefit. Just putting the word ‘pets’ in your profile can help. User profiles containing ‘pets’ have a messaging volume that is 51% higher than the average.

Getting specific can be even more beneficial. Adding the words ‘cat’ or ‘dog’ can result in an even higher messaging volume than ‘pets’ alone. So which one is the better isolation icebreaker? In this case, the dogs have it: ‘dog’ profiles see a 110% uplift in messaging volume, while ‘cat’ profiles come in at a close second, with a 97% uplift.

4. The isolation hobby to rule them all

Self-isolation isn’t all about hard work. It’s really important to take time for leisure too. In fact, many people are using the Covid-19 shutdown as a unique opportunity to take up a new hobby. But which hobby should you pick? And are any of them the kind of isolation icebreakers worth boasting about in your online dating profile? To discover the hottest hobby of all, EliteSingles took a look at five of the lifestyle trends taking over social media and ranked them according to the online dating messaging boost that they bring.

JOGGING – 63% uplift. Gyms are closed and exercise classes are cancelled and yet, for many people, solo exercise remains one of the few legitimate reasons to leave the house. It’s little wonder, then, that jogging is experiencing a boom in popularity. Jogging is popular with online daters too – in fact, it’s the most popular isolation hobby in our study. Profiles that talk about jogging see 63% more messages than the average profile; a true incentive to dust off those sneakers and start chatting about your love of running.

GARDENING – 59% uplift. Coronavirus lock down is keeping many of us from spending time in nature, which is perhaps why interest in gardening is booming right now. Whether it’s growing your own vegetables, or getting your monstera to put out a new leaf, if you’ve got green fingers now is the time to mention it in your dating profile. Gardening mentions result in the second highest uplift of our five hobbies, increasing messaging volume by 59% above the average. Clearly, it’s a hobby that can help you connect with others and plant the seeds of something special.

STREAMING – 48% uplift. If you can tear yourself away from your favorite streaming platform for long enough to talk about it in your dating profile, you might find it pays off. Profiles that mention streaming see an average messaging boost of 48%. And, with tools like Netflix Party making it easy for couples to watch together, the thing that sparks your connection could become your new favorite date idea – one that you can go on without leaving your respective houses!

BAKING – 33% uplift. Whether it’s making your own sourdough, or experimenting with dalgona coffee, home baking has become one of the hottest social media trends during this lock down. And it can be a great addition to your profile too, with an average messaging volume boost of 33%. If you’ve managed to find flour and yeast during your isolation, you might soon be cooking up love along with tasty bread.


No matter which of these isolation icebreakers you choose, the important thing to remember is that online dating is a great way to start reaching out while staying in. In these strange times, when coronavirus response means taking a step back from in-person social interactions, online connections are more important than ever. And your next great connection could start with you talking about your cat, your baking, and your home office in your dating profile.


Data source: Anonymous data from 300,000 randomly selected people active on during March 2020. Data used cannot be traced back to the original user.

About the author: The EliteSingles Press Team

See more articles written by The EliteSingles Press Team