He has made friends with four people his age through the apps and chats with them daily — a way of “relieving the stress and frustration” of the pandemic, he says.

“It’s all we have left,” he sighs, especially since Portugal was plunged back into lockdown last month.

Match, the group that includes several leading apps such as Tinder, Hinge and Meetic, says it added more than a million users in the last quarter of 2020, up some 12 percent to around 11 million worldwide.

“It sounds like a cliche, but the apps have really kept me from sinking,” said Sebastien, a 19-year-old student in France.

“When we can’t go to college, and the bars, restaurants, and cinemas are all closed, we spend entire days on our own, stewing. It’s horrific,” he said.