The past year has been hard, almost unbearably so. We were forced to do the unthinkable – isolate from family and friends, give up social events and celebrating in groups, forego restaurants…but no one really discussed dating. If you were already in a relationship, you didn’t have to deal with this, but for those of us single folks, did you sacrifice dating altogether to remain safe or maybe because you had mitigating health concerns? Was quarantine too isolating so you dated with precautions? However you decided to take the plunge,
Covid-19 is sticking around for a while. During these ever-changing times, there are ways to navigate the dating world that will make you and your date feel less stressed and more protected while still allowing for a great time.
While the pandemic has done its darndest to remove all the spontaneity from dating, you can ensure that romance still lives! But first, make sure you and your date agree on the risks you are willing to take regarding Covid safety, especially if you are meeting someone for first time, like off of a dating app. For example, you might prefer a few Zoom dates before an actual face-to-face meeting. If you fall into a high-risk category because of a pre-existing health issue, would a negative Covid test before your date make you feel most comfortable? If you’ve spent time getting to know each other over the phone and video chatting, and you’re really into one another, you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable asking for that and your date shouldn’t feel uncomfortable complying with your request. Your health concerns should be a priority to your potential love match.
Meeting for your date
What about the actual meet? Some may want to keep an initial meeting outdoors. Others may feel comfortable meeting indoors while maintaining social distancing measures and wearing masks. These parameters should be discussed in advance and creativity can help bring about that spontaneity factor! Staying in? You could take advantage of the many virtual tours and classes being offered online right now and participate in one together while at home separately.
Pandemic Date Ideas
Have a Zoom date! Watch a movie together, order takeout, or maybe even cook at the same time. Meeting up? How about a bike ride or an outdoor exercise class? Many bars and restaurants have opened up sidewalk tables or offer drinks for takeaway. Is there a botanical garden nearby or an outdoor museum? While the idea of a traditional date may have changed in the wake of Covid, it is still possible to find a creative and low-risk way to get to know your prospective match.
Not everything coming out of the pandemic is gloom and doom. Having to be more selective about who you meet in person gives you the opportunity to really figure out what you want in and from your pandemic date. What qualities are you looking for in a match? What are your must-haves and what are your deal breakers? You don’t want to take risks for someone you know isn’t going to be a good fit so take the time to ask the right questions during your phone calls and video chats. Maybe you want kids. Maybe you don’t want kids. Maybe you can’t stand a smoker or maybe you want to move to another state. During a pandemic, do you really want to meet someone face-to-face whose goals don’t coincide with your own?
So, you got the first face-to-face meet out of the way, and you had an excellent time. So much so, that the first meet led to a second. And maybe a third. Is it too soon to discuss dating other people to make sure no one gets sick? Think about this. If your match is behaving in ways that are high-risk, he/she is putting you and others at risk. Are you willing to take that risk upon yourself? If your answer is no, then it is definitely not too soon to have the exclusivity conversation. Both daters should be committed to good health practices for their own safety as well as the safety of their date. If he/she finds that to be a ridiculous ask, then you should cut your losses and move on. Be prepared to be open and honest with each other about your relationships and your conduct so you can keep yourselves and others around you safe and healthy. If the relationship between you progresses, being honest with one another will help your connection move in the right direction.
Now that everyone has been home for a while, most of us are ready to venture out into the world again, albeit it with some precautionary measures in place. Dating is an activity that can be enjoyed with proper communication and preparation between partners. Go on! Be safe, have fun, and find your love!
Need suggestions on where or how to start looking? Below are links to dating sites/apps, matchmaking consultants, and other Covid/Panedimic dating resources that can help you search for your potential match with the click of a button.
Match Groups owns several of the dating apps listed below. These include Match.com, OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, and Tinder. Even though CoVid has caused most businesses to feel strapped economically, online dating apps report flourishing growth. Tinder cites 2020 as the busiest year the app has ever had. Swipes grew 11% and members saw 42% more matches during the pandemic!
- Plenty of Fish
- Facebook Dating
- Meet Mindful
- HILY (Hey I Like You)
To read about each matchmaker listed below and what it was like working with them, you can reference this article, What It’s Like to Work With a Matchmaker
- The Social: Modern Matchmaking
- Ambiance Matchmaking
- Friend of a Friend Matchmaking
- It’s Just Lunch
- Selective Search
- Matchmaking by Leslie
Covid19 Dating Resources
- Love in the Time of Covid-19: Safe Dating in a Pandemic, Video by John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Coronavirus FAQs: What Are The New Dating Rules? And What About Hooking Up?
- Vacci-Dating: Should You Tell Others About Your COVID-19 Vaccination Status?