Dating During COVID: Is it a Thing?
Pre-pandemic dating was a circus — maneuvering between left and right swipes. Dating during COVID is a sea of possibilities, but is it really?
Before dating during COVID became prevalent, there were already plenty of complications in the dating game.
Dating during COVID may seem exhausting, but the game hasn’t really changed from before the pandemic — at least not fundamentally. You end up swiping once more until you match with someone, and you think to yourself… looking promising.
So there you go again, back in the swiping cycle until you match with someone else. This next one seems promising, again. You go through the same ritual of asking all the standard questions. No weird or alarming responses come up. So far, so good.
You progress from the app to exchanging numbers, but only after you’ve said you don’t want to exchange numbers right away because you don’t really know if they’re uneasy just yet.
Eventually, you concede and exchange numbers. The texting begins and the online dating dance proceeds, and I mean this figuratively. This back-and-forth tango goes on for a few days before you actually go out on a date and realize early on that this date will serve to be a good horror story to share and amuse your friends because it’s gone terrible and you’re only a half-hour in.
This is all pre-coronavirus.
I swore off dating for some time before the pandemic hit to focus on work. I love what I do and didn’t want any distractions. When the outbreak happened, I didn’t even consider dating because, well, death. It didn’t cross my mind for a really long time. I didn’t even think it was logistically possible. It seemed so complicated, and I didn’t even bother looking into it or asking if people were actually trying to date during these circumstances. Apparently, dating during COVID is an actual thing.
I did some digging, and I signed up for several dating apps because I wanted to get the full experience of what conversations would look like from a first-person perspective. I promise you - I took no joy in this.
Finding someone interesting to talk to proved to be harder than I thought. There were a lot of suitors, but the thought of actually engaging with someone was harder than I thought. One thing I noticed when I was looking at these profiles, all the images were of going out with no social distancing measures in place. Now, this could be because these images were pre-pandemic, or they could be because none of these gents were social distancing.
Since I couldn’t match with anyone that I was interested in, I posed the question to my Facebook followers. A female follower said, “No way would I even consider dating during a pandemic. Just no. Terrifying". I then had a male follower go in depth with his experience dating during this pandemic. He said, “Tried it, met face-to-face twice, outside with masks at first, for a walk. Then both times had dinner after we both got tested. Fizzled out though, they were nervous about doing stuff outside, even if we took precautions, and I think the stress from everything affected all of us.”
I did some research online from various trusted publications, Forbes, NPR, and USA Today, that discussed the same topic. These publications gave suggestions on how to date during a pandemic and the questions you should ask about getting tested. Or how you’ve been handling the guidelines, are you around other people or if you have an immunocompromised system?
There were suggestions on doing video calls and ordering dinner and eating while chatting. Taking COVID tests and sharing the results before meeting in person. There were also suggestions of having a picnic but sitting 6 feet apart.
I’m sure these suggested ideas are being practiced. So yes, dating during COVID is a thing — one that seems too complicated and challenging. I understand the need for connection — we’re human. This may work for some, and hopefully, those that see the benefit will reap the reward of a long-lasting relationship. For me, I’ll continue to focus on other areas of life that need attention until dating becomes easier.