Dating in the Age of COVID-19
Dating has always been a source of stress: Thoughts like, “Do I look my best?” “Am I behaving well?”, and more importantly, “Do they like me?” are common for anyone who wants to make a good impression. But now that the threat of coronavirus infection and social distancing are changing the rules of dating. Here are a few tips that might help you to take the edge off of dating in the age of COVID-19.
During your dating search:
Don’t worry about using dating apps to match with other singles. This allows you to create a solid bond with someone you like—and you definitely won’t catch the virus this way. If you get along, set up a time to set up a video chat date if you are getting along well and want to take the next step.
If the two of you get along, neither of you are symptomatic and you’re comfortable meeting in person, feel free to go on a date. You might even consider having a night in, rather than going out. Wash your hands frequently if you decide to meet up in person. Be sure to bring along your hand sanitizer and spray, just in case.
Meet at a quiet location such as your home or an open park, rather than a restaurant or bar.
Try an ‘elbow bump’ when you meet up, instead of shaking hands or kissing. You can then share a laugh about it dispel the awkwardness of it.
Avoid kissing your date if you have just met them and they haven’t been tested for COVID-19.
During your date:
Ask politely about your partner’s health status before you meet so you can keep the face-to-face conversation comfortable and casual. Don’t ask your date about the last time they coughed—especially if they seem perfectly healthy.
Make the most of the time you have with your new partner. Don’t spend the whole date talking about the COVID-19 virus, when you could be focusing on whether you’re compatible. Talk about your favorite movies, local restaurants, or even your partner’s best features.
Always communicate if plans change. Don’t worry about canceling your date if you still feel like it’s not a good time. Let the person know as soon as you decide you don’t want to meet, and consider rearranging when you feel safer being in a crowd or meeting someone new.
Don’t be afraid to leave if you notice people coughing wherever you are. Discuss this possibility with your partner ahead of time, and subtly make an exit when you can. Staying healthy is important for both of you, so you can have future dates.
Remember to keep yourself healthy, so don’t lean in for a kiss at the end of the night if you are meeting the person for the first time. Instead, stick to a wink and a bright smile!