Dating During a Pandemic: What Changed?

The pandemic has changed so many aspects of how we do what used to be regular things. From exercise, dining, and shopping to meeting with friends and finding potential partners, there are many precautions that we have to take to avoid catching and spreading the dreaded coronavirus.

Nevertheless, it turns out that a global health emergency can’t stop people looking for love and companionship. Although we have to do things a little differently in order to stay safe, it is still possible to find someone amid all the chaos.

If you want to try and put yourself out there, however, there are some important factors that you need to expect, such as:

Relationships are staying mostly virtual for now

While dating apps and matchmaker services are nothing new, they’ve seen a steady rise in users trying to find partners without having to meet people IRL–at least not for now. A lot of people aren’t willing to go out as much in fear of catching the virus, much less come in close contact with people that they don’t even know. As a result, virtual relationships are staying virtual for now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t meet someone worth your while even if it’s entirely online.

With the technology available nowadays, it’s not that hard to find a connection with someone in the first place. Virtual dates are entirely possible with video calls and streaming services that allow multiple people to watch movies at the same time. Instant messaging, although not as great as in-person conversations, can still let you get to know someone on a deeper level. That said, in-person dates, as much as they are desirable amidst the isolation, are still not worth the risk.

people on a date

IRL dates are riskier than ever

Even before the pandemic, going on a date with a stranger holds a certain level of risk. This is why people take precautions when going on a date, such as telling their friends where they’re going or asking to meet up in a public place. But now that there are even more crucial health and safety standards to uphold, going on an IRL can look very different.

For one, wearing masks and maintaining social distance is a must. Skin-to-skin contact is also not a good idea, especially on a first date. But even with these measures in place, going on an IRL date with someone is not a hundred percent risk-free. You never know if the person you’re seeing has been exposed to someone with the disease, and if they regularly go out in public spaces, they have a higher risk of having COVID-19.

However, even if both of you are following safety standards to a T, it can only take one incidence of exposure to catch the virus, and this can happen anywhere between leaving the house and getting to the venue of your date. That said, it’s best to wait until enough people are vaccinated–which will, hopefully, happen soon.

Virtual dates are on trend

Okay, so it’s not safe to go on IRL dates yet, what else can you do other than DMing each other on socials? Here are some dating ideas that can be fun, fruitful, and most importantly, a hundred percent risk-free.

Ordering the same food. Even if you can’t go to restaurants together, you can still enjoy food in each other’s company by ordering from the same restaurant (or alternatively, ordering the same type of food). If you want, you can also dress up to make it feel like an IRL dinner date.

Taking an online tour. Places like theaters, museums, and historical sites offer virtual tours for people that want to get the ‘full’ experience without leaving their homes. Best of all, most virtual tours are free and can be easily accessed online.

Playing games. If both of you like playing video games, play together at a party or only with the two of you on the team.

Everyone is sad, lonely, anxious, or all of the above

It’s not just you. Everyone has physical and emotional needs that are not being adequately met in this pandemic. So, don’t feel bad about needing to meet someone or feeling desperate to see someone in real life. We all want to go back to how things were, but we also need to work together to finally get this pandemic behind us.

Dating isn’t easy, much less in the middle of a global health crisis. While the vaccines are still on the way, let’s do our part in bringing the curve down and stick to virtual dates for now.


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