So you started 2020 thinking this might just be your year to find love. You finally got your life together, you had all those fun trips planned and you were ready for a summer romance.
Some guy ate a bat and caused a global pandemic that meant humans can’t touch each other.
Didn’t see that one coming, did you?
We’re currently finding ourselves in unprecedented times where face masks are the new fashion accessory and the weekly grocery run feels like you’re heading out to fight zombies in an episode of the Walking Dead.
I’m sure that isolating at home has many people yearning for human connection and yet, human connection is exactly what causes Covid-19 to spread. Since we have no idea how long this will go on for, it shouldn’t stop you from dating if you’re looking to find love.
Here are some tips for dating during the coronavirus quarantine:
Get familiar with dating apps
As someone who has always despised dating apps, I would usually recommend meeting guys organically. But alas, good ol’ Rona has royally screwed that one up. These days there’s no chance of meeting a prospective partner at a music festival or your local bar.
While staying home can feel downright boring, it also means you have plenty of time to set up your Hinge or Bumble profiles and start swiping.
In the pre-lockdown days you might have uttered the excuse that you’re too busy to message back and forth with strangers but now that excuse is gone.
The upside of lockdown is you can use the time to really get to know someone before going on a date or hooking up.
Video chat for the first dates
Covid-19 brought out a new video chatting trend – House Party. House Party allows you to video chat with multiple people at one time, but you can also use it to chat one-on-one. What’s cool about the app is you can play games like trivia while you’re using it, which is a fun way to have a virtual first (or second or third) date.
Video chat is really the only way to have a first date right now if you’re planning on staying in quarantine. FaceTime, WhatsApp video or the video features within dating apps will work just fine.
Getting ready for the call
While you may have been lunging about the house in old pajamas with greasy bed hair binge watching Tiger King, you might not want your date to see that just yet!
Be sure to take a shower and dress nicely, but make sure you’re comfortable. There’s no need to wear a sexy dress you’d usually reserve for a nice dinner if you’re sitting in the house.
Put on your best lounge clothes and perhaps style your hair to make you feel a little more put together. Light make-up like a tinted moisturizer, blusher and mascara is enough when you’re on camera.
For lighting, try to sit near a window so that you have soft, natural light coming in. Make sure the light is in front of you and not behind you otherwise you’ll just look like a silhouette. And no direct sunlight otherwise you’ll be struggling to see.
Be yourself and remember to smile!
Respect people’s quarantine views
I was chatting to a guy friend who said that he has been asking his Hinge matches if they’d like to “quarantine and chill” with him. The responses: “Yes, over video chat” or “After the quarantine is over”.
People I’ve spoken to have different ideas of quarantining. Technically we’re all supposed to #stayhome and avoid contact with people outside our own household. Some people strictly adhere to this and won’t socialize with anyone other than the person/people they live with. They may not leave the house for days on end.
Some people are willing to limit their social circle to a few people they know and trust. They’ll still have their boyfriend or girlfriend over to the apartment or keep seeing the person they just met. They might go for regular walks or do exercise in the park every day.
If you’re seeing someone but you don’t live together, you should respect their quarantine views, even if they’re different to yours. If they’d prefer that you quarantine separately to avoid risking their health, then it’s important to respect that decision. Likewise if you have roommates, it’s important to respect their wishes if they’d rather not have other people inside the apartment.
On the flip side of that, recognize when quarantine is just an excuse. One of my guy friends said he used quarantine as an excuse not to see a girl that he wasn’t really into.
He said he had no issue with hanging out with other people in person, he just didn’t want to see her. So try to use your intuition to recognize whether someone genuinely doesn’t want to take the risk or whether they’re just using quarantine as an excuse to disappear.
If you’ve been seeing a guy for a while and you’re still talking every day on the phone during quarantine and he’s made it clear he wants to see you as soon as this is over then that’s one thing. If he’s barely been in contact and can’t text you back then that’s a different story.
Meeting dates IRL
If you’ve been going out in public to buy groceries, exercise or walk your dog, then there are still opportunities to chat and meet people, albeit 6 feet away from each other.
On my expeditions to the park to walk my dog I’ve noticed that lockdown has actually brought people together, even if we’re apart. Strangers stop to ask me about my little Pomeranian or chat about what’s going on in the world.
People have more time on their hands, so you never know, you could meet someone even from a distance.
Use the time to hit pause
The Covid-19 pandemic has really hit pause on everything in life.
Perhaps this is the time you need to just get over that breakup or feel content with being alone. A time to chill, enjoy some much needed R&R and focus on yourself. Read a book, take a bath, watch a good Netflix show, get fit, start a new business, update your blog…whatever it is you’d been putting off but really needed to do.
Since all the bars and restaurants are shut, there’s no FOMO anymore. You can be content knowing that nobody is doing anything right now. We’re all in our homes doing the same thing.
Instead of worrying about dating, perhaps this is a time to look inwards and get comfortable with yourself because there’ll be plenty of time for dating after this is over.
And if you’ve been in a toxic “am I just a booty call?” type situ, perhaps this time apart will be the time you need to lose all that oxytocin and realize you can move on.
Remember, the grass is always greener
If you’re single then it’s easy to start thinking that the couples have it better right now. They’re in their homes together and able to have sex as much as they want while you’re left with the only option….Pornhub.
But being in a relationship comes with its own set of problems. If you’re quarantined with a partner then you’re cooped up with the same person day and night. Some people will be having arguments, struggling to juggle work conference calls with screaming children. Not all relationships are rosy.