Everyone has different feelings about dating. Some thrive on the experience. They enjoy meeting all kinds of new people, and they get excited about the prospects that lie ahead. The possibility of forming intimate relationships is intriguing. For others, the process may seem more like a necessary evil that must be endured if they ever hope to make meaningful connections. Many are somewhere in the middle of these scenarios. Regardless of views on dating, the coronavirus pandemic has definitely made getting together with new people more challenging.
Some folks are refraining from dating altogether during this unusual period. They’d prefer to avoid the additional risk involved. Abstaining until there is a Covid-19 vaccine may seem like the best choice. Others might find themselves feeling lonely or burnt out after months in quarantine. Perhaps they’ve begun to think about weighing the risks involved in entering the dating scene. Some have even been putting themselves out there to some extent this whole time. If you’ve been contemplating getting back into the game but are unsure how to go about it, here are some tips for dating during a pandemic that might help you to navigate the process.
Take Time for Introspection
It’s a good idea to make sure you understand why you want to date. If it’s merely a matter of being lonely or missing connection, it’s possible you could make plans to get together in socially distanced ways with family or friends you already know and trust. This option could be appealing for those who are risk-averse. It might make sense for you to spend time with people you know who have similar risk tolerance and lifestyle habits as you.
If you find yourself hoping for more intimate connections and aren’t comfortable seeking them from friends, perhaps you’ll want to look for potential partners through dating. Do take some time to be honest with yourself about the kind of interaction you desire, the risks you’re willing to take and the ideal circumstances that need to exist for you to feel comfortable moving forward with someone. Also, be sure to know your deal breakers. Now is a good time to create firm boundaries and stick to them.
Get Creative with Distance Dating
If you know you want to put yourself out there to start dating, there are ways you can begin to explore the options safely. Lots of virtual options exist to help you get to know someone. Video chats and telephone calls are a good segue after chatting online for a bit. In fact, many of the dating apps have built virtual dating features into their platforms.
You can also do things like take your phone with you on a nature walk and share the experience with your date over FaceTime. Maybe send them a bottle of your favorite wine or six-pack of beer. Then have a drink “together” over Zoom. Choose a movie and have a Netflix party while watching it. There are lots of ways to get to know someone from a distance.
Have Honest Conversations
When you get a sense that you may be ready to meet a date in person, you’ll definitely want to have some straightforward and honest conversations. Communication is important to any relationship, even more so now. Be prepared to ask some pointed, straight forward questions to ensure you’re on the same page.
Find out what you’re both comfortable with on a first date. Ask them what social distancing specifically means to them. Will you meet outside and remain six feet apart? Will masks be worn? You may even want to discuss whether or not you’d both feel comfortable sharing a first kiss.
Talk about and compare your lifestyle habits. How have you both spent the past several months? You’re not being nosy or crossing boundaries by wanting to know what types of activities this person is engaging in and how many people they come in contact with on a regular basis. The answers to these questions can have a direct impact on your health. Be prepared to share your own answers so that you both can make informed decisions.
Clearly, there will be additional considerations if you decide to get involved with someone on a more intimate basis. But these are some steps to get you started on the path to safer dating during a pandemic. Take your time, and enjoy.