Love In The Time Of Coronavirus: How the Pandemic is Impacting Dating Life


I took a serious break from dating at the end of 2019, with the idea that I would start fresh in 2020. It was very much in the spirit of “new year, new me” energy. New Years passed, and I slowly started to dip my toe back into the dating scene. I redownloaded Hinge (I know, that goes against this article I wrote back in 2018 and I am fully aware of my hypocrisy!), and thought it would be a slow, possibly steady trickle of potentials.

Well, the whole dam broke. I had multiple dates lined up, at times for every day of the week. This girl wasn’t just back in the game, she was playing it out like the NBA Finals (R.I.P. basketball now that Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus, and thought it would be hilarious to touch EVERY press mic at an event).

On top of the existing dates I had already set up, I was getting a lot of “quarantine and chill” text messages from old flames (really? Did you think that would work?). It’s been tricky enough to keep track of the details when learning about multiple people at once, but without being able to meet them face-to-face, the details get blurred.

Seeing how people are able to evolve in times of crisis has always sparked interest in me, and with COVID-19 causing curfews in some towns and early closures at restaurants, bars, and other establishments, how are dates supposed to happen? For dates happening this week, they’re currently still on with a high probability that these will be canceled. Every date I had scheduled for next week has been rescheduled, just in case, there’s a full quarantine at that time. Practicing social distancing is all over the news, and one of the most social things you can do is go on a first date. Part of dating and flirting is being able to talk openly and comfortably, without having to second guess every movement or thought. Now, in a time of hyper-awareness doubled up with a no touching policy, my interest in meeting new people has completely plummeted. With a pandemic that encourages extreme cleanliness and no touching, any kind of intimacy ranging from PG all the way to X can’t be explored or built upon. BUMMER!

The flip side of this, which does seem to bring a little more fun into this madness, is this building of uncertainty. With things changing so rapidly when it comes to monitoring the virus, a lot of people (especially those who are younger and low risk), are adopting a “f*ck it, why not?” attitude. Some are continuing to take precautions, but are open to meeting new people. Bars in some areas still seem to be teeming with business, and random hookups are still most definitely happening. I’ll admit, there is something a bit thrilling about the rush of something like this. During times of crisis, people react impulsively. Generationally, there is this trend of finding the humor in (what is being seen as) an apocalyptic situation. “If I die, I die” was the headline in this trending article. If we needed an excuse to do something absolutely impulsive and irresponsible, something like a pandemic is it.

Some other solutions that I’ve explored with my potential matches are switching over to FaceTiming in place of a first date. I was never a fan of this idea, especially since I believe body language and chemistry carry much of someone’s first impression, but it has been interesting to see how people act with this dynamic going on. The general attitude from my dates about COVID-19 has also been really telling of how they deal with crises and responsibility. So, maybe it’s not all bad to have to have this pre-screening method during a time like this.

I am not trying to discount personal responsibility when it comes to spreading the virus. I am saying, though, that all the fun doesn’t have to stop because of what’s going on (well, not yet, at least!). Remember that those who are older are more susceptible, listen to the CDC, stick to the rules, and WASH YOUR HANDS! 

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