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Finding the One: Dating in the Age of Social Distancing

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Dating Building a Relationship

As Shakespeare said, “the course of true love never did run smooth”. Unfortunately, in the tumultuous times we find ourselves living in, the course of true love is rockier than it’s ever been!

But just because the pandemic has totally turned our world upside down, it doesn’t mean that singles around the world aren’t desperate to find love. Fortunately, even though we aren’t able to venture out and meet people in person as easily, there is no shortage of online options when it comes to diving into the dating pool. 

So how does one go about finding love in the age of social distancing, using apps, and having to meet under strict conditions? We take a look at some dating tips for everyone seeking their other half in these tricky times.

Use dating apps

Hand holding up mobile phone showing Tinder dating app signup page on the screen

Gone are the days of meeting people at bars, nightclubs, restaurants, or at dinner parties. If you want to find love, it seems your first stop should be your app store! The wonderful thing about online dating apps is that you can’t catch germs through your phone. In addition to this, you’re able to set your preferences for what you’re looking for, gauge whether you find someone physically attractive, and chat to them and get to know them before deciding to take any next steps.

Some of the most popular dating apps at the moment are Bumble, Tinder, and Match.com. Simply download the app, set up your profile, add some pics, set your age and location preferences, and get matching! Once you’ve matched with some potential partners, you can decide whether to use the video or voice call features on the apps in order to get to know your match a little bit better. This is a great way to deepen the connection, chat a bit more, and really get a feel for whether this is someone you’d like to meet in person.

The added bonus? Voice and video calling are totally pandemic-friendly, and you get to do both without sharing your personal information or location. 

Reach out to old flames and love interests

Who doesn’t have a story of how, in the midst of the harshest lockdowns, they received a totally out-of-the-blue message or call from an old flame or love interest? Now that the days of meeting new people are over, it seems time to revisit old acquaintances. Is there not perhaps someone you flirted with or chatted to in the past, where nothing ever really came of it because you both got busy with your own lives? There might still be some potential there. This is why it can’t hurt to browse through your contacts, or your social media page’s friend lists to see who might be hidden in plain sight. If you both have nothing better to do, it doesn’t hurt to spend a bit of time chatting to see if there is more to your friendship, or the flirtatious banter you’ve shared over the years.

Set up a virtual date

So now you’ve hit it off with your love interest and want to get to know them even better. Whether lockdowns are still in full force in your city, or if you are both just being careful and aren’t keen to meet up just yet, you can plan a virtual date together on FaceTime, Skype or Zoom. Set a date and time, have both of you get dressed up, and have a drink or even a meal together on video call.

Planning a social distancing-friendly date IRL

Sign at a park with man and woman cut out showing that distance of 2m apart should be observed

If your online relationship has reached the next level, and you’re both ready to meet in person, there are ways to do so safely. For the first date in real life, it is best to meet outdoors, where the risk of coronavirus transmission is lower.

You could both meet for a walk in a park, have a picnic outside, or meet at a restaurant with outdoor seating. Communicate with your date and ask what they would feel most comfortable with.

It should go without saying but ensure that you wear a mask for the duration of your date. Do not just approach your date for a greeting hug or any form of physical contact, without first communicating with them and finding out what they are comfortable with. Some people have taken to agreeing to getting a COVID test before meeting for a date. It all boils down to what both parties are comfortable with, which is why you should establish mutual boundaries and an understanding before any meetup happens in real life.

Use the time to work on yourself

Even if you are keen on finding a life partner but feel like dating apps just aren’t working for you, maybe the time just isn’t right for you yet. Use this quieter time to focus on yourself. Nurture a hobby that you’ve always wanted to start, read some self-help books, exercise, and meditate. Do whatever you need to do to feel happy and to cope with what’s going on around you. These are crazy and uncertain times, after all!

Perhaps once you’ve found some inner peace and are feeling more confident and secure, the right person will find their way to you… with a simple swipe or click of a button.

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