Dating during COVID is not normal to say the least! Here are some tips to still have fun but feel safe during the pandemic.
There are a lot of articles online about dating during COVID and video chat date ideas. In fact, I’ve even written some. Those are all good and well, but what inspired me to write this specific article was something that recently happened to a friend of mine.
She is single. She just started a new job and went to get a physical for it. And she thought the guy working at the desk was cute and would have liked to ask him out or give him her number. But, there were a lot of unknowns, more than usual.
Without COVID, she may have been rejected because he was taken or not interested. But, with COVID, he was wearing a mask. She thought he was cute from the bridge of the nose up, but maybe she wouldn’t be attracted to him without a mask. How would he know if he were interested without seeing her maskless?
On top of that, how do you ask someone out during COVID? Should you go for a socially distanced walk while wearing masks? Should you text a lot or have a video chat date?
Asking someone out and dating have always been difficult and awkward, but with COVID there is an entirely new level of unknowns.
Should you be dating during COVID?
In the first few weeks of the pandemic, I would have said just hold off. You can take a break, and probably a much-needed one from dating for now. It just wasn’t worth the risk and awkwardness.
But, once we passed the first two months of lockdown, not dating became isolating. You’re already missing out on your normal socializing with friends, coworkers, and strangers.
Dating, whether casually or not, is how we connect with people. With a pandemic, is that safe? Yes and no.
Our health and the health of those around us should be the number one priority. But, that isn’t just true for physical health. Our mental and emotional states have taken a major toll this year.
A break from dating is healthy, but stopping altogether for over a year and with no end in sight can be a big change. Human connection is just as much of a priority as shelter or food.
So, whether you just want to interact with new people or want to build a serious connection, dating during COVID can be safe. With that being said, I do not recommend going on dates to restaurants or anywhere that social distancing and mask-wearing aren’t possible. It isn’t smart, safe, or worth it.
But, as I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of ways to date during COVID without risking your health or your date’s.
How to ask someone on a date during COVID
This may be even more nerve-racking and awkward than going on a date. Putting yourself at risk of being rejected when asking someone out is scary enough. But doing so in the middle of a pandemic when you’re craving human connection more than normal is scarier.
And, if you aren’t online dating, which is probably your most convenient method right now, it can be super weird.
Like my friend, you may have seen someone at the grocery store or out on a hike that you thought was cute from what you could tell. Maybe in 2019, you would have approached them and asked them out, but how do you do it now?
Well, I have a couple of tips to make asking someone out in-person during COVID a little less awkward.
#1 Be honest. Because we should all be keeping our in-person interactions to a minimum, there is no need to beat around the bush. If you’re interested in the office manager at your doctor’s office, your delivery driver, or cashier, just say so.
Making small talk with a mask on isn’t the easiest. Not only are your words often muffled, but without reading each other’s faces things can get awkward. Instead of easing into it, just say something.
#2 Offer communication. Don’t go right into asking a stranger on a date in person. This is not only dangerous but could make someone very uncomfortable. Instead, offer them your Instagram handle or phone number. This way they can reach out if they want to, but aren’t stuck with rejecting you in the moment if not.
This also makes it easier to reach out. This way you can talk to see if you’d get along before potentially meeting up.
#3 Make a joke. Being lighthearted when asking someone out is always the way to go in my book, especially if you’re looking to date during COVID. The pandemic has been piled up with so much seriousness *for good reason*, so some fun will help things feel smoother.
You can say something like, “I’m not sure if you’re missing all your teeth with your mask on, but I’d still like to give you my number if you’d like to text me sometime.”
#4 Discuss what you’re comfortable with. Before actually asking someone out, talk about what you both need to be safe and to feel safe. Will you start with fully virtual dates? Will you meet up outside, weather permitting with masks on or outside, socially distanced without masks? How?
Will you go hang out on their porch or their backyard? Do you know a private park or beach with unlimited space? Figure out all of this before making a plan.
#5 Get tested. If COVID testing is available in your area, it is best to get tested and quarantine if you really want to see each other in person. Discuss anyone else you and your date are interacting with. Are you working from home? Do you live with family or roommates?
It isn’t just about peace of mind. Is a date or sex really worth getting sick or getting someone else sick? Take the precautions.
How to go about dating during COVID
Other than the asking someone out part, dating during COVID is a whole new ball game. Should you try online dating? Can you still ask friends to hook you up? I’ve even seen online speed dating.
More people than ever before have entered the world of online dating since COVID. It is the safest and most practical choice.
Some apps even offer a filter you can add to your profile about what sort of dating you’re comfortable with: virtual, social distanced, or social distanced with masks.
Along with that, limiting your dating circle is probably the best move when dating during COVID. If you’re someone who dates around or dates casually, that’s all fine and well. But during COVID, especially if you’re meeting people, even with precautions, it is best to take it slow and steady.
If you plan to meet up, keep it to one person. Having a lunch date and then a dinner date with two different people. Even if they know you’re not exclusive, that isn’t the issue, it’s the exposure.
You also should be able to have uncomfortable conversations about mask-wearing and other precautions. Did they go to an outdoor wedding last weekend? You have to be willing to be honest here, even if you made a mistake and took a risk. You’d hope for the same from them.
But, having these chats is beneficial in more ways than one while dating during COVID. Not only is this information keeping you both safe, but it is forcing you to be honest and upfront. This can bring you closer. Working on awkward communication so early on can benefit you in the long run.
And if someone isn’t keeping up with CDC guidelines and isn’t wearing a mask or is going to large indoor gatherings, you may know they aren’t the person for you.
I know mask wearing has become politicized and discussing it can become a political or ethical debate, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Dating during COVID can actually help you dodge red flags a little faster.
I would also recommend, whether a friend gave your number to someone they know or you met online, video chat first. Before the pandemic, this was a turn-off for some people, but it is the safest option.
And there are a lot of benefits to it. You can see if you can carry on a conversation. You can see what they look like without filters or a mask. And you can really get to know each other in the next best way to in-person.
It may not be ideal in terms of dating, but in terms of dating during COVID, it kind of is.
Intimacy and dating during COVID
But, what about when it comes to intimacy? With dating, you can only go so long without holding hands, kissing, and sex. How do you handle those aspects of dating during COVID?
Well, just like the rest. If you plan to become intimate in any way, discuss it. That may not be as sexy as ripping each other’s clothes off at the spur of the moment, but dating during a pandemic is no rom-com.
Your best bet is to both quarantine for two weeks and get tested before being intimate in any way. You’ll need to be indoors and close together. The only remotely safe way to do that is with quarantining and testing.
From then, if you are planning to be in each other’s circles, that comes with its own set of guidelines. You’ll need to discuss your roommates’ or family members’ jobs, interactions, and where you go. Are you both living alone and working from home and only going out for groceries while wearing masks?
That would lower your risk, but if you live with your family or roommates, they also need to be comfortable with you having someone over.
There are a lot of things to consider when dating during COVID. No one ever said the pandemic would be easy, but as long as you take all the proper precautions, you could come out of it with a great partner.