COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we meet people and spend time with loved ones. But no matter how hard we try to adjust to the new normality, people can’t neglect some of the basic social needs, such as dating. The pandemic didn’t stop people from searching for romance, but it made it more challenging.
How to stay safe and meet someone? Can you go beyond online communication?
All these questions keep circling people’s minds. You shouldn’t wait until the pandemic ends to get back to dating. But to do it safely, we recommend you to take all the necessary measures.
COVID-19 dating rules and trends
Dating moves online
If there were people against online dating before the pandemic, now only a few exceptions left. According to Tinder executives, the people’s need to connect increased in the first few months of the pandemic.
Conversations on Tinder rose by 12% from February to March, and the app broke a match record. Whether it’s loneliness or human nature to look for love amid crises, people are far from quitting search for love or some casual fun.
Longer conversations and video dates
Remember those days when you would match with someone, exchange a few messages, and go on a date? Some dates used to be lousy, and some were fun, but now people can’t waste their time on dates that don’t lead anywhere.
Many online daters take longer to bond with their matches. People tend to have more in-depth conversations and set video calls before putting masks on.
Barbie Adler, the founder of an offline executive matchmaking service, says that people are more determined to find love because of limited social interactions. She also explains that more of her clients search for ways to arrange and improve video dates.
If Zoom calls make you uneasy, then video dates might be even worse. The good news is that now it’s easier to get out of an uncomfortable date by claiming that your internet connection is bad.
But what’s next? Are you feeling that it’s time to put yourself out there, but don’t know how to start the whole pandemic-dating thing? Before you make the next step, we prepared a list of tips on how to get back to dating amid the pandemic.
Coming back to dating after the COVID-19 pandemic
It’s important to understand your needs
Crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic induce a natural human need for connection and empathy. When things go south, we tend to turn to one another and look for people to connect with. These past few months have been an emotional rollercoaster, so it’s natural to long for romance and connectedness.
But before you swipe right, ask yourself why you are looking for someone. Is it because you’re feeling lonely, or it’s just an itch? If it’s only a hookup, you might want to be clear about it from the beginning. If you’re ready for a relationship, ask potential matches what their intentions are. Misleading people during the pandemic should be a crime.
Some dating apps are designed to match you with people who look for casual sex, while some others offer long-term relationship opportunities. Knowing what you want can help you find a dating service tailored to your needs and prevent misunderstandings.
Unleash online dating
Unless you meet someone on the aisle at the grocery store, your options are pretty much limited to online dating. While meeting your ideal partner in-person is still possible, we suggest increasing your chances and moving online. Online dating isn’t always the first choice of many, but now you can find countless dating apps tailored to users’ age, gender identity, interest, and sexual orientation, or the current COVID-19 situation.
Social isolation inspired a few students from Yale University to launch a new dating app called ‘OKZoomer.’ Students created the app to ease the pandemic dating among university students, but soon after, the project reached the national level.
Things to go through before meeting each other
A video call can be a great start. You don’t feel the pressure to be your most amazing self, because everyone is in the same situation. You can be bolder and agree on what you expect from this relationship. If the connection is on, then move on to the second part - a real-life date.
Before meeting up, it’s essential to agree on safety measures such as masks and distancing. Ensure they understand the severity of the situation and aren’t conspiracy theorists who don’t believe in masks.
Also, you shouldn’t forget necessary dating safety rules such as meeting in a public place, letting your friends or family know where and when you’re meeting.
Should you get physical?
If everything leads to a mutual connection, perhaps it’s time to consider moving forward. But we recommend you to be sincere and ask beforehand. While spontaneity is sexy, dating during the pandemic requires you to be open about your intentions and discuss things before they can happen. You shouldn’t be pushy and imply that something WILL happen, instead, discuss it as a hypothetical scenario, and make sure your date is on the same page.
Whether it’s a kiss or going all the way, you might want to make sure you both are COVID-free. The good news is that you can do the COVID home test before dating. Home test kits for COVID-19 are as reliable as a visit to the doctor’s office, and you don’t have to feel anxious waiting in a queue among potential transmitters.
Even though both of you are negative, you shouldn’t forget to check for STIs. Now, it might take longer to make a doctor’s appointment, but while you wait for your COVID-19 home test kit, you can also order one for STIs.
STI home test kits are a reliable and straightforward way to gain more control over your sexual well-being. Home tests can show the most common STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, HIV, syphilis, trichomoniasis. When you both know you are good to go, you will feel relaxed knowing you can fully enjoy a new fling.
HOW IS AN STI HOME TEST DONE: READ MORE.
The pandemic locked us in, but it didn’t stop the need to connect and get a bit frisky. You don’t have to live in fear of catching a disease if you take preventative measures. Be open about it and encourage your partner to do the same, so both of you can enjoy satisfying and safe dating during the pandemic.