Scared and Alone? Here's 5 Pandemic Dating Tips.

Synthia Stark

Photo by Christina Moroz on Unsplash

We’re in a bit of a pickle when it comes to relationships. I mean, it was hard enough to date people before the pandemic, and now, we’re in situations where that’s almost impossible.

I mean, with the pandemic and all, we can’t exactly visit someone’s house because then they might be sick, and you might end up getting sick too, and no one wants that.

Fret not, because there are technological workarounds for these situations, even if it requires a bit of extra work.

I mean sure, you’ve probably started downloading a bunch of different dating apps and you’re spending your nights and days chatting with different people online.

Maybe some of the people are nice. Maybe some people are not so nice. At least you’re making the most of these experiences, within the comforts of home, when you crash land into your bed if things get really bad. Plus, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you should split the bill.

There are upsides to everyone, even bad situations like these. While we’re here, maybe you are:

  • Setting up dates on Zoom
  • Chatting with someone on Messenger
  • Using Tinder
  • Using Meetup to find others with similar interests

While it’s overwhelming on figuring out how which apps or programs to use when it comes to dating, at least we have options. People hundreds of years ago didn’t — they would be mindblown at all the technology we have these days.

Anyways, the pandemic doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. For now, we’re going to have to adapt to the circumstances, even if it isn’t easy to do so. Here are 5 tips to get started:

1. Be Selective

Look, it’s tempting to fling ourselves at the first person who is polite to us, especially with the scarcity of human connection these days. However, just as we did in the past, we have to look for those individuals who are worth our time.

Relationships are a serious investment so treat it like one. I mean, maybe you plan to marry your prospective partner and eventually have children in several years.

If you want to get closer to someone, we do it for serious reasons. During times like these, we can focus more on the quality of the connection rather than the material possessions of the other person. by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

Since everything is virtual, we don’t have to show-off any fancy cars or be worried about how our shoes look. We also have the added bonus of not having to take anyone to that fancy restaurant, so everyone has a lot less stress on romantic dinner etiquette.

Of course, we can’t be too choosy either. You can state about what you’re looking for a in a partner, but you can also go with the flow and see if there is a genuine connection or spark.

At the end of the day, our immediate emotions and judgements can be trusted, but don’t use them to discredit potential suitors either. Relationships thrive on emotions but for it to continue working out, some hard work is needed to keep it going.

2. Be Clear and Communicate

Sometimes we want to enter relationships for different reasons and have different ideas on what we want. We don’t just walk into a store and buy whatever someone else tells us to buy. We instead look for what we are most potentially interested in.

The same applies to prospective partners.

The partner has expectations as well. You can express to your partner what you desire and if you’re so worried about what they think, maybe you need a breather before you jump onto that next date. Together you can figure out whether or not you both have similar goals on what you want.

Maybe you both want to eventually marry someone in about 10 years. Maybe only one of you is seriously dating and the other person is just casually looking. by sarthak purwar on Unsplash

It’s always good to have an idea on what you want in a relationship because otherwise, you’re wasting your time and the other persons’ time. You also don’t want to be ambiguous because then someone might accuse you of being a catfish.

No one likes being accused of being a catfish. We have to be an authentic as possible, and we have the safety of the virtual space to ensure that no one can physically hurt us.

It’s sometimes possible that our standards may be off-kilter but we can only know that based on what our prospective partners say. From there, we can gain the self-awareness of how we come across to others and learn from those experiences.

3. Have Lots of Remote Meetings

To establish that genuine relationship, you’re going to have to join a lot of virtual meetings and calls before you get to a sweeter spot. If you’re one of those people who liked doing super intimate things on the first date, this is probably the worst time for you.

Instead, try to get to know the other person in terms of their personality and not just their good looks. Get an idea on how this person makes you feel. See if there is a potential for the relationship to grow.

Some people give us an immediate spark, but others are a slow burning spark. Even so, everything is different. Everyone has their own story on how they realized they fell in love, and the same can apply to you, even virtually. by Ben Collins on Unsplash

It might be better that things are virtual. Prior to the pandemic, if people did some intimate things before getting to know the other person, it might have been harder to figure out how we truly felt about the other person. Did you like this prospective partner for their personality or did you like because of how they performed?

Instead, during these current times, you’re just vibing with one another. Long-term relationships rely less on the intimacy anyway and more on the thoughtful gestures, like the compliments, hard work, and trustworthiness. The intimate moments is just cherry on the cake.

4. Ask The Important Questions First

It’s great when you get emotionally invested in someone. However, it’s not good to find out until date number ten that your partner likes or endorses something that is a total deal breaker.

Ask the important questions first because it will become awkward to ask later on. By then you’re too deep into the situation, and you’ll start to see the vulnerabilities slip in the other party.

It’s best to know someone really well before committing to them. I mean, this is your life that we are talking about and while these questions are not very fun to ask, you need to know. by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Of course, you don’t have to ask all of these things at once. As you get to know one another, you can ask a few of these questions here and there and see what happens.

For example, these questions may include:

  • Do you want children in the future?
  • What are your views on marriage?
  • Have you dated someone else in the past? Are we exclusive?
  • What happened in your last relationship (if you don’t mind me asking)?
  • How would others describe you?
  • Do you drink alcohol or smoke?
  • What’s your dating history?
  • What are your thoughts on other cultures and religions?
  • Do you ever want to get married?
  • What things are your looking for in life?
  • What’s your biggest and most proudest accomplishment?
  • What are your thoughts on money?
  • Hey, who is that person wandering behind you?

You can interweave some of these questions into natural conversations if you feel really uncomfortable about asking any of these questions.

Of course, some of these questions might elicit strong reactions, but then again, these are potential red flags to watch out for. For example, if the person gets defensive about smoking and smoking is a deal breaker for you because your family has a history of lung and heart cancer, then consider you potential next courses of action.

You can choose to continue to date, or even explain the situation to them. If they still seem rude, maybe you want to end the chat. Consider it a crisis averted.

5. Establish an Informal Contract

Sooner or later, you might eventually decide to meet this person. Of course, given all the rules and laws depending on your specific city, state, territory, or even country, you’re going to have to respect the law above all else.

For now, if you’re able to, just make an agreed upon plan on how you will meet in person. For example:

  • Is the plan to meet in an open public space?
  • Will there be social distancing?
  • Will there be ground rules?

You need to be transparent on the expectations on this meeting. For example, maybe you will follow your city’s mandate to be standing at least six apart, but the other person is expecting some fun times at their house.

Make sure you both know what you plan to do that day. Plus, if someone claims that they didn’t know, you can point out the verbal contract that you literally agreed upon online. by Sigmund on Unsplash

Maybe you can both write it down on your phone or computer. Yes, it seems silly, but at least we are setting boundaries. Setting boundaries early on encourages the other person to be clear and transparent as well.

Setting boundaries also prevents others from taking advantage of you, especially if things don’t go according to plan. For example, maybe you will decide on:

  • A common but safe meeting space, closest to running water and soap
  • An agreed upon idea to both wear masks
  • How you will get to the location on time
  • How and when you will get tested for COVID-19
  • If there will be some intimacy that night
  • Quarantining for two weeks, just in case the other person was lying or unaware

Yes, this is a lot of factor in, and if you don’t want to meet in-person, that’s also okay as well — I mean, our lives are pretty important.

If you do end up meeting, if you can’t get on the same page as the partner, then maybe it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe you’re meant for someone more closely aligned to your intelligence and personality.

Just make sure to follow the laws of your city and check in with your partner afterward to see if they are okay. While dating is a big part of anyone’s life, we’re just going to have to take it easy, especially as the days continue onward.

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Mental Health Professional | Crisis Responder | Science Writer


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