Dating during coronavirus isn’t easy. Virtual dates are likely awkward and long walks in the park can be unstimulating. While some remain hopeful with the daily texts and social-distancing meetings with their online matches, others have grown desperate with their search and started to worry about the outlook of their love life.
Well, I don’t blame them.
Many of these people had spent months or even years working on themselves and, just when they finally felt ready to put themselves out there, the lockdown happened. Their singleness is rubbed right on their face. They feel disappointed and cheated, wondering why luck is never by their side and if their love life is cursed!
If this is you, don’t worry.
First, if you’re still well enough to be thinking about dating, consider yourself lucky right there.
And your love life is not cursed. The lockdown is only temporary and, while it’s still in effect, it’s not unwise to stay off the dating apps. Chances are you won’t find any high-quality people who value their health and care about their community actively looking for love right now anyway.
Dating during coronavirus, while good for easing loneliness, isn’t ideal for many reasons.
First, people are likely to go on dating apps out of boredom and, well, loneliness.
It’s hard to date with clear goals right now as you can’t vet matches effectively by having as many in-person dates as possible. Meanwhile, progressing the relationship to the next stage within a reasonable timeframe, or even at all, is a challenging feat when you don’t even know when you can see each other next.
Speaking of having no real dates in sight, it would be tricky to tell whether someone doesn’t want to meet in person — including going on a social-distancing date — because they’re seriously concerned about health and safety or they’re simply stringing you along as a text buddy.
On the other end of the spectrum, people might use the lockdown as an excuse to be sleazy and conveniently turn the dating app into a hook-up app. “How about I come over to yours since we can’t go anywhere anyway?” – Sounds familiar? Oh, there’s more. “We don’t have to have sex if you don’t want to.” Yeah, right.
And what’s more, as meeting in person is far and few between while maintaining virtual connections takes little effort, everyone is likely to be talking to many people at the same time and people might not take their matches seriously.
Even if you find someone you’re really interested in and want to take it to the next level, how to keep their interest throughout the lockdown becomes a real struggle. Texting gets boring real fast and virtual dates can’t replace the thrill of getting up close in person.
Last but not least, the lack of in-person meetings can easily lead to fantasising about your date based on superficial factors.
If you’re not mature and experienced enough, you can quickly fall in love with a handful of good-looking photos, a carefully curated profile, a sexy voice, and a series of well-written texts without actually knowing anything about the person. You might put your date on a pedestal and get so emotionally invested that you overlook core incompatibility when you could finally see each other face-to-face.
All that said, whether you decide to be dating or not during coronavirus, social distancing measures might even be a blessing in disguise for your love life. You don’t have to get sad or bitter about your dating situation when life in the pandemic is already hard as it is. Your dating situation is fine. There are always things to be grateful for.
Now is the perfect opportunity for you to slow down and reflect on your past relationships.
Not always do you have this totally socially acceptable break to look into your dating patterns and think about what you ultimately want to do with your life. After staying inside for a long stretch of time, you might realise that you’re perfectly happy by yourself and don’t need a partner after all, or you become sure that you want to get married and have a big family.
The coronavirus lockdown also helps you avoid jumping from one relationship to another as you can’t find and meet dates quickly, frequently anymore. Especially if you’re still troubled by your last relationship, not dating due to coronavirus means not distracting yourself with new romance but instead facing yourself and healing your wounds properly over time. Being emotionally available and healthy, as a result, would increase your chance of finding a quality, long-lasting relationship.
If the lockdown rules in your area aren’t strict and you can still go on dates like normal, the looming pandemic should make you more conscious about the health and sexual risks of meeting a stranger, hence you become pickier and set stronger boundaries. If someone insists on meeting immediately after matching on an app while your city is still mostly shut down, you’d know they probably don’t have any concerns for their safety and others or even any common sense. Well, it’s a red flag.
Furthermore, with coronavirus, you can’t rush into sex — either because of the tight rules or because the instant gratifications from sexual contact are now weighed against your own wellbeing. The risks of getting sexy with a stranger you don’t know are no longer hidden. It’s echoing every day in the increasing numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths worldwide. And considering the possibility of contracting STDs and being ghosted after sex without commitment, you will want to think twice about it when someone asks you to go home with them.
In normal times, it’s easy to overlook major areas of incompatibility when the chemistry is on fire. During coronavirus, however, as you spend a large chunk of time talking and no time touching, you’re able to think more rationally and, as a result, weed out people who have no mental connection and common goals with you right from the get-go. Likewise, the pandemic leads you to give a chance to people with whom you don’t normally feel the spark at first sight — if you were to meet them in a bar, for example — but turn out to be compatible with on deep levels.
The bottom line is whether you date or don’t date during coronavirus, it’s okay — the lockdown is actually to your advantage if you’re looking for a serious relationship. Be patient and good things will come. If anything, you can use this alone time to level up mentally and physically before getting yourself out there on full force when the lockdown is over.