Have you been swiping for love on apps during quarantine? With COVID-19 restrictions still in place or gradually lifting across the US, it’s time to start getting back to the dating pool. While it might feel strange at first, it’s important to consider two things before putting yourself out there:
- Do I know the safety comfort levels of the person I’m interested in?
- Knowing one’s comfort level, am I finding meaningful ways to connect with them?
Based on your answers to the questions above, there are a variety of ways to develop relationships both digitally and in-person with that special someone. Here’s our guide to navigating romance in this new normal:
Learn to Love the Awkward Moments
Just as no one was prepared with all the right answers on how to date during a global pandemic, it’s important to recognize that everyone is still a little lost as we move on to an era of dating post-COVID. Focus on being yourself and don’t worry if you or your dinner conversation is a little awkward at first.
Dating with Distance Doesn’t Have to be Boring
If you or your date are maintaining social distancing practices, or you met someone online who lives far away, your relationship doesn’t have to suffer. There are a variety of digital date options to help you continue get to know someone, including:
- Video Games: With a variety of online-multiplayer options, grabbing a controller and headset is an easy way to level up your relationship and connect regardless of physical distance. If you haven’t met someone just yet, don’t worry. A recent survey reported that one in three gamers have met a significant other or close friend while online gaming.
- Movie Nights: Did you know you can sync your streaming services? By downloading a plug-in or app, you can host joint movie nights or binge your favorite tv show together, with options to chat, comment or video-share during the experience.
Step Outside and Smell the Roses
Want to meet up in person, but are wary of restaurants or bars? Local parks and large outdoor spaces are a great way to meet up and maintain 6 feet of space from your date. Consider a socially-distanced lunch, bringing a picnic basket with your regular mask and hand sanitizer. Open spaces are not only better for limiting potential spread of the virus, but fresh air can also dramatically improve your mood.
Leverage Uncommon Communication Ideas
Don’t be afraid of doing something different. Brainstorm ways that you can communicate with your date using non-traditional methods like writing a letter or purchasing walkie talkies. By doing something out of the ordinary, you break up normal routines and stand out amid other fellow quarantine-daters.
Often, we seek romantic companionship because we want varying levels of intimacy, conversation and understanding—all of which directly correlate to our long-term happiness. Remember that as you’re getting to know someone and sharing your experiences with them—no matter the communication method—they’re just like you, looking to find someone exciting to connect with!