Being stuck in the house during a pandemic leads to a lot of downtime. Almost everyone is living, working, socializing, and learning from the comfort of home. But as comfortable as it is to stay inside, at times, it can feel like the walls are closing in.
At this time, many people are trying to fill all this new free time by meeting someone new. After all, what better time to date and find love than when you know a potential partner isn’t busy? But finding love in the time of COVID presents unique challenges.
If you’re ready to look for your pandemic partner, here are some dating tips that will make this strange new reality a little easier.
Be Upfront About What You Want
One pandemic dating tip that’s consistent with regular dating is to be upfront. If you’re looking for a serious relationship, make that known. And if you’re just looking for something casual, be tell your potential partner.
Honest communication is important in any relationship, but especially if communication is mainly online. With the slower pace to relationships that the pandemic brings, it’s important to know that you and your partner are on the same page.
You don’t have to lead with your expectations and non-negotiables. But this is a topic that should come up rather early into the conversation. With so many singles looking for pandemic love, it’s not impossible to find someone looking for the same thing.
Start With Virtual Dates
In a pandemic of a virus that’s spread through close contact, it’s best not to meet every potential suitor. Limiting social contact is the best way to stop the spread of the virus. So it’s best to meet virtually through video dates and on the phone.
This is a major step in a quartine relationship. And while it may not be as fun as going out on an in-person date, it’s much safer, and there are ways you can get creative with dates. You can watch movies together or have dinner and drinks over video chat.
Experts have suggested following a 9-3-1 rule. Set up nine dates virtually, meet three socially distant, and narrow it down to one person that you would be willing to take things further with.
Positives To Slowing Down The Progression Of Dating
Actually, many singles seeking an intimate relationship are reporting an enhanced experience from slowing down the pace of the relationship. For example, by slowing down the pace of the interactions, singlers are getting to develop an emotional relationship prior to being physical, they’re getting to see how the other person functions under pressure and they’re reporting enhanced intimate interactions. For example, one couple described a situation where they were walking in the park together masked and their hands accidentally brushed up against each other. They were both apologetic but later described the experience as being very exciting.
Discuss Your COVID Risks
Of course, during a pandemic, part of the discussion must be about COVID. When it comes to dating, it’s important to share your risk factors with a potential partner. This is especially true if this is someone you would consider seeing in person.
The rate of anxiety has risen as people deal with the pandemic. You should discuss whether either of you is considered high risk. Any previous health issues that COVID could complicate are necessary information to pass along.
It’s essential that you also share your COVID status. Like whether you or someone you’ve been in contact with has been exposed to the virus. Starting a relationship by spreading the virus is not the best move.
If you’re an essential worker or working in a place where you have a lot of contact with people, this is also worth sharing. It’s best to put all the information out there and together decide if you feel safe meeting in person.
Transitioning to in-Person Dating
Found someone you like enough to meet in real life? You should take the normal dating precautions and then some.
Outside dates have been on the rise in the warmer months. But as the weather starts getting colder, in-person dating faces new problems. Taking dates indoors means being more cautious than being outside.
You should be informed with the community spread numbers in your county or neighborhood to help make your decision. High transmission rates mean a higher probability of contracting the virus.
In this situation, places like restaurants, where they may be a lot of people not wearing masks, are high-risk areas for a date. If this is the case, you may want to consider another indoor location with more mask-wearing.
If you’re planning on going to each other’s homes, you should be sure neither of you has COVID. In this situation, it’s best to get tested and quarantine until you get results. You can also quarantine for two weeks before meeting mask-free.
How to Approach Intimacy
Intimacy in the pandemic is tricky. Like everything, there are a whole new layer thanks to the pandemic. While the typical questions of intimacy should still be a discussion, there’s now a question of how to go about it safely.
Any form of intimacy that requires you to be in close proximity is considered high risk. This includes everything from a quick kiss to sex. Mask, of course, can lower this risk but don’t provide the most intimate of experiences.
The expert recommendation again is to remain socially distant.
Intimacy is one area you should be direct in your communication. Discuss how comfortable you and your partner feel about meeting without a mask. And discuss your concerns about intimacy during the pandemic.
Trust is very important in this situation. It’s crucial that you both stick to the plan you decide to prevent the transmission of the virus.
Finding Love in a Pandemic
Finding ways to spend this newfound free time has led people to get creative. Picking up new hobbies, trying to cook new food, and meeting potential mates all fills in the gaps of life on pause.
It’s not the most conventional way to meet, but that doesn’t mean that it’s an unpleasurable experience. While life might not be normal, that doesn’t mean that life has to stop. Finding love in the pandemic is possible if you’re willing for dating to look a little different.
What do you think of dating during the pandemic? Share your thoughts and share this article with a friend.
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