So how does one navigate dating during the pandemic? Everyone has their own “Before & After” COVID story. And, as vulnerable as it makes me… this is mine. I’ve learned a few things that I’m sharing with you all.
This one goes out to all the single ladies….
Alright, let’s just get right down to it. This apocalyptic nightmare called 2020 has pretty much made my dating life non-existent. Stupid COVID. Why do you have to ruin it for everyone?
There was one point over the Summer where I was staying in the mountains of Maine. The cell reception was shoddy and woodland creatures were neighbors… The same thing that was keeping me socially distanced and safe from COVID was the same thing ruining the fun of dating life.
What happens if you’re in a Schitt’s Creek kinda town? Then you only have the guy you went to HS with and his cousin to choose from… 😂 My situation is starting to look pretty good all of a sudden… lol.
Luckily, I’ve moved to a new location with much more options!
Dating Before and After COVID
Just recently, I became more interested in the possibility of finding a connection with someone on a dating app as opposed to the traditional, old-fashioned way… meeting someone through friends… at a party… at a work event… at the gym… standing in line for coffee…
Do people even meet those ways anymore? Lol..
Even if we did… Times have changed. With COVID being what it is, it’s highly unlikely that we’re going to have a “meet-cute” with our masks making us look and talk the way we do.
How do you know what’s under there? A smile.. a frown.. gritted teeth? No teeth? Lol. And asking someone to repeat themselves 3x or guessing what they said out of politeness is no fun either…
After being in a relationship for 3 years, I was looking forward to getting back onto the dating scene.
I’m not a serial dater, I don’t want a pen pal… Just a nice, solid connection with someone with who I can go out on dates with. I would usually say, “if I have to kiss a few frogs first”. I’m totally fine with that.
But how do you date at a time like this? Dating is not at all what it was before…
Now, thanks to COVID, taking an uber is risky, post-date kisses are questionable, a lot of restaurants are closed and in some places, you even have a time limit. How am I supposed to eat my meal, chat with my date, and enjoy my dessert?!?
Not to mention, we ladies have to wear a freaking mask which ruins our makeup. And what are we supposed to do after the dinner date? Many date night options such as the theatre and concerts are not open which leaves what… going back to his place?
As if dating wasn’t hard enough before having to worry about catching an STD, now we have to worry about catching COVID too.
FACT: Real Girls Want to Date Even in a Pandemic
Selecting Our Dates More Carefully
I’d love to get back into dating scene fully but not gonna lie, I still think about COVID’s ramifications.
If you’re like me, and you have an autoimmune disease (or similarly life-threatening condition) that puts you at high risk, then you have to be especially careful with who you choose to meet, if you even do at all.
There are probably a lot of people like me having a hard time dating right now. Meeting people the old-fashioned way in public is not as safe anymore.
Whereas before, you could date whoever you wanted freely, now, its riskier… like playing Russian Roulette every date.
Anyone you meet could have COVID. Not that I was much of a dater before COVID… I much prefer being in a relationship.
But, I have to live my life. I’m ready to dip my toes back in… pandemic or no pandemic. At some point, it outweighs the risk for me.. and who knows how long this will go on for.
Not to mention, there are only so many precautions that one can take… I can’t very well ask someone to do a new COVID test before every single date with me.. that’d be absurd.
Maybe if we take the safer approach and be smart about who we date, then we will be less at risk and can still have fun.
Tips for Dating During the Pandemic
Only Date People You’re Really Into
As far as I’m aware, there’s no such thing as “The COVID Compromise”.. but it has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? 😉 I just thought of it so I’m going with it!
What if, instead of accepting in-person dates with any cute guy/girl that struck our fancy, we made “The COVID Compromise” and only went on dates with people we were most likely to date more than just once.
We could chat them up over video chat first to see if there was chemistry and if we hit it off, we could then date them in person.
If I go by my “COVID Compromise” above, I’m only going to take a date from someone I’m willing to risk my life for basically… not to be dramatic.
I’ve been having a nice conversation here and there… went on 1 date over the Summer, have been on some video chats, and have recently been asked on some in-person dates too.
Update: I feel like I’m closer than ever to finding someone I want to date regularly. My hard work is paying off. I just started talking to someone now who I think would be worth the risk of meeting.
Be Selective On Who You Want to Date
Maybe we should start selecting our dates like we would our mates. If someone has irresponsible or risky behavior like going out partying, going places without masks, or hopping on a plane a lot, we should definitely take that into consideration.
It is our health at the end of the day.. and the health of the ones we love.
For that reason, I think it’s important now more than ever that we are more selective of who we want to date and narrow it down to the guys (and girls for that matter) who we are really interested in.
Before Meeting, Screen Your Date More Than Usual
I just made a new friend who’s been single for a while and ready to start to date again. She’s been going on a few restaurant dates where there’s social distancing but has made a point to chat with them more than usual leading up to the date.
The screening was important pre COVID for all the usual reasons… do they give off serial killer vibes? Are they aggressive towards women? A cheap date? Do they do drugs? Are they employed? etc., etc….
But, screening your date is even more important now. It’s as easy as talking to them more than you usually would before arranging a meet.
It takes a man approximately 15 minutes to form a first impression of a woman, whereas, it takes a woman approximately 1 hr. for a woman to make one of a man.
Screen Your COVID Date
Before you meet, feel your date out a bit first…
See what their lifestyle and hygiene habits are. Ask them anything you need to know to feel safe such as, are they willing to get a COVID test, are they seeking something committed or just casual, etc.
Find out who they’re interacting with or are around on a regular basis.. (family, friends, coworkers, dates, etc.) Are they working from home.. do they live with other people.
These are all important indicators and ultimately determine whether they’re a safe date. It won’t kill you to ask questions but COVID might if you don’t. And you can say, “I don’t mean to be rude but COVID..”
How Do You Meet Someone for Date?
So, you know you want to limit the people you’re dating and you have an idea how you’re going to screen them. But where do you meet them during COVID?
Dating apps are your best bet! In case you haven’t used them before, I’ve found Bumble and Hinge to work well. Although I’ve only met 1 person in person since the pandemic, I’ve chatted with quite a few.
The whole back and forth process can be exhausting when you’re matching with so many multiple people online. I prefer to stick to chatting with a few people best and then seeing who I want to take off the app and offer my phone number to.. then video chat with.
So far, the best app at getting me the most matches in my 99-mile radius is Bumble. With that comes a whole lot of options though, which can also be a bad thing as it’s very overwhelming.
I don’t like how the match expires after 24 hours since we all lead such busy lives, it’s hard to keep tabs on an app. I also don’t like how the woman has to message first.
Hinge is great in that your matches don’t expire. I also like how you can leave a comment on someone’s photo. It gives you something to break the ice before going into an actual conversation.
Bumble recently added this feature too, but I like Hinge’s setup better. Their logo is “The app designed to be deleted”. If you’re looking for a relationship, it might be worth a shot.
Make sure that you’re not just taking health precautions but all the regular safety precautions as well. I go into more detail in my blog post: 20+ Dating Safety Tips for Women: Real Talk
What to Do If They Don’t Want to Meet You?
Ahhh.. the Quarantine Fling.. better known as “Quaranfling”.
After matching with someone great on a dating app, you start chatting and hit it off! Everything is going great and you really want to meet this person.
But, as it’s time to discuss meeting, they start playing games. If they’re not randomly ghosting you for no reason, they’re making false promises and flaking on you.
As time goes on, you realize that this person never had the intention of meeting you. Suddenly, you feel crushed. Does this sound like you?
48% of singles have Googled someone before their first date.
My Dating Dilemma
I have a different problem than the “Quaranfling” I previously mentioned…
My dating problem is not that I can’t get a guy to match with… or meet with…
Oh no, there are plenty.. in fact too many.. like literally in the hundreds that end up in my inbox on Bumble every day that I have to go through one by one.
And a lot of great possible contenders too… many of them are attractive, good jobs, similar interests as me…
My problem is that I have too many options… to get to the good guys, you gotta go through the not-so-good guys… The only way for you to know if someone is worthy of risking your life for is to chat with them… get to know them.
The only thing you can do initially is text… yes, small talk is boring and being ghosted, infuriating but it’s what all of us have to deal with.
COVID Cocktail Hour
After you’ve gone through the daunting task of texting, now it’s time to get on video chat and make a fool of yourself during cocktail hour. Over a drink, or two, or three… Hell, it’s a pandemic after all.
Share your uncomplicated, enriching tales of how you both made it through possibly the worst time of your lives. Nothing like COVID to bring two people together.
20+ Dating Safety Tips
It’s so important to help our fellow women stay safe and protect themselves. Here are some safety dating tips gathered and passed down from one woman to another.
Be Aware, COVID Brings Out the Worst Kinda Dates
So, I just recently learned that dating is not about compromise.
This pandemic has brought all sorts of people out of the woodwork… Literally…
There was this guy I was about to date who I met through an app. We both live in New England and he’s a lumberjack by trade basically…
He’s all steamy, rugged, and manly. So usually not my type. But it’s kinda taboo for me and I thought, “You know what.. it’s COVID, why not”.
So I was about to date Paul Bunyan, live and in-person… we’d have hot cocoa, sitting in front of his fire at his cabin he made with his own two hands.. kinda hot, not gonna lie…
When I told him food is a huge thing for me.. especially meat.. he said the most romantic words only someone who was that rugged could say… “Well then babe, I’ll hunt a deer for you and cook it for dinner.” LMFAO
That was short-lived.. after I told him that I’m into BDSM… he actually thought that I wanted to dominate him… “Well, just so you know.. I’m a dominant Male”.. (yes he capitalized the “M” as if to remind me, but mostly himself that he is a man and not a sissy)… And went on to say that he doesn’t understand “soy boys”…
The real “boy”…? Turned out to be the Paul Bunyan wannabe.
And then there was the guy who wasn’t so generous in hunting a deer for me let alone watching me eat one…
Studies show that drinking pickle juice before you kiss increases serotonin levels by over 9,000%.
We hit it off as soon as we learned of each other’s irrational fear of sharks being in places where they’d never be. There was total chemistry between us… he was funny but also romantic, old-fashioned like me and sweet.
He asked me on a dinner date the other day. After I asked if he was willing to get a test. He said yes, of course. Because duh.. what guy wouldn’t want to meet me.. lol. Just sayin’. 😉
As I was getting ready to pick the restaurant the next day, the bomb dropped… He told me he had a veggie burger for lunch… and that he was vegetarian. Imagine being a meat-loving person like myself and hearing this for the first time..
It absolutely killed the chemistry for me… Hello, I’m a meat-eater… not like 1-2x/wk. If red meat were a food group, it’d be my favorite. Sorry to all the vegans and vegetarians out there. But, I like to share my food… it’s a part of life for me. I don’t want to be worried I’m offending you.
What a shame… because we really hit it off. I mean c’mon! We had the same irrational fear of sharks being in places where they wouldn’t be… How often do you meet someone like that?
When he said my eating meat did not matter and that he was willing to make me a “Bomb ass steak with sweet potatoes anytime” if we were to start dating, I knew he was full of it.
So, I made him put his money where his mouth was (literally) and said, “You say that now.. but just wait till you see me get down at a BBQ joint” and showed him a GIF of a girl getting down and dirty with a rack of ribs which obviously made him change his mind. 😂
I’ve never had to keep a tally of the guys who changed their mind on dating me… I guess being a meat-eating, whip cracker is not always delightful in the minds of men…
I’ll keep my search open with slight changes in my criteria. “Must eat meat and be okay with the occasional beating”. Until then… I remain single.
9 Step Guide to a Solo Date At Home
Have a fun solo date at home with a lil’ self lovin’. I got you covered with a whole step-by-step game plan.
Bad Dates? So Now What Are You Going to Do?
Sometimes, you just have to get back to living your life the best (& safest) way you can. I don’t think any of us knew the pandemic would still be going on for this long… It’s now been almost a year.
I don’t know about you, but I decided that the isolation, boredom, and sadness that I felt from COVID was too much to bear and even worse than the risk itself… especially since there is no end in sight. This could last years.
I’ve gotten used to wearing a mask every day before I go out in public. But, I can’t and won’t get used to having COVID take over my social life for years. I’d be missing out on so much.
I have finally decided recently, that I will not let insanity win.
And so, dear reader… I have decided to finally take the plunge back into dating, ignore the nagging feeling in my head telling me, “Just get back with your ex. At least he’s a safe, warm body to cuddle”… and continue my search for the perfect guy…
Or, how about just a good guy.. one who calls when he says he’s going to call and leaves sweet voice messages throughout the day… who enjoys eating meat with me and like that I get kinky from time to time.
Any ladies in agreement? 😉
Are you dating during COVID? If so, what has your experience been like?
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