- Relationships and pandemic preparedness
- Dating safely during the pandemic
- Is online dating safe?
I hate to admit that the pandemic has blown out a lot of hope of finding Mr. Right for me. I’m a single mom about to be an empty nester with my son graduating, and quite frankly had made the commitment to myself to get serious about dating. Then, boom — a pandemic with social isolation pops into the calendar. Is it fate telling me to just give up, or fate saying that maybe there is a different way to go about this?
If, like me, you’re wondering just how to do this whole dating thing during a pandemic should go down, here are some insights.
Dating and pandemic preparedness
One might think that pandemic preparedness means having the cutest face mask to capture Mr. Right’s bright blue eyes. At least, I have the fantasy that since he can no longer see my face at the grocery store checkout, that my eyes capture him from at least 6 feet away. This isn’t likely since my best feature is my smile, hiding well under the mask as I sound like Darth Vader breathing in hot air.
When it comes to dating, pandemic preparedness means being open to new ways of getting to know someone. Ironically, the pandemic is changing the dating app game for the better. “Meeting virtually takes the physical chemistry out of the equation and gets both parties to double down on what’s sorely missing in the online world these days — talking and connecting authentically,” dating coach Cherlyn Chong .
Single mom Cassandra Ramirez reminds us that previous generations didn’t always rely on in-person dating. “Some of our grandparents were penpals back in the day and many built a relationship without seeing the other,” she said.
Dating safely during the pandemic
Maybe you are in a new relationship or still looking for a Mr. Right from dating sites, there are some things you want to make sure you do to remain safe. Yes, there are dos and don’ts for dating safely during a pandemic.
Do be aware of social distancing and limiting in-person interactions with someone you just started dating. Be aware of who you are in contact with and who they are to make sure you aren’t increasing the chances of spreading the virus.
Don’t try to use the relationship as a crutch. Everyone is under a lot of stress with family, work, and being out of normal routines. Take time to check in with friends and family about stress you may be feeling and be aware that your new boyfriend may be feeling his own levels of stress, too.
Do open yourself up to communication and getting to know someone. As Chong explains, “With the addition of more time on our hands, dating stops being a game and suddenly is about taking the time to truly get to know someone — to build-up the magic till you two can finally meet.”
Don’t be in a rush to physically meet. This might seem crazy, but with lockdown orders still in place, it’s probably wise to limit physical interactions with someone new.
Do think about what your ideal date would look like and then figure out how to fit that into a social distancing scenario that works. This might include each of you getting takeout from a restaurant and having a candle-lit dinner via video chat.
Don’t think only in terms of all-technology communication. Get romantic and send an actual letter or gift in the mail. In times of social isolation, getting real mail helps keep us connected and grounded – and is a great way to show that you are willing to do the extra work to make him feel special. (Seriously, who loves going to the post office?)