How to Date While Social Distancing

The time of COVID-19 has changed everything

dating

Most of the United States has begun slowly loosening restrictions on social distancing, but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet. In fact, most singles are still hesitant to go on in-person dates with the people they have met online — so much so, that people have even begun to list their health status in their Tinder bios.

Now that a growing number of people have been able to receive the COVID-19 antibody test, it’s more common to see their status when you’re in the midst of swiping. Some people are honest and hope that it’s enough to sway a date toward meeting in person. But others are simply lying on their profiles in order to bypass social distancing guidelines and meet a date IRL. Even though the average length of an engagement is 14 months, people aren’t willing to wait that long to meet up in person. Regardless, the antibody test still doesn’t protect you from getting the virus in the future.

If you really want to meet someone while dating, here are some of the best ways you can move from just texting or messaging them:

Virtual dates

The age of the video chat date is officially upon us. Where most people wouldn’t dream of going on a first date via video, this has become the reality for most people who want to get a better vibe for their partner.

After all, it can be hard to check if the chemistry is there if you only message. While FaceTiming and going on Zoom dates isn’t ideal — after all, Zoom fatigue is a real thing — it still enables singles to laugh and smile at each other, something that isn’t possible over text.

But it’s more than just talking in person. A growing number of people have started engaging in online games and events, like virtual trivia, attending game nights, and watching movies and shows together.

While this version of dating isn’t ideal, it’s still a great way to feel more connected if you’re not a fan of messaging back and forth.

Car dates

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury cases, but these numbers have gone down since the quarantine hit. If you’re itching to get back on the road, meeting up with your date in a parking lot might be the answer.

While this date isn’t perfect and you should keep your distance, this form of dating does adhere to the six-feet-apart guidelines that we’re living under. Get some snacks and meet up in a parking lot that allows a little loitering, like at your local park or church. Stay in your own cars and eat some snacks, talk about your lives, and know that you have a way out since you’re literally in your car.

Just be careful when it comes to drinking and driving. Many people like to have a few drinks before a date to loosen their nerves. But 28 people die each day as a result of drunk driving and it’s illegal to have an open bottle of alcohol in your car, even if you’re parked. If you want to loosen up before a date, try stretching and meditating while avoiding stimulants that can raise anxiety, like caffeine.

If you’re comfortable enough with your car date, you can always go on a walk around the park, too. This sets a timer on the date in case anything goes awry. Bring your mask, practice social distancing, and see if you and your date click in person!

Quarantining with your date

Some particularly adventurous people have even started shacking up with their dates for the long haul. But this is a risky move for people that are meeting up with virtual strangers for the first time. While it might make sense to quarantine with someone you have known for a while, you should weigh the pros and the cons before jumping into something for the long-term.

The way that we date is changing and it’s all because of COVID-19. OKCupid alone has reported a 40% rise in the number of online users since the pandemic began. As we move toward social distancing dates and virtual romances, it’s important to stay safe online. Rely on these tips to ensure your health is protected when you want to take your relationship to the next level. Perhaps we’ll be able to hold hands again in the near future.

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