COVID & Its Impact on Dating

Life takes twists and turns, the pandemic reformed the world and we have to acclimate to what is considered the new normal. If many areas like the economy have been altered then the dating scene should also be a bit different, right? Although the dating landscape is now more heavily focused on online dating, the pandemic is making everything more online prior to the start of the epidemic; the only difference is that now people have no other choice but to utilize dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble to find love. With public spaces being closed and restrictions enforced, there’s really no way to meet a potential partner face to face in public let alone go on a traditional date. Not only are singles going through a tough time, those already in a relationship are suffering as well since we can’t see each other as much, especially long distance relationships. Moreover, college students can no longer attend parties or extracurricular activities to meet people. Because of these current stipulations, many of us are on the same boat to doing things virtually which eventually leaves a heavy feeling of loneliness. There was a study conducted in 2019 that illustrated the aftermath of swiping on dating apps, users couldn’t help but feel lonelier than before.

Whether you love it or hate it, the reality is that online dating is here to stay and will continue to proliferate. The presence of COVID-19 prompted people to crave interactions to eliminate the feeling of being lonely regardless if it’s for a friendship or romantic relationship; the most plausible method to go about this is counting on dating apps despite the sheer number of users and competition there. Now I wouldn’t advocate hopping on online dating platforms because they may result in low self-esteem and confidence issues, which tends to apply to more men than women. If you happen to land on a date with someone, communicate with them in order to see what type of date both of you prefer. A large number of people stick to a video call as their first date which is very common nowadays; this is an outstanding strategy to determine if both parties can engage with each other on a deeper level and if there’s compatibility. This also helps take cat-fishing out of the equation, you can see if the person you matched with is who you pictured them to be.

We have to recognize that anyone can still contract the virus when they socialize or partake in intimate contact. The most realistic options that you have for a safe date are going for walks in the park, grabbing coffee at a cafe, and hosting a picnic just to name a few. I’m aware that these are only viable ideas for either a first or second date, but you’ll have to work with what you have and hope for the best; it’s going to be redundant and mundane, but what can you really do about it given the present circumstances? Taking the date to the next level generally indicates sex; however, it’s going to be perilous and you’re going to look like a fool with a mask on. Furthermore, a doctor by the name of Kimberly Tilley claimed that wearing a mask won’t reduce the chances of disseminating the virus because it’s just not possible to social distance during sex. Meeting up with someone for the first time during the pandemic can also be super awkward, believe it or not. Try to imagine this in your head, pretend that I’m so excited to meet this pretty girl at Central Park and I see her smiling but what do I even do? Should I welcome her by giving her a hug? Giving your date a hug is what most people do, it shows that you’re genuinely delighted to see them; however, what if the girl completely dodges my hug? If my hug gets brushed off then it undoubtedly changes the whole mood and environment of the planned date. I would want to turn around and scurry back home to avoid the humiliation I just went through. It’s going to feel like you just had your heart ripped out literally and I can only imagine how embarrassing it would be if there were people watching. Many would prefer not to be touched with COVID cases spiking, but ask your date if you can hug them or try to read their body language. For the time being, you’ll have to stick to what limited resources that are available or perhaps use this time wisely and work on yourself until normalcy returns. Trust me, I know this isn’t the most ideal time to search for love but hey try to picture it from the bright side; all this spare time will allow you to set goals for yourself and improve yourself then you can come back more than ready to meet people after this fiasco concludes.

By: Alex Huang

Alex is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology majoring in Advertising & Marketing Communications. He used to major in psychology because he didn’t know what to do with his life and now wants to be in the business world. He gets distracted easily by all of the pretty girls in New York City and hopes to become a PR or Marketing manager someday. One of his favorite things to do is going out for bubble tea.

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