Dating can be hard. Dating during a pandemic feels nearly impossible. But there are creative ways to date in spite of COVID.
Here’s how you can still date during COVID.
Make the Most of Online Dating
When the pandemic began last March, many dating apps and sites saw an increase in new profiles. If you’re thinking about joining a dating app or site, there are some things you should be aware of when choosing an app or site.
If you’re looking for a relationship, free apps like Tinder or Bumble probably aren’t your best move. They have a reputation as hookup apps for a reason, but other free apps like Hinge are designed for users to build relationships. However, that doesn’t leave out the possibility of creeps or jerks on Hinge.
If you’re looking for a serious relationship, it’s probably best to go to a premium site like Match or eHarmony. Want to try before you buy? No worries because both websites offer holiday deals (hello, Valentine’s Day) like free trials, and there are plenty of online hacks to find a free trial. You can also join an app or site that’s focused on your interests or religion.
Stay Safe Out There
No matter which app you use, it’s still important to take safety precautions on dating apps and sites. It’s important to look out for red flags in conversations (block immediately if a guy asks what your bra size is, just eww) and don’t reveal too much about yourself. Be sure to speak over FaceTime or video chat through the app (many apps now offer video chatting features) before meeting and take your time to get to know someone before meeting in person.
When you do meet in person, make sure it’s in a safe and public location (I can’t stress this enough) and a friend knows where you are. Come up with an escape plan with your friend in case something goes wrong. If things go well after the first couple of dates, feel free to talk to him about where the relationship is going, and you can start opening up more.
Use Your Social Network
You know your friend’s cousin’s cute roommate who you always see on Instagram but don’t have the nerve to ask your friend about? Right now is your time.
Your friends know you well, so why not ask your friends if they know of any cute and eligible single guys? While you’re at it, why not think of guy friends you think your girl friends could possibly be interested in? If you come from a big family, extend this to your siblings and cousins and see how things go. Who knows, you might find your soulmate this way.
Depending on where you live, you can still find ways to meet people in person. I live in the suburbs of Chicago, and we’re currently plagued by over a foot of snow and 20-degree temperatures, so my options are limited. However, there are plenty of options if you live in a warmer climate like going to a public park. If you live in a colder climate, visiting a public park will soon be an option because, according to a famous groundhog, there are only six more weeks of winter.
You might be struggling to think of where to go when you do find a date, with so many things closed. You could take advantage of outdoor dining, but maybe this is your chance to get creative. Plan a romantic picnic at the park, or go check out that botanical garden you've always meant to visit. Fresh air is perfect for sparking romance!
Activities are also a great way to meet people with common interests. Join a social group like a book club, volunteer group, church group, or any group or club based on your interests.
Dating during COVID might force us to get creative (and maybe make us consider dating guys we typically wouldn’t), but we can make the most of online dating and our social network, plus find fun ways to meet people in person.