How’s your dating life going since the pandemic? Non-existent or “what pandemic?” Has it ground to a halt or going gangbusters? Have you gone into hibernation or gone wild? Or, have you realized you just don’t give a sh*t and deleted all your dating apps? There’s no bad answer here. It’s a weird time to be single, but it might not be the worst time. Life and love will go on. We are social animals and need interaction. We need connection. Human contact is an essential business! There’s only so much social distancing/isolating/quarantining a person can take before losing their mind.
The good news is, as lockdowns lift, dating IRL might pick up again.
From what health experts are saying, we’re not even done with the first wave of COVID. Things are spiking again, and with that comes the possibility of more sheltering-in-place. Regular dating might be put on hold. But there are workarounds. Single people are very resourceful in finding ways to adapt. When faced with challenges and adversity, singles think outside the mask (but the smart ones keep it on).
If you’re single right now, you need to be prepared for any eventuality. I wrote an article about this at the beginning of the pandemic, and things actually haven’t changed much. You’ve got options.
Option A: Stay Active, Keep Your Dating Apps Open
Why let a pandemic cramp your dating style? There’s no reason not to keep swiping, scrolling, and staying out there. Everyone’s at home on their devices, so why not take advantage of your captive audience?
Before coronavirus, when you met on a dating app, you’d have a few text exchanges, maybe a call or two, then meet in person as soon as possible. You can still do that, but video dating is now the safer alternative for those too freaked out to meet face-to-face.
I love the idea of video dating. It’s like old-fashioned courtship. Very Victorian, very Jane Austen, very hot. Courting via video slows everything down, which I find very romantic. Delayed gratification is sexy as hell.
If you haven’t done video dating, or gotten good at it, there’s still time. There’s still time to meet the love of your life in the middle of a deadly virus and look great doing it.
A video date is a real date, so treat it like one. Don’t be lazy. Clean up, put some makeup on, be as charming as you would IRL. This is your chance to get to know someone, and possibly get laid sometime next year, so make an effort.
Or, you can throw caution to the wind and throw your mask off, along with the rest of your clothes like this woman did. Read her pandemic dating story here.
Because physical intimacy might be too risky for the less adventurous or horny, chances are, anyone dating right now is searching for something more substantial, perhaps longer lasting than a just a hook-up or booty call. Maybe they’re searching for a shelter-in-place partner for the next pandemic (or the rest of this one).
Option B: Take A Break, Temporarily Deactivate Your Dating Apps
There’s nothing wrong with taking a dating break, especially if you’re burned out or going through a hard time. If you’re not actively dating, hide your profile, or turn off auto-renewal until you’re ready to venture back out.
Use the downtime to catch your breath, work on yourself, get in better shape, and get clarity on what you want. When there’s no obligation or pressure to date, it frees you up to make smarter, more thought-out choices. Pandemic or no pandemic, pressing pause on your dating life presents a great opportunity to weed out the riff-raff and regain your sanity.
Option C: You Realize That Social Distancing Isn’t That Bad.
The quiet and stillness of lockdown at first might’ve been uncomfortable – possibly unbearable — but now you’re getting used to it and even like it. It’s given you time to think, reflect, read, and relax. Becoming friends with silence and solitude is a skill, and mastering it will get you through single life (and pandemics) like a pro.
Some people avoid being alone at all costs, but according to research, the ability to be alone with yourself is actually essential for a healthy social life. Researchers Jeffrey A. Hall and Andy J. Merolla spell it out:
“We’d seen lots of research suggesting more social interactions are better,” Hall says, but “the one that had the strongest empirical support was that when you’re alone and content that way, that’s a great indicator that you’re socially healthy.”
Being single in a pandemic is a great test of your self-reliance. Enjoying your own company is everything.
That’s why there are some people in the world who are almost never alone but feel lonely, and some people who are always alone and never feel lonely…Solitude works when you feel satisfied on the whole with your connection to other people. Once you have that basic need met, it’s much easier to spend time alone.
The bottom line with pandemics (and other shitty things that happen in life) is there’s always an upside: it can be the worst thing ever, or the thing you needed to make changes, practice new skills, and find the strength you thought you never had. Your choice.
Single or not, you always have options.