Ironic that I just finished watching Love on the Spectrum and now started Indian Matchmaking as I’m writing a post on dating? Eh, not really now that I think about it but highly recommend them both! Prior to writing this post I googled “dating during quarantine.” I was curious to see what has already been written on the topic. The top three article titles read: How to Go on a First Date During Quarantine, Quarantine Stopped New Relationships in Their Tracks, and Dating and Tinder during coronavirus: What’s the point? I didn’t read all of them fully but ultimately, the second and third articles were alluding to in-person interaction and physical touch playing important roles in the beginning stages of a relationship and that is why quarantine dating would fail since you shouldn’t be meeting in-person. I wasn’t shocked though when I saw what articles first popped up because I’ve felt like dating during quarantine can be a point of contention, depending on one’s view points.
The purpose of this post is not to take a stance but instead talk about what my experience has been as I have chose to date during this time. Don’t worry, still single AF, but it’s been fun. 🙂 I’m very aware that some of you may not agree with some of my actions, and I totally respect that and truthfully understand why you wouldn’t! I also want to clarify what I mean when I say, “I have chose to date during this time.” It means I decided to continue to use the dating apps and talk to guys through that should we match. That being said, I did meet in-person with some but I’ll get to that later.
I guess I should I start with why I wanted to continue to date even during quarantine. Like the articles I read, many thought it would be a bad time to continue to try and pursue dating since you couldn’t meet up with someone. The reason I decided to not stop dating is because I looked at this time as an opportunity to weed out who isn’t on the same page as me. I thought maybe I’ll be able to build an emotional connection first as for me that’s so important and personally without it, I’m not able to form a physical one. Personally, if I’m on the fence about someone, getting to know their personality can either make me more interested or make me not. I may have also just finished Love is Blind right as quarantining was starting and was hoping to make Lauren and Cameron’s reality mine just minus the pods, luxury vacation and being on TV. 😉
So, I have continued to swipe, like, or message depending which app I’m using. Personally, I’m only using Hinge and Bumble at the moment. I definitely did notice an uptick in activity as quarantine became more serious given all the extra time everyone now had. It has been nice not feeling an urgency to meet someone in-person which is something I felt in normal dating. Pre-COVID it wasn’t uncommon that after only a couple days to a week of messaging you could be meeting up with the person face-to-face. As virtual happy hours became more popular so did virtual dates. Let’s just say, this was something I was PUMPED about. I love FaceTime and phone calls to begin with and seeing as I was a recruiter this is second nature for me. My first virtual date was close to 5 hours and lets just say I have never had one that’s been less than an hour. Your girl can talk and truthfully, I was pleasantly surprised at how easily the guys carried the conversations too! FaceTime dates before meeting in-person is the top quarantine dating practice I think should continue into normal dating. The way I look at it, putting my recruiter hat back on for a second, is it’s a phone screen to see if they should make it to the in-person interview. Also, let’s just be honest here for a second and this is not me playing victim. I wouldn’t say dating is the easiest thing for me, as much as I try to be up front about my walking, it does make it hard. I put it on my profiles so I don’t waste anyone’s time, including mine. I felt like these FaceTime dates allowed me to show the guys I was talking to who I am without any judgement that could be made if they see me walking into the date. I’ll also be honest in while the majority of my FaceTime dates were great, there were a couple that weren’t awful but enough for me to know I didn’t need to waste my time, or theirs, in putting in effort and eventually meeting up. I will say my best FaceTime date had to be the guy who offered to order me Chick-Fil-A and we loosely had a chicken nugget eating contest. Talk about A+ for creativity!
After vetting through FaceTime, there were a few I did meet in-person. Obviously with things shut down, the standard grabbing a drink or dinner was out of the question. This is another area that I hope translates into normal dating. I will say I got some delicious homecooked meals from some of the guys, and I mean who doesn’t love being cooked for?! Park picnics and wine nights on my patio have also been other types of quarantine dates I’ve done. Another reason FaceTiming prior to meeting is ideal is because then there’s less nerves around going to their place or having them to yours and wondering if they’re a serial killer..;) For me, it also really helped reduce my nerves for the first in-person meeting because I already had built some sort of comfort level with them. Not going to a bar to grab a drink or getting dinner has honestly been kind of refreshing. However, what can happen by always doing things at one-another’s place is complacency and potentially laziness. I think while cooking dinner for one another or even cooking together or movie/Netflix and chill nights and wine are great dates, doing things only at one-another’s place can get old and boring as quarantine has proven, and it’s important to switch up the scenery, especially while it’s so nice out! AND if you’re worried about COVID risks, not being at each other’s places obviously reduces that.
I’ve already started to notice that as things start to open back up, FaceTime dates before meeting are starting to diminish and it makes me sad. But, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my dating experience during this time. Like with other lessons or practices learned from quarantine, I hope those related to dating like not needing to feel as rushed to meet in-person, FaceTime dates occurring before in-person dates, and getting creative with in-person dates become the new norm. Maybe some of these things were already happening for others and not me. If so, I’m jealous!
While I don’t have a quarantine relationship as an outcome, I’ve met a lot of great guys. I love hearing all the quarantine romance success stories and I’d also love to hear some of the ways you all have gotten creative with your dates during this time!
Somewhat in the words of Dory, I’m going to “just keep swiping, swiping, swiping!”