IF you find yourself single as we emerge from lockdown, here is some good news – there are plenty more fish in the sea.
Many relationships have hit the skids – including those of several celebrities, as we reported this week.
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But before you dive in, you should familiarise yourself with being back in the dating pool post-pandemic.
The rules have changed and so must you.
From how and where to date, and tailoring your online profiles, to having sex safely, and falling in love, our dos-and-don’ts guide will help you navigate the choppy waters of courting during the coronacrisis.
MULTIDATE: With most of us still “working” from home, there are more hours in the day to concentrate on the really important things in life, like romance.
Why not cram in THREE hot dates a day? A coffee in the morning, a socially distanced stroll in the park at lunch and a heavily discounted meal in the evening if you choose the right venue.
TAILOR YOUR ONLINE PROFILE: Dating apps including Bumble have introduced badges so a user can identify what they are into — and I don’t mean kinky sex and rock-climbing.
Instead, daters can display their comfort levels when it comes to meet-ups — virtual only, socially distanced or socially distanced wearing a mask, see right.
This makes swiping that little bit easier, as you can see if you are both on the same page when it comes to health and safety.
TWO-WEEK RULE: We’ve all heard about the three-date rule — no sex until after the third date — but now it’s all about the two-week rule.
This means no intimacy until at least two weeks after meeting one another. If neither of you have developed Covid symptoms during that time, you’re hopefully safe.
Holding back will also help you really get to know one another and build sexual tension.
PRACTISE SEX SAFE: In these strange times, practising safe sex means more than just using contraception.
You need to carry out a proper risk assessment on anywhere you plan on bringing your lover back to.
That means clean sheets, plenty of soap for washing one another down in the shower, and leaving your windows wide open (sorry, neighbours).
If you live with any vulnerable people, you may want to scrap bringing your lover home all together and indulge in a bit of al-fresco frolicking.
PREPARE: No, I’m not talking about stocking up on bog roll in case there is a second wave. I mean prepare down below.
Beauty salons have reopened so there is no excuse not to defuzz — and that goes for you, too, boys.
…and the don’ts
SANITISE YOUR SEX APPEAL: Nothing kills the moment more than someone who is constantly whipping out the sanitiser. Be sensible but don’t overdo it — smelling like a dentist’s surgery is not sexy. Douse yourself in Dior, not Dettol.
LOCK LIPS ON A FIRST DATE: For months, social-distancing has meant we have been forbidden to hug our family, let alone smooch with a new love interest. Save the snogging and stick to jogging elbows for now.
MISS THE CHANCE TO BAIL: Some pubs and restaurants have strict time restrictions on tables, to get more people through their doors. While this is annoying when you are out with your pals, it’s perfect for a first date.
Why? Because you can end a bad evening naturally when the bar turfs you out, avoiding any awkward excuses. Opt for one-hour slots in pubs and bars and two-hour slots in restaurants.
DATE YOUR NEIGHBOURS: In days gone by, one in five of us met our partner at work but Covid and the #MeToo campaign have all but killed the office romance.
Now we have to look a little closer to home to find love. Sure, dating your neighbour is great if it works out — think of all the money you’d save on Uber fares — but what if it went wrong?
It would be difficult to avoid bumping into them. With this in mind, it’s fine to hook up with people locally — just not your neighbour.
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WEAR A FACE MASK: Sure, your safety is paramount but so is your love life. Wearing a face mask on a date is a big no-no. Not only will it make you look uptight, it’s not practical either.
Your date wants to be able to hear and see you. The only time it is acceptable to leave your face mask on with a love interest is when sexting, because you should never include your face in a nude.
This is elementary stuff but months of quarantine can make one lose all sensibilities. Take everything else off?.?.?.?but you can leave your hat, I mean face mask, on.
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