No hugging, no kissing, no shaking of hands – will romance post lockdown blossom on the virtual space alone? Or will people go through additional measures to vet their matches before meeting up in person? The concept of dating and relationships would never be the same after lockdown is lifted, until the dust truly settles.
Anita Gautam, psychiatrist says, “Once things return to a semblance of normalcy, the hesitations around meeting new people in the physical world will likely linger for some time. On the other hand, physical distancing may lead to more breakups and online cheating as people seek to forge new relationships based on shared interest and compatibility.”
Handshake? No, thank-you
People are starting to wonder how their comfort with physical intimacy may forever be changed. Gautam contends the fabric of society is held together by even the smallest physical contact. “Touch is as important a social condition as anything. It reduces stress.” Hardik Chhabra, photographer says, “Even when the pandemic passes, an entire generation will think twice before hugging a stranger on a first, second, even third date. Maintaining 6 feet distance would be the new normal.”
Echoing the sentiment, Rahul Verma, a Delhi based professional says, “Asymptomatic people carry the virus without showing any signs of the symptoms that infected people show. In such a case, how do you know that the person you are meeting for a date doesn’t have the virus?”
And some just want a love buddy. “The Dutch govt. has ordered its citizens to find a love buddy amidst quarantine lockdown – now that’s progressive and effective. If only India would think on such a progressive level,” jokes Mishal Singh, client experience specialist.
Stripped of the ambiance of a restaurant or pub, the quality of the conversation on a date comes into focus. “How we date during coronavirus is already shifting, perhaps permanently. People will have to improve their conversation skills now,” says Aditya Kunal Halder, sports journalist adding that online dating would still be on a rise even after lockdown gets lifted. “It’s definitely helping my wallet. I usually pay for the first date but now I am saving thousands by not going out and all I have to do is talk.” Still, in-person chemistry is hard to replicate. A charmer over text might turn out to be a dud in person without the time or roommate to aid in witty response.
Tanvi Jain, journalist adds, “There could be a rise in pre-date video chats where people get a sense of whether a match is worth leaving the house for. The term protection will be used for masks now and instead of going to restaurants and pubs, couples would prefer staying indoors. Hence, quality conversations would come into play.”
Romance will blossom
With quality conversations, romance will never die. Mohd Shamim Ansari, PR Professional says, “Dating post lockdown would be more of direct conversation between the couples. It will remind them of early stage of their relationship where they use to talk a lot and converted a friendship to a relationship.”
The most important thing to look for in a partner is having a good compatibility. Tanya Mukherjee, urban planner says, “Everybody thinks this is a bad time for dating but I think this is an extremely good time. Sex is off the table, so you actually have to sit down and really get to know someone. It’s romantic.”
However in the end, the dating scene wouldn’t die. “What is certain is that there will be a huge pool of single people looking for romantic encounters post-quarantine; from new flings and hookups to those seeking serious romance but with a twist,” says Gurdeep Rajoria, who works at a PR firm.
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