Dating apps are taking COVID-19 seriously, so how can you stay safe and still meet someone new?
With the enormous growth of dating app use, I’ve always told singles to move the relationship from online to meeting IRL as soon as possible. However, that strategy needs to be reevaluated with the coronavirus.
Know that all of us in the dating industry take dating safety seriously, especially given so many people’s fear of the unknown path the coronavirus is on, as well as the CDC’s advice to practice “social distancing.”
Several dating apps, including Tinder, have provided in-app pop-ups with safety measures, along with a link to the World Health Organization (WHO) and recommended steps singles can take to stay safe, such as washing their hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, and avoiding large crowds.
With COVID-19 top of mind, how does it change the dating landscape? Can you catch the Coronavirus from kissing or having sex?
For starters, many locations for dates have shut down. From sporting events to concerts and museums, the number of spots ideal for dating has diminished. And yes, you can catch the virus from kissing, as the main way COVID-19 is transmitted is through respiratory droplets, which make their way from infected individuals into the mouth or nose of someone nearby.
Add this information to the equation of meeting someone new for a first date, and suddenly it doesn’t sound so sexy when you’re worrying your date might show up sniffling and you don’t even have a history with this person.
So how do you date in the age of the coronavirus?
Some of you might take a pass on dating altogether, but others can successfully date safely if you consider implementing these measures.
Here are 14 dating dos and dont’s during the novel coronavirus.
Do log on to apps and chat more often with singles, as during times of crisis, the need to create a bond with a potential date is elevated.
Don’t worry about canceling a date. Let the person know you’d like to postpone until you feel safe being in crowds.
Do let your potential date know you’re COVID-19 free before you meet.
Don’t show up on a date wearing a mask and gloves, or it will send your date running for the hills.
Do schedule a facetime date, or an in-app video chat instead of meeting IRL to keep the spark going, or you’ll risk the dreaded slow fade.
Don’t interrogate your date as to when the last time they sneezed, or if they’ve taken the COVID-19 test. It’s not the same convo you should be having about getting tested for STDs.
Do a fist-bump welcome when you meet instead of a hug.
Don’t spend the whole night talking about the coronavirus. Instead, try to keep it light.
Do carry hand sanitizer, and offer some to your date if you’re at a restaurant.
Don’t lean in for a kiss at the end of the night, as a wink will do.
Do proudly wash your hands if you’re out dining on a date.
Don’t stick around if someone near you starts coughing.
Do schedule a Netflix and Chill night if you’ve gone on a few dates already.
While there’s so much we don’t know about the coronavirus, don’t give up on dating and finding love. It’s time to be creative, and you’ve got this.
The coronavirus will force singles to vet their dates with a strong digital eye and will result in a slow-style of dating, which isn’t such a bad idea.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and award-winning dating coach. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for more advice.