#onlinedating | Stories of Love When Dating During the Pandemic | #bumble | #tinder | #pof

Grace McCormick was in a new relationship with a family friend when the pandemic hit, and thought signs pointed to a promising future with her boyfriend. She met him just before COVID arrived in March, and they had already enjoyed a romantic Valentine’s Day evening at the opera house.

But after people began quarantining, she didn’t see her boyfriend for two weeks. He expressed concerns about keeping his ex-wife and children virus free. McCormick was understanding, but eventually realized he was using COVID-19 as an excuse to avoid her. By June, McCormick decided it was time to move on.

Divorced since her 30s, McCormick, who has three children, wasn’t new to the dating scene. But there was one thing she’d never tried: Tinder. Despite the app’s reputation as a hook-up site, she soon attracted the attention of a Portland man in a shirt featuring the logo of the Green Bay Packers, McCormick’s home team. Their long-distance love story began that night with hours on the phone, and they discovered they’d attended high schools just a mile apart.

“We talked every night for a month. He’d text during the day. He sent flowers and a fruit basket … it was the sweetest thing because we hadn’t even met,” she says. She felt they both could be more vulnerable and authentic over the phone.

While their first in-person meeting started carefully, with masks, they’d already been dating virtually for almost two months. They quickly moved beyond social distancing. “We made out for like 45 minutes at the end of a pier,” she says.

After months of long-distance pandemic dating, McCormick and her new love are moving in together. It’s about, she says, “as perfect as it can get.”

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